Wednesday, July 12, 1995

Oscar Hammerstein II: Top 50 Songs

First posted 12/8/2019.

Musical theater composer born Oscar Greeley Clendenning Ritter von Hammerstein II one hundred years ago today on 7/12/1895 in New York City, NY. He co-wrote 850 songs, composing musicals first with Jerome Kern and later with Richard Rodgers. He won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Died 8/23/1960.

South Pacific (cast album: 1949; soundtrack: 1958) and The Sound of Music (cast album: 1959; soundtrack: 1965) are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Albums of All Time. “All the Things You Are,” “Ol’ Man River,” and “Some Enchanted Evening” are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953.

For a complete list of this act’s DMDB honors, check out the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry.

Top 50 Songs

Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Many of these songs have been recorded multiple times. Only the highest-ranked version in Dave’s Music Database is included in this list. The recording artist is noted in parentheses. Songs which hit #1 on on the Billboard pop chart (US) Hit Parade (HP), Cashbox (CB), the UK pop charts (UK), and the Australian pop charts (AU) are noted.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. All the Things You Are (Tommy Dorsey with Jack Leonard, 1939) #1 US, HP
2. Ol’ Man River (Paul Robeson with Paul Whiteman, 1927)
3. Some Enchanted Evening (Perry Como with Mitchell Ayres’ Orchestra, 1949) #1 US, HP
4. Who? (George Olsen, 1926) #1 US
5. People Will Say We’re in Love (Bing Crosby with Trudy Erwin, 1943) #1 HP
6. It Might As Well Be Spring (Dick Haymes with Victor Young’s Orchestra, 1945) #1 HP
7. If I Loved You (Perry Como with Russell Case’s Orchestra, 1945)
8. Lover Come Back to Me (Paul Whiteman with Jack Fulton, 1929)

DMDB Top 5%:

9. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ (Bing Crosby with Trudy Erwin, 1943)
10. When I Grow Too Old to Dream (Glen Gray with Kenny Sargent, 1935) #1 US

11. I Won’t Dance (Eddy Duchin with Lew Sherwood, 1935) #1 US
12. Bambalina (Paul Whiteman, 1923) #1 US
13. Bill (Helen Morgan, 1928)
14. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man (Ben Bernie with Vaughn Deleath, 1928)
15. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Frank Sinatra, 1945)
16. Why Was I Born? (Libby Holman, 1930)
17. I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star (Jack Denny with Paul Small, 1932)
18. The Desert Song (Nat Shilkret with Mischa Russell, 1927)
19. Why Do I Love You? (Nat Shilkret, 1928)
20. No Other Love (Perry Como with Henri Rene’s Orchestra, 1953) #1 US, HP, CB

21. The Last Time I Saw Paris (Kate Smith, 1940)
22. The Song Is You (Jack Denny with Paul Small, 1932)
23. Make Believe (Paul Whiteman with Bing Crosby, 1928)
24. My Favorite Things (John Coltrane, 19610
25. Sunny (George Olsen, 1926)
26. That’s for Me (Jo Stafford, 1945)
27. Bali Ha’I (Perry Como with Mitchell Ayres’ Orchestra, 1949)

DMDB Top 10%:

28. The Folks Who Live on the Hill (Guy Lombardo, 1937)
29. Hello Young Lovers (Perry Como with Mitchell Ayres’ Orchestra, 1951)
30. All Through the Day (Perry Como, 1946) #1 HP

31. I’ll Take Romance (Rudy Vallee, 1938)
32. A Kiss to Build a Dream On (Louis Armstrong with Sy Oliver’s Orchestra, 1951) #1 AU
33. The Sound of Music (Julie Andrews, 1965)
34. Climb Ev’ry Mountain (Tony Bennett, 1959)
35. Oklahoma! (Alfred Drake & the Oklahoma Cast, 1943)
36. Don’t Ever Leave Me (1929)

DMDB Top 20%:

37. The Gentleman Is a Dope (Jo Stafford, 1947)
38. The Surrey with the Fringe on Top (Alfred Drake with Jay Blackton’s Orchestra, 1943)
39. Younger Than Springtime (Billy Tabbert, 1949)
40. Shall We Dance? (Marni Nixon with Yul Brynner, 1956)
41. Love Look Away (Tony Bennett, 1958)
42. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise (Larry Young, 1928)
43. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over (Hildegarde with Guy Lombardo’s Orchestra, 1945)
44. You Are Love (1927)
45. Do-Re-Mi (Julie Andrews & Ensemble, 1965)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

46. Getting to Know You (Gertrude Lawrence, 1951)
47. I Have Dreamed (Doretta Morrow with Larry Douglas, 1951)
48. We Kiss in a Shadow (Frank Sinatra, 1951)
49. Out of My Dreams (Joan Roberts, 1943)
50. Happy Talk (Captain Sensible, 1982) #1 UK


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