Saturday, September 26, 1998

George Gershwin: Top 50 Songs

First posted 12/7/2019.

Composer and pianist George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershowitz on this day 100 years ago - 9/26/1898 - in Brooklyn, NY. Died 7/11/1937 of a brain tumor. Worked with popular and classical music. Collaborated with his brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin, on more than a dozen Broadway shows. His songs “Swanee,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” 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. There are also some songs not identified as being by any particular artist. Additionally, songs which hit #1 on the following charts are noted: United States’ pop charts (US) and Hit Parade (HP).

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Swanee (Al Jolson with Charles Prince’s Orchestra, 1920) #1 US
2. I Got Rhythm (Red Nichols, 1930)
3. Someone to Watch Over Me (Gertrude Lawrence, 1926)
4. Rhapsody in Blue (Paul Whiteman with George Gershwin, 1924)
5. They Can’t Take That Away from Me (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937) #1 US
6. The Man I Love (Marion Harris, 1928)
7. Summertime (Billie Holiday, 1936)
8. Somebody Loves Me (Paul Whiteman, (1924) #1 US
9. Embraceable You (Red Nichols with Dick Robertson, 1930)

DMDB Top 5%:

10. Oh, Lady Be Good (Paul Whiteman, 1925)
11. Fascinating Rhythm (Cliff Edwards, 1925)
12. Nice Work if You Can Get It (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937) #1 US
13. Do It Again (Paul Whiteman, 1922) #1 US
14. I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise (Paul Whiteman, 1922) #1 US
15. Love Walked In (Sammy Kaye with Tommy Ryan, 1938) #1 US, HP
16. Strike Up the Band (Red Nichols, 1930)
17. Do Do Do (Gertrude Lawrence, 1927)
18. Love Is Here to Stay (Larry Clinton with Bea Wain, 1938)
19. S’ Wonderful (Sarah Vaughan, 1927)
20. But Not for Me (Ella Fitzgerald, 1959)

21. Sweet and Low Down (Harry Archer & His Orchestra, 1926)
22. A Foggy Day in London Town (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937)
23. Clap Yo’ Hands (Roger Wolfe Kahn, 1927)
24. It Ain’t Necessarily So (Leo Reisman, 1935)
25. Of Thee I Sing ( Ben Selvin, 1932)
26. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
27. Mine (Emil Coleman, 1933)
28. Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) (Al Jolson with Bob Haring’s Orchestra, 1929)
29. That Certain Feeling (Paul Whiteman, 1929)
30. Yankee Doodle Blues (Billy Murray with Ed Smalle, 1922)
31. I’ve Got a Crush on You (Frank Sinatra, 1948)

DMDB Top 10%:

32. Bidin’ My Time (Foursome, 1930)
33. They All Laughed (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
34. Funny Face (Arden-Ohman Orchestra with Johnny Marvin, 1928)
35. My One and Only (Jane Green with Nat Shilkret’s Orchestra, 1928)
36. I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ (Leo Reisman, 1935)
37. An American in Paris (George Gershwin with Nat Shilkret & the Victor Symphony Orchestra, 1929)

DMDB Top 10%:

38. Shall We Dance? (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
39. Things Are Looking Up (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937)
40. For You, for Me, Forevermore (Dick Haymes with Judy Garland & the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra, 1947)
41. Bess, You Is My Woman (Porgy and Bess cast, 1935)
42. I Loves You, Porgy (Porgy and Bess cast, 1935)

DMDB Top 10%:

43. How Long Has This Been Going On? (Bobbe Arnst with Mary O’Brien, 1927)
44. Isn’t It a Pity? (George Givot with Josephine Huston, 1932)
45. Slap That Bass (Fred Astaire with Dudley Dickerson, 1937)
46. I Was Doing All Right (Ella Logan, 1938)
47. He Loves and She Loves (Ella Fitzgerald, 1959)
48. Maybe (Nat Shilkret, 1926)
49. Anything for You (1921)
50. Love Is in the Air (1925)


Saturday, September 5, 1998

Aerosmith debuted #1 with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

First posted 1/27/2021.

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing


Writer(s): Diane Warren (see lyrics here)

Released: August 18, 1998

First Charted: May 29, 1998

Peak: 14 US, 18 RR, 13 AC, 2 A40, 4 AR, 4 UK, 2 CN, 18 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 1.2 UK, 3.57 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.7 radio, 661.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Aerosmith established themselves as one of the premiere classic rock band in the 1970s with album rock staples like “Walk This Way,” “Dream On,” and “Sweet Emotion.” By the end of the decade, the group looked like they were toast, but a late ‘80s revival restorted their commercial clout with hits like “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” “Angel,” “Love in an Elevator,” and “Janie’s Got a Gun.” However, it wasn’t until 1998 that Aerosmith landed their one and only #1 song with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” At the time, no act had waited longer – almost 25 years – from its first chart entry to its first chart-topper. BR1

The song was written by Diane Warren who wrote #1 hits in the 1980s and ‘90s for Bad English (“When I See You Smile”), Toni Braxton (“Un-Break My Heart”), Chicago (“Look Away”), Taylor Dayne (“Love Will Lead You Back”), Celine Dion (“Because You Loved Me”), Milli Vanilli (“Blame It on the Rain”), and Starship (“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”). She envisioned someone like Celine Dion singing the power ballad which was featured in 1998 disaster film Armageddon. U2 was asked to perform it, but passed. SF

Aerosmith emerged as a candidate after lead singer Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv was cast in the movie. The band’s drummer, Joey Kramer, said it was difficult to imagine them singing the song when he first heard it, but they were able to make it their own after they began playing it. WK Warren was also surprised Aerosmith was asked, but got chills when she was sitting at the piano with Steven Tyler teaching him the song and hearing him bring it to life. SF

Birmingham Evening Mail said “Warren weaves her magic again with a bombastic power ballad…[which] perfectly suits Steven Tyler’s sleazy vocals.” WK Billboard’s Larry Flick wrote that it was “a high=voltage performance that is matched by a collision of rock-style instrumentation and grand, faux-classical orchestration.” WK

The video for the song intercut performances of the band with clips from the movie, including appearances by one of the movie’s stars, Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv. It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film and Nickelodeon’s Teen Choice Award for Love Song of the Year. It was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Aerosmith
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Diane Warren
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. Page 870.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia