Friday, July 26, 2002

100 years ago: Arthur Collins hit #1 with “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home”

Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home

Arthur Collins

Writer(s): Hughie Cannon, Johnnie Queen (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 12, 1902

Peak: 18 US, 11 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

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


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This “early ragtime classic” RCG and “favorite of Dixie jazz bands” JA became a “sing-along standard” RCG thanks to the ease with which it could be adapted to jazz or played on honky-tonk piano or banjo. RCG John Queen, a minstrel and songwriter introduced this instant hit. Arthur Collins, Dan Quinn, and Silas Leachman each took the song to the top 5 in 1902, but Collins’ version was the biggest. PM He was no stranger to the top, having landed there seven times before. This, however, was his biggest hit yet.

Over the years, the song was recorded by a number of other big-name artists. Jimmy Durante and his sidekick Eddie Jackson often used it in their act. JA Bobby Darin took it to number 19 in 1960. Others who recorded the song included Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Della Reese. PS The song also spawned numerous parodies, including Tom Lehrer’s “(Won’t You Come Home) Disraeli?” JA As with many “coon songs”, as such racially deragotory songs from the early 20th century have come to be known, later recordings were often “sanitized.” PS

Several people have claimed to be the original Bill Bailey, JA but according to Tin Pan Alley folklore, RCG the Detroit-born Hughie Cannon was an alcoholic living in a flophouse. One night he supposedly met a real Bill Bailey, an African American vaudeville singer. Bailey’s wife had thrown him out of the house because she’d had it with his late-night partying. PS Cannon gave Bailey money for a room for the night, but was sure the wife would soon beg for him to return.

Cannon then wrote a song about a wife hanging laundry and singing about her hopes that her husband would soon come home. She confesses that she drove him away with “nothing but a fine tooth comb,” but Bailey returns with a fancy car. RCG The song’s popularity led to spin-off tunes “I Wonder Why Bill Bailey Won’t Come Home” and “Since Bill Bailey Came Back Home.” PS


  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Arthur Collins
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 22.
  • PS
  • RCG The Old Songs (1900-1929)
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954 (1986). Record Research, Inc: Menomonee Falls, WI. Page 477.

Last updated 12/27/2021.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

The Vines Highly Evolved released

Highly Evolved

The Vines

Released: July 14, 2002

Peak: 11 US, 3 UK, -- CN, 5 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.6 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: post-punk revival


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Highly Evolved [1:35] (4/20/02, 32 UK, 70 AU)
  2. Autumn Shade [2:17]
  3. Outtathaway! [3:02] (10/19/02, 19 MR, 20 UK, 38 AU)
  4. Sunshinin’ [2:43]
  5. Homesick [4:53] (5/12/03, 50 AU)
  6. Get Free [1:59] (6/17/02, 27 AR, 7 MR, 24 UK, 44 AU)
  7. Country Yard [3:46]
  8. Factory [3:12]
  9. In the Jungle [4:15]
  10. Mary Jane [5:52]
  11. Ain’t No Room (Nicholls, Dave Olliffe) [3:28]
  12. 1969 [6:27]
All songs written by Craig Nicholls unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 43:35

The Players:

  • Craig Nicholls (vocals, guitar, percussion, piano on “Homesick”)
  • Patrick Matthews (organ, bass, piano)
  • Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (keyboards)
  • Dave Olliffe, Victor Indrizzo, Joey Waronker, Pete Thomas (drums)


3.830 out of 5.00 (average of 32 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Highly Evolved is the debut album by Australian garage rockers The Vines.” WK It “was an immensely popular debut, part of a trend towards post punk-inspired garage bands.” WK such as the White Stripes and the Strokes, “known as much for the relentless hype from the UK music press as for their music.” WK Indeed, the Vines were “hailed by a growing number as ‘the future of rock’” LE and “hyped by the British press as no less than the second coming of Nirvana.” HP. However, “on Highly Evolved the Vines offer something more interesting than yet another trawl through flannel-clad angst.” HP “The Vines are more a conglomeration of the best of the past. The Sydney, Australia, quartet sounds alternately like Nirvana, the Beatles, T. Rex, and even the Beach Boys (and, at times, all of those blended together). On Highly Evolved they present 12 flawlessly crafted songs, each one living up to the title of the album and first song.” LE

“The addictively short Highly Evolved’s primal beat and chunky guitars are certainly post-grunge, but not not in the boringly earnest, imitative way that bands such as Silverchair were – the song’s sludgy sexiness and tight structure also recall the ‘60s garage punk that shaped bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney.” HP

“But instead of just capitalizing on that one (admittedly great) sound, on the rest of the album the Vines prove that their style is indeed a highly evolved hybrid of grungy, garage rock swagger, ‘60s psych, and ‘70s pop.” HP “The breakneck force of Get Free, and the gritty party of Sunshinin’ are proof alone of their deserved success.” LE The latter “throws a Krautrock-tinged bassline into the mix for good measure, while the irresistible Factory sounds like Elton John and Supergrass collaborating on a response to ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.’” HP

“Likewise, their ballads mix their reverence for the past with their own youthful enthusiasm. With its tinkling pianos and sweet, close harmonies.” HP “the wistful yearning of” LEHomesick is a fresh update on the AM radio sounds of Gilbert O’ Sullivan; the gorgeous, guitar-driven Autumn Shade and Country Yard share deep roots in British pop.” HP

“Unlike many other pop postmodernists, the Vines never sound weighed down by all the influences they include in their music – it’s as if they’re so excited by everything they hear, they can’t help but recombine it in unique ways.” HP “Sonically more complex than their stripped-down contemporaries White Stripes and the Strokes, the Vines write songs worthy of orchestration. But unlike White Blood Cells or Is This It, this album lacks cohesion. Each song is a world to itself, never quite uniting with the others.” LE

At the same time, “Highly Evolved’s relatively weak moments occur when the Vines aren’t doing as much musical juggling: Straightforward rockers like 1969 and In the Jungle are certainly driving, but aren’t as distinctive as the tough, pushy riffs on Outtathaway! or Ain’t No Room’s wound-up, punky pop.” HP

In the end, “Highly Evolved is a great introduction to the Vines’ eclectic style and suggests that they may have a more distinctive voice – and future – than many of their contemporaries.” HP Criticisms like those above, “normally reserved for more established bands, shows the extent of the Vines’ accomplishments – getting compared to the greats your first time out isn’t too bad.” LE “Influential British music magazine New Musical Express…voted it the 2nd best album of the year in 2002. It was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 9/15/2009; last updated 3/9/2022.

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Red Hot Chili Peppers By the Way released

By the Way

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Released: July 9, 2002

Peak: 2 US, 15 UK, 11 CN, 14 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 1.95 UK, 11.2 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. By the Way (6/15/02, 33a US, 2 UK, 1 AR, 1 MR)
  2. Universally Speaking (6/03, 27 UK)
  3. This Is the Place
  4. Dosed (5/31/03, 13 MR)
  5. Don’t Forget Me
  6. The Zephyr Song (8/24/02, 49 US, 11 UK, 14 AR, 6 MR)
  7. Can’t Stop (12/28/02, 57 US, 22 UK, 15 AR, 1 MR)
  8. I Could Die for You
  9. Midnight
  10. Throw Away Your Television
  11. Cabron
  12. Tear
  13. On Mercury
  14. Minor Thing
  15. Warm Tape
  16. Venice Queen


3.832 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ eighth studio album finds the California foursome exploring the more melodic freeways of harmony and texture, contrasting the gritty, funky side streets of their early days. Luckily, with this more sophisticated sound, the Peppers have not sacrificed any of their trademark energy or passions for life, universal love, and (of course) lust. Although they recorded the spiky Abbey Road EP in 1988, this album actually sounds a lot closer to the Beatles' Abbey Road, with a little of Pet Sounds and elements of Phil Spector's lushest arrangements all distilled through the band's well-traveled funk-pop stylings. Harmony vocals and string arrangements have replaced some of the aggressive slap bass that the group was initially recognized for, but fans of both the gentle and the fierce Chili Peppers styles will embrace the title track and first single, By the Way. In fact, this song on its own could almost be a brief history of everything the Red Hot Chili Peppers have recorded: fiery Hollywood funk, gentle harmonies, a little bit of singing about girls, a little bit of hanging out in the streets in the summertime, some rapid-fire raps from Anthony Kiedis, some aggro basslines from Flea — the song plays like a three-and-a-half-minute audio version of Behind the Music.” AMG

“Overall, the album leans more toward the melodic end of their oeuvre, but they have grown into this kinder, gentler mode organically, progressively working toward this groove little by little, album by album. What once were snapshots of a spastic punk-funk lifestyle have grown into fully realized short stories of introspection and Californication. Though the pace of the album falters at times (particularly in the verses; the choruses are all pretty spectacular), it is refreshing to see that as the four Chili Peppers continue to grow older and more sure of themselves, their composition and performing skills are maturing along with them.” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 3/28/2008; last updated 8/8/2021.