Friday, October 29, 2004

100 years ago: The Haydn Quartet hit #1 with "Sweet Adeline"

Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)

Haydn Quartet

Writer(s): Richard H. Gerard/Harry Armstrong (see lyrics here)

First Charted: October 15, 1904

Peak: 110 US, 2 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.1 video, -- streaming

Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)

Peerless Quartet (as Columbia Male Quartet)

First Charted: November 19, 1904

Peak: 13 US, 2 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

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

Awards (Haydn Quartet):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Peerless Quartet):

About the Song:

As “the signature barbershop song,” DS “Sweet Adeline” may represent the sound of the first decade of the 20th century, WHC maybe even the first two decades, DS more than any other song. WHC The term wasn’t used until the 1920s, LW but the format of four-part male harmony with little or no musical accompaniment was introduced in the late 19th century. LW

The song began life in 1896 WK as an instrumental called “Down Home in New England.” The composer, Henry W. Armstrong, was a barbershop quartet enthusiast and tapped Richard Gerard to add lyrics, resulting in “You’re the Flower of My Heart Sweet, Rosalie.” RCG When they couldn’t find a publisher, they changed the title to “Sweet Adeline,” reportedley inspired by the “legendarily beautiful” LW opera singer Adelina Patti, although prima donna Adeline Gerard has also been cited as an inspiration. RCG Gerad later said the song was inspired by a girl who worked at the music counter at a department store in New York. TY2

The Quaker City Four introduced the song in vaudeville DJ in 1903 at the Hammerstein’s Victoria Theater in New York City. TY2 It was common for barbershop songs of the day to drift into “minstrel or vaudeville shtick,” DS but the Haydn Quartet, who scored their sixth #1 with “Sweet Adeline,” generally stuck to more straightforward harmony. DS The song was the biggest hit of 1904. WHC The Columbia Quartet and the duo of Albert Campbell & James F. Harrison also charted with versions that year, taking the song to #1 and #2 respectively. The Mills Brothers had a top 10 with it in 1939. The song also became identified with Boston Mayor John F. “Honey” Fitzgerald PM who used it as his campaign song in 1906.

“Sweet Adeline” established the foundation for vocal groups for decades to come. The Everly Brothers; The Beach Boys; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and even The Beatles’ penchant for “tight harmony singing” can all be traced back to the barbershop movement. LW


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First posted 4/12/2020; last updated 12/14/2022.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Green Day hit charts with “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

Last updated 2/27/2021.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Green Day

Writer(s): Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool (see lyrics here)

Released: November 29, 2004

First Charted: October 16, 2004

Peak: 2 US, 14 RR, 30 AC, 111 A40, 18 AA, 114 AR, 116 MR, 5 UK, 1 CN, 5 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.2 UK, 7.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.9 radio, 282.08 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

After Green Day exploded in 1994 with Dookie, their major label debut, they spent the next decade failing to follow-up with anything which matched its success. With 2004’s American Idiot, they took the risk of recording a concept album – and it paid off. The title track served as a high-energy lead single. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” went for a softer sound – and one that gave the band the biggest hit of their career.

The song barely missed topping the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #2. It did, however, top multiple charts, including the Mainstream Rock, Alternative Rock, Adult Top 40, and Adult Album Alternative charts for a total of 49 weeks. The song set a then-record number of weeks on the UK top 100 chart. WK

As to “Dreams” place in the concept album, it followed the main character from the song “Jesus of Suburbia” as he leaves town, walking around and contemplating whether it is the right decision. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong explained he got the idea for the song from the title of a Gottfried Helnwein painting of James Dean walking alone in a trench coat. SF Armstrong had traveled to New York City while working on songs and tapped into the idea about feeling alone. WK

The video, which MTV gave its Video of the Year award, echoed the “walking” theme by following the band as they start walking down a desert road after their car breaks down. SF The song was voted Best Single of the ‘00s in the Rolling Stone decade-end readers’ poll, American Idiot was named best album, and Green Day were declared Top Artist of the Decade. SF It also won the Grammy for Record of the Year.

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Saturday, October 2, 2004

In Concert: Marillion

image from

Venue: Park West; Chicago, IL

The Set List:

1. The Invisible Man
2. Marbles I
3. You’re Gone
4. Angelina
5. Marbles II
6. Don’t Hurt Yourself
7. Fantastic Place
8. Marbles III
9. Drilling Holes
10. Marbles IV
11. Neverland
12. Bridge
13. Living the Big Lie
14. Quartz
15. Estonia
16. Hey Jude
17. Three-Minute Boy
18. Between You and Me

Encore #1:

19. Afraid of Sunlight
20. The Uninvited Guest
Encore #2:

21. The Great Escape
22. Cover My Eyes
Encore #3:

23. Easter