Friday, November 10, 2006

100 years ago: “Love Me and the World Is Mine” hit #1 for the second time

Love Me and the World Is Mine

Henry Burr

Writer(s): Ernest R. Ball (music), Dave Reed Jr. (lyrics) (see lyrics here)

Released: August 1906

First Charted: November 3, 1906

Peak: 17 US, 2 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

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

Love Me and the World Is Mine

Albert Campbell

First Charted: October 20, 1906

Peak: 13 US, 2 GA, 11 SM (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

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

Awards (Burr):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Campbell):

About the Song:

The composer Ernest R. Ball was born in 1878 in Cleveland, Ohio. At the beginning of his career, he got his break when James J. Walker, a New York state senator, asked Ball to write some music to accompany some lyrics he wrote. That song became “Will You Love Me in December As You Do in May?” which hit numbers 2 and 3 in 1906 for the Haydn Quartet and Albert Campbell respectively.

Ball would have another hit on his hands that year with “Love Me and the World Is Mine.” It was also recorded by Campbell and the Haydn Quartet. Campbell’s version was a #1 hit in 1906 while the Haydn Quartet reached #7 with the song in 1908. Two other versions charted in 1906. Harry Anthony took it to #6 and Henry Burr, whose version was the first to be released in August 1906, SH took it to #1. Campbell’s version hit #1 first, spending three weeks there, but it was Burr’s version which became the biggest hit, staying at the pinnacle for seven weeks. There were other versions recorded by Bob Hannon (1941), the Chordettes (1951), and the Lads of Enchantment (1956). SH

The song, however, was first introduced at Proctor’s 5th Avenue Theater in New York City. Ball’s second wife, vaudevillian Maude Lambert, was one of the performers to help make the ballad a success. The song was so well received, that the famous music publishing house Witmark gave Ball an unheard-of twenty-year contract as staff composer. TY2 Some of his best-known compositions were “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “Mother Machree,” and “A Little Bit of Heaven.”

The song would become a favrote for barbershop quartets TY2 and was used in several movie musicals, including San Francisco (1936) where it was sung by Jeanette MacDonald, The Strawberry Blond (1941), the Ernest R. Ball screen biography Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1944), and The Eddie Cantor Story (1954).


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First posted 12/14/2022; last updated 12/15/2022.

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