Tuesday, July 15, 2014

100 years ago: “By the Beautiful Sea” hit #1

By the Beautiful Sea

Heidelberg Quintet

Writer(s): Harold R. Atteridge (words), Harry Carroll (music) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 15, 1914

Peak: 16 US, 112 GA, 110 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.17 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“This was a story about a happy couple, Joe and Jane who love the summer and anything that Joe suggests, Jane would always think it was best for her, so he’d get his Ford, holler all aboard and off they would go for day out by the beautiful sea…It was only in verse two that their sordid little affair came to light.” SM While extramarital affairs were nothing new, it was “surprising…that the subject was part of a poular song.” TY2

The Stanford Four introduced the song in vaudeville. DJ To publicize the song, the publisher hired a group of boys in sailor suits to perform the song at Coney Island. TY2 The song was further popularized by Muriel Window who integrated the song into the revue The Passing Show of 1914. TY2 It went on to chart three times in 1914. Prince’s Orchestra took the song to #6 and there were chart-topping version by Ada Jones & Billy Watkins as well as by the Heidelberg Quuintet. PM The latter was the first to chart and spent more weeks at #1.

“By the Beautiful Sea” was the second #1 song for the Heidelberg Quintet, but their lineup was different than when they hit #1 with “Waiting on the Robert E. Lee.” Billy Murray, Steve Porter, William F. Hooley (all members of the American Quartet as well), and Will Oakland were all still members but John Bieling had been replaced by Robert Armour. “The vocals on this song were dominated by Billy Murray with all the other members joining in background harmonies only. Will Oakland’s high counter tenor voice could not be heard at all.” SM

The song was also used in the films The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), Coney Island (1943), Atlantic City (1944), and Some Like It Hot (1959). DJ Judy Garland and Gene Kelly performed it in the 1942 movie For Me and My Gal. TY2


First posted 2/27/2023.

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