Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Guy Lombardo: Top 100 Songs

Posted 6/19/2018; updated 5/28/2019.

Jazz/big band leader and violinist Gaetano Alberto “Guy” Lombardo was born on 6/19/1902 in London, Ontario, Canada. He died 11/5/1977. He and his brothers formed the Royal Canadians in 1924, billing themselves as “the sweetest music this side of heaven.” Led the only dance band ever to sell more than 100 million records. Lombardo was called “Mr. New Year’s Eve” because of nearly a half-century of his band’s radio and television broadcasts to ring in the new year.

For a complete list of this act’s songs and albums honored by the DMDB, check out the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry.

Top 100 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.

BC = Bing Crosby, KG = Kenny Gardner, CL = Carmen Lombardo. Lombardo landed a whopping 63 songs (noted below) atop the U.S. pop charts (US), the Hit Parade (HP), and/or Cashbox (CB).

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Winter Wonderland (1934)
2. How Deep Is the Ocean? (with CL, 1932)
3. Stars Fell on Alabama (with CL, 1934) #1 US
4. September in the Rain (with CL, 1937) #1 US,HP
5. Red Sails in the Sunset (with CL, 1935) #1 US,HP
6. Charmaine (with Weston Vaughn, 1927) #1 US

DMDB Top 5%:

7. You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me (with BC, 1933) #1 US
8. You’re Driving Me Crazy! (What Did I Do?) (with CL, 1930) #1 US
9. It Looks Like Rain in Cherry Blossom Lane (with Lebert Lombardo, 1937) #1 US,HP
10. Boo Hoo (1937) #1 US,HP

11. The Third Man Theme (1950) #1 US,CB
12. Sweethearts on Parade (with CL, 1928) #1 US
13. A Sailboat in the Moonlight (with CL, 1937) #1 US,HP
14. We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye (with CL, 1932) #1 US
15. River Stay ‘Way from My Door (with Kate Smith, 1932) #1 US
16. It’s Love, Love, Love (with Skip Nelson, 1944) #1 US,HP
17. Penny Serenade (1939) #1 US
18. When Did You Leave Heaven? (with CL, 1936) #1 US,HP
19. Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time) (with CL, 1933)
20. By the River St. Marie (with CL, 1931) #1 US

21. There Ought to Be a Moonlight Saving Time (with CL, 1931) #1 US
22. So Rare (with CL, 1937) #1 US,HP
23. What’s the Reason I’m Not Pleasing You? (with CL, 1935) #1 US,HP
24. The Last Round-Up (with CL, 1933) #1 US
25. Cheek to Cheek (with CL, 1935) #1 HP
26. Bell-Bottom Trousers (w/ Jimmy Brown, 1945)
27. Too Many Tears (with CL, 1932) #1 US
28. The Way You Look Tonight (1936) #1 HP
29. St. Louis Blues (1939)
30. Goodnight Sweetheart (with CL, 1931) #1 US

31. Lost (with CL, 1936) #1 US,HP
32. The Folks Who Live on the Hill (1937)
33. Lover (1933)
34. Paradise (with CL, 1932) #1 US
35. I’m Confessin’ That I Love You (with CL, 1930)
36. For Me and My Gal (with KG, 1943)
37. Always (1945)
38. Long Ago and Far Away (1944) #1 HP

DMDB Top 10%:

39. Deep Purple (1939) #1 HP
40. Tennessee Waltz (1950) #1 HP

41. Because of You (w/ Gloria DeHaven, 1951) #1 HP,CB
42. Little Sir Echo (with CL, 1939)
43. When My Dream Boat Comes Home (1936)
44. The Anniversary Song (with KG, 1947) #1 HP
45. My Old Flame (1934)
46. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (Means That You're Grand) (with CL, 1938) #1 HP
47. Annie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (with CL, 1933)
48. I Know Now (with CL, 1937)
49. All My Love (1950) #1 HP
50. Now That You’re Gone (with CL, 1931)

51. The Band Played On (with KG & the Leonardo Trio, 1941) #1 US
52. Managua, Nicaragua (with Don Rodney, 1947) #1 US
53. Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis (1944)
54. Intermezzo (Souvenir De Vienne) (1941) #1 US,HP
55. Hop Scotch Polka (Scotch Hot) (1949)
56. Whistling in the Dark (with CL, 1931)
57. Swingin’ in a Hammock (with CL, 1930)
58. Sweet and Lovely (with CL, 1931)
59. April Showers (1947)
60. Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think) (with KG, 1950)

61. Don’t Blame Me (1933)
62. Without That Gal! (with CL, 1931)
63. A Fine Romance (A Sarcastic Love Song) (1936) #1 HP
64. The Gypsy (w/ Hildegarde, 1946) #1 HP
65. Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart (1952) #1 HP,CB
66. Young and Healthy (w/ BC, 1933)
67. Kiss of Fire (1952) #1 HP,CB
68. If (They Made Me a King) (1951) #1 HP,CB
69. Winter Wonderland (w/ the Andrews Sisters, 1946)
70. Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? (with CL, 1933)

71. Symphony (1946) #1 HP
72. My Heart Sings (All of a Sudden) (with Stuart Foster, 1945)
73. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over (w/ Hildegarde, 1945)
74. Seems Like Old Times (1946)
75. Ti-Pi-Tin (1938) #1 HP
76. Cinderella Stay in My Arms (1939)
77. I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder (w/ Don Rodney, 1947) #1 HP
78. Speak Low (When You Speak, Love) (with Billy Leach, 1944)

DMDB Top 20%:

79. Where or When (1943)
80. South of the Border (Down Mexico Way) (1939) #1 HP

81. Half As Much (1952)
82. Easter Parade (1939)
83. When You Wish Upon a Star (1940) #1 HP
84. Together (w/ Tony Craig, 1944)
85. Young at Heart (with BC, 1954) #1 HP
86. Riptide (with CL, 1934)
87. Blue Tango (1952) #1 HP,CB
88. The Trolley Song (1945) #1 HP
89. Wish You Were Here (w/ BC, 1952) #1 HP
90. I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan (The Blue Pajama Song) (1932)

91. Coquette (1928)
92. Almost Like Being in Love (w/ Mary Martin, 1947)
93. I Must See Annie Tonight (w/ CL, 1938)
94. I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket (1938)
95. Love in Bloom (1934)
96. Down by the River (1935)
97. College Medley Fox Trot (1929)
98. June in January (1935)
99. Frankie and Johnny (1942)
100. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1941)


50 years ago: The Rolling Stones hit #1 in the UK with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

The Rolling Stones

Writer(s): Mick Jaggers, Keith Richards (see lyrics here)

First Charted: May 24, 1968

Peak: 3 US, 11 CB, 11 GR, 2 HR, 1 CL, 12 UK, 5 CN, 2 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.25 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 21.09 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were both busted for drugs in 1967 and the Stones’ album Their Satanic Majestices Request proved the band were “ill-suited to psychedela.” KL The band were also transitioning from producer Andrew Oldham to Jimmy Miller. They “needed a great, gutsy single to re-establish themselves.” KL Keyboardist/bassist Bill Wyman said, “It had been nearly 18 months since we had a US or UK top three single. Our reputation was now based on anything but the music.” KL

The band’s “confidence returned with the powerful single” KL “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “a decisive return to form.” TB Some saw it as “the band’s return to their blues roots.” WK Rolling Stone magazine called it “supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London.” WK Guitarist Brian Jones saw it as a return to their “funky, essential essence.” WK NME said, “The Stones have a unique flair for taking a basically simple formula and turning it into a miniature epic.” KL

Interestingly, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” has been hailed as the song that “marked a transition to guitar rock.” SF Danny Garcia, the director of the documentary Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones, said, “During the ‘60s the band evolved from an R&B band to a pop band to a psychedelic band until they found their sound with ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ in ’68.” SF

There are two very different accounts of how the song was birthed. Wyman says the song was based on a piano riff he developed at rehearsals and then he expanded it with drummer Charlie Watts and guitarist Brian Jones. TB However, another story says Jagger and Richards were at the latter’s country house in Redlands, jamming at six in the morning after being up all night. The gardener walked by the window and Jagger asked who it was. Richards replied, “Oh, that’s Jack – that’s jumpin’ Jack.” SS

Jagger has said the song is “about having a hard time and getting out,” specifically that it was a metaphor for getting away from acid. WK The song marked the band’s seventh trip to the top of the UK chart and it marked their eleventh trip to the top 10 in the U.S. It became one of their most popular songs; they’ve played it over 1,100 times in concert. WK Songfacts.com even claims it is their most-performed song. SF


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First posted 2/10/2021; last updated 3/31/2023.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16, 1955: Glenn Gould finished his famous recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations

Updated 6/14/2019.

Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)

Johann Sebastian Bach (composer)

Composed: 1741

Recorded by Glenn Gould: June 10-16, 1955

Sales: 2 million

Peak: - NA -

Quotable: “Among the most sophisticated works ever written for keyboard.” – John Keiller, All Music Guide

Genre: classical > baroque > solo piano


  1. Aria
  2. Variatio 1. a 1 Clav.
  3. Variatio 2. a 1 Clav.
  4. Variatio 3. Canone all’Unisono. a 1 Clav.
  5. Variatio 4. a 1 Clav.
  6. Variatio 5. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav.
  7. Variatio 6. Canone alla Seconda. a 1 Clav.
  8. Variatio 7. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. al tempo di Giga
  9. Variatio 8. a 2 Clav.
  10. Variatio 9. Canone alla Terza. a 1 Clav.
  11. Variatio 10. Fughetta. a 1 Clav.
  12. Variatio 11. a 2 Clav.
  13. Variatio 12. a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quarta in moto contrario
  14. Variatio 13. a 2 Clav.
  15. Variatio 14. a 2 Clav.
  16. Variatio 15. Canone alla Quinta. a 1 Clav.: Andante
  17. Variatio 16. Ouverture. a 1 Clav.
  18. Variatio 17. a 2 Clav.
  19. Variatio 18. Canone alla Sesta. a 1 Clav.
  20. Variatio 19. a 1 Clav.
  21. Variatio 20. a 2 Clav.
  22. Variatio 21. Canone alla Settima
  23. Variatio 22. a 1 Clav. alla breve
  24. Variatio 23. a 2 Clav.
  25. Variatio 24. Canone all'Ottava. a 1 Clav.
  26. Variatio 25. a 2 Clav.: Adagio
  27. Variatio 26. a 2 Clav.
  28. Variatio 27. Canone alla Nona. a 2 Clav.
  29. Variatio 28. a 2 Clav.
  30. Variatio 29. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav.
  31. Variatio 30. a 1 Clav. Quodlibet
  32. Aria da Capo

Average Length: 63:40


“Bach was perhaps never so rewarded for one of his works as” WK he was for the Goldberg Variations, which were written for harpsichord, but is sometimes performed on piano. WK In fact, pianist Glenn Gould has given the Goldberg Variations their greatest audience with several recordings, collectively having exceeded two million in sales. His recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1983 and added to the National Recording Registry in 2003.

Scholars have debated the specifics about the origin of the work, but have generally accepted that they were commissioned by Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, JK who may have been the first to perform them. WK Goldberg’s “job was to perform for Count Keyserkingk, a chronic insomniac who needed music to lull him to sleep. Many records suggest that Bach once taught Goldberg, a famed virtuoso, who would have easily been able to play the variations. It is also believed that the technical wizardry required to play the variations comes directly from Bach’s study of Domenico Scarlatti’s Essercizi for keyboard from 1739, itself a daunting piece for exceptional players only.” JK

It has been suggested that the aria is “not the composer’s own, but was related to a now-untraceable French keyboard dance.” JK However, “more recent scholarly literature…suggest that there is no basis for such doubts.” WK

“The variations do not follow the melody of the aria, but rather use its bass line…and chord progression.” WK “The basic harmonies and structures of the variations are all the same as the theme’s.” JK “Every third variation in the series…is a canon, following an ascending pattern.” WK “The variations that intervene between the canons are also arranged in a pattern.” WK

“The work exemplifies Bach’s quest for the greatest amount of diversity within relentless unity...The work does not sound like the awesomely complex compendium that it is. The music is deceptively simple and heartfelt, with a noble calm even when the performer is obliged to cross hands at lightning speeds. It never seethes or gets gritty, and is, of course, never boring.” JK

“This work is sublime and compassionate, graceful, warm, and relentlessly intricate, a demonstration of unmatched craft in music history and genuine, poetic imagination. The Goldberg Variations is a work that still engages scholars hundreds of years after its publication and is equally valuable for attracting new listeners to this sort of music.” JK

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13, 1911: Stravinsky's Petrushka ballet premiered

Last updated September 1, 2018.

Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (aka “Petrouchka”)

Igor Stravinsky (composer)

Composed: 1910-11

Revised: 1947

First Performance: June 13, 1911

Sales: --

Peak: --

Quotable: Petrushka‘s “position as one of the greatest ballets remains unassailed.” – Grace Robert WK

Genre: classical > ballet


First Tableau: The Shrovetide Fair:

  1. Introduction
  2. A group of Drunken Revelers passes, dancing
  3. The Master of Ceremonies entertains the Crowd from his booth above
  4. An Organ-Grinder appears in the Crowd with a [woman] Dancer
  5. The Organ-Grinder begins to play
  6. The Dancer dances, beating time on the triangle
  7. At the other end of the stage a Music Box plays, another [woman] Dancer dancing around it.
  8. The first Dancer plays the triangle again
  9. The Organ and Music Box stop playing; the Master of Ceremonies resumes his pitch
  10. The Merry Group returns
  11. Two Drummers, stepping up in front of the Little Theater, attract the attention of the Crowd by their drumrolls
  12. At the front of [i.e. from inside] the Little Theater appears the Old Magician.
  13. The Magic Trick
  14. Russian Dance

Second Tableau: Petrushka’s Room:

  1. As the Curtain rises, the door to Petrushka's room opens suddenly; a foot kicks him onstage;
  2. Petrushka falls and the door closes again behind him
  3. Petrushka's curses
  4. The Ballerina enters
  5. The Ballerina leaves
  6. Petrushka's despair
  7. Darkness. Curtain.

Third Tableau: The Moor’s Room:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Moor dances
  3. Appearance of the Ballerina
  4. Dance of the Ballerina (cornet in hand)
  5. Waltz (the Ballerina and the Moor)
  6. The Moor and the Ballerina prick up their ears
  7. Appearance of Petrushka
  8. The Fight between the Moor and Petrushka. The Ballerina faints.
  9. The Moor throws Petrushka Out. Darkness. Curtain.

Fourth Tableau: The Shrovetide Fair (Toward Evening):

  1. Introduction
  2. The Wet-Nurses' Dance
  3. A Peasant enters with a Bear. Everyone scatters.
  4. The Peasant plays the pipe. The Bear walks on his hind feet.
  5. The Peasant and the Bear leave.
  6. A Reveling Merchant and two Gypsy Women Enter. He irresponsibly amuses himself by throwing bank notes to the Crowd.
  7. The Gypsy Women dance. The Merchant plays the accordion.
  8. The Merchant and the Gypsies leave
  9. Dance of the Coachmen and the Grooms
  10. The dances break off. Petrushka dashes from the Little Theater, pursued by the Moor, whom the Ballerina tries to restrain.
  11. The furious Moor seizes him and strikes him with his saber.
  12. Petrushka falls, his head broken
  13. A crowd forms around Petrushka
  14. He dies, still moaning.
  15. A Policeman is sent to look for the Magician
  16. The Magician arrives
  17. He picks up Petrushka's corpse, shaking it.
  18. The Crowd disperses.
  19. The Magician remains alone on stage. He drags Petrushka's corpse toward the Little Theater.
  20. Above the Little Theater appears the Ghost of Petrushka, menacing, thumbing his nose at the Magician.
  21. The terrified Magician lets the Puppet-Petrushka drop from his hands, and exits quickly, casting frightened glances over his shoulder.
  22. Curtain

Average Duration: ?


Petrushka first emerged as a ballet in 1911. Stravinsky originally undertook the work “as a kind of compositional reprieve between the completion” sup>JG of The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. His initial conception was that it be an orchestral work with a prominent piano part with the pianist “as some kind of clownish puppet come to life.” JG Sergey Diaghilev, the impresario of the Ballet Russes, heard the beginnings of another ballet and Stravinsky rerouted the “original concert scope to its full theatrical realization.” JG The story focuses on three puppets. Petrushka loves the Ballerina, but she rejects him in favor of the Moor. When Petrushka challenges him, the Moor kills him. Petrushka’s ghost returns before dying again. WK The ballet premiered on June 13, 1911, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. WK

A decade later, Stravinsky returned to the work when pianist Arthur Rubinstein paid him to convert it into a solo piano piece. Stravinsky subsequently re-arranged Russian Dance, Petrushka’s Cell, and The Shrove-tide Fair BJ to a style more reminiscent of the work’s “initial sketches in the summer of 1910 as a concerto for piano and orchestra.” BJ

In 1947, Stravinsky revived Petrushka again to adapt it from its stage presentation to a concert format. JG In the intervening decades, he had “dedicated much of his creative energies…to developing a more economical, streamlined, objective style.” JG The revision “trims most of the wind parts” JG and brings the piano to the forefront while bringing “out certain elements of the work that had been part of its initial [pre-ballet] creative conception.” JG

A 1950 performance of the piece by L’Orchestre de La Suisse Romande, conducted by Ernest Ansermet, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10, 1865: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde opera premiered

Last updated 11/18/2020.

Tristan and Isolde

Richard Wagner (composer)

Recorded: 1857-1859

Premiered: June 10, 1865

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

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

Genre: classical > opera


Act I:

  1. Prelude
  2. "Hab acht, Tristan!" (Kurvenal)
  3. "Doch nun von Tristan!" (Isolde)
  4. "Wie lachend sie mir Lieer singen" (Isolde's Narrative and Curse)
  5. "So reihte sie die Mutter" (Brangane)
  6. "Begehrt, Herrin was ihr wunscht" (Tristan)

Act II:

  1. Prelude
  2. a. "Isolde! Geliebte! Tristan! geliebter" (Tristan, Isolde)
    b. "O eitler Tagesknecht!" (Isolde)
    c. "O sink hernieder" (Beide)
  3. a. "Einsam wachend" (Brangane's Waming)
    b. "Lausch Geliebter!"
    c. "So sturben wir" (Tristan)
    d. "Lass' mich sterben!" (Isolde)
  4. "Tatest du's wirklich?" (King Marke's Monologue)
  5. "Konig... Wohin nun Tristan scheidet" (Tristan)

Act III:

  1. Prelude
  2. "Die alte Weise - was weckt sie mich?" (Tristan)
  3. "Dunkt dich das?" (Tristan)
  4. "Wie sie selig"
  5. "O diese Sonne!" (Tristan)
  6. "Ha! Ich bin's, ich bin's" (Isolde)
  7. "Mild und leise" (Liebestod) (Isolde)
  8. "Prelude und Liebestod" (Concert version, arr. Humperdinck)

Total Running Time: 222:30


4.525 out of 5.00 (average of 2 ratings)

Quotable: “One of the peaks of the operatic repertoire” – Wikipedia


About the Album:

Tristan und Isolde is a three-act opera based largely on Tristan, a 12th-century romance by Gottfried von Strassburg. Inspiration also included philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and Wagner’s affair with Mathilde Wesendonck, WK his patron’s wife to whom he wrote poems which became the basis for five of the opera’s songs. JH Wagner “stated in his 1860 essay The Music of the Future, he wanted to compose an opera of more modest scale with a chance of being produced.” JH It premiered on June 10, 1865 at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich with Hans von Bülow as the conductor. WK

It “was notable for Wagner’s unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension.” WK Many view Wagner’s opera as the onset of a movement away from “common practice harmony and tonality” WK which launched musical modernism and “the direction of classical music in the 20th century.” WK Wagner’s “libretto style and music” served as enormous influences on 19th and early 20th century symbolist poets as well as Western classical composers, proving inspirational to Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Benjamin Britten. WK

“The harmonic language of Tristan…not only enacts musically the sexual tension between the opera’s two central characters, but also points to the liberation of dissonance from the constraints of tonality that Arnold Schoenberg and others in the twentieth century would champion. The Prelude to Tristan fully exemplifies Wagner’s forward-looking approach to both harmony and the issue of musical form – or, some would say, formlessness – that operates centrally in his music-dramas.” JH Wagner also used instrumental music to introduce “central motives which correspond with characters and ideas.” JH

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