Thursday, March 28, 2019

Paul Whiteman’s Top 100 Songs

First posted 3/31/2012; updated 5/25/2019.

Big-band leader Paul Whiteman was born on 3/28/1890 in Denver, Colorado, to musical parents. His mother was a former opera singer and his father supervised music for the Denver Public Schools for 50 years. He died 12/29/1967. The media called him “The King of Jazz” although critics said his music lacked the improvisational techniques associated with the genre. In Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954, he’s called “the most popular bandleader of the pre-swing era.”

Whiteman joined the Denver Symphony Orchestra as a viola player in 1907 and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1914. In 1918, he conducted a 12-piece U.S. Navy band. He moved to New York City in 1920 and directed groups up to 35 at a time when most dance bands consisted of 6-10 men. He worked with RCA Victor (20-28, 31-37), Columbia (28-30), and Capitol. He produced more than 600 recordings and provided music for six Broadway shows. He launched the career of Bing Crosby, who sang with the orchestra from 1925 to 1930.

Whiteman has three songs (“Whispering,” “Ol’ Man River,” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953.

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.

HB = Harry Barris, BC = Bing Crosby, JF = Jack Fulton, CG = Charles Gaylord, AR = Al Rinker, AY = Austin Young. Songs which hit the top of the U.S. pop charts are noted (#1).

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Whispering (1920) #1
2. Ol’ Man River (w/ Paul Robeson, 1928)
3. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (w/ Bob Lawrence, 1933) #1
4. Three O’Clock in the Morning (1922) #1
5. Rhapsody in Blue (w/ George Gershwin, 1924)
6. My Mammy (1921) #1
7. Valencia (A Song of Spain) (w/ Franklyn Baur, 1926) #1
8. What’ll I Do? (1924) #1
9. Lover (w/ JF, 1933)
10. The Japanese Sandman (1920) #1

11. Somebody Loves Me (1924) #1
12. The Birth of the Blues (w/ JF, CG, & AY, 1926) #1
13. Wang Wang Blues (1920) #1
14. Stumbling (1922) #1
15. Say It with Music (1921) #1
16. Among My Souvenirs (w/ JF, CG, & AY, 1928) #1
17. Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (1923) #1
18. Side by Side (w/ BC, AR, & HB, 1927)
19. Lover, Come Back to Me (w/ JF, 1929)
20. Willow, Weep for Me (w/ Irene Taylor, 1932)

DMDB Top 5%:

21. Oh, Lady Be Good (1925)
22. Linger Awhile (1924) #1
23. Hot Lips (He’s Got Hot Lips When He Plays Jazz) (1922) #1
24. Great Day (w/ BC, 1929) #1
25. In a Little Spanish Town (‘Twas on a Night Like This) (w/ JF, 1927) #1
26. You’re the Top (w/ Peggy Healy & John Hauser, 1934)
27. My Angel (Angela Mia) (w/ JF, CG, & AR, 1928) #1
28. Do It Again (1922) #1
29. I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise (1922) #1
30. Bambalina (1923) #1

31. Without a Song (w/ BC, 1929)
32. Ol’ Man River (w/ BC, 1928) #1
33. My Heart Stood Still (w/ AR, JF, CG, & AY, 1928)
34. Body and Soul (w/ JF, 1930) #1
35. Together (w/ JF, 1928) #1
36. Song of India (1921) #1
37. Anything Goes (w/ Ramona Davies, 1934)
38. My Blue Heaven (1927) #1
39. Crinoline Days (1923)
40. My Romance (1936)

41. Cherie (1921) #1
42. Last Night on the Back Porch (w/ the American Quartet, 1923)
43. Limehouse Blues (1924)
44. You Took Advantage of Me (w/ BC, JF, CG, & AY, 1928)
45. I Love You (1924)
46. All Alone (1925) #1
47. Bright Eyes (1921)
48. Indian Love Call (1925)
49. Wagon Wheels (w/ Bob Lawrence, 1934) #1
50. April Showers (1922)

51. It All Depends on You (1927)
52. Trav’lin Light (w/ Billie Holiday, 1942)
53. Rose Marie (1925)
54. Just a Memory (1927)
55. Ramona (w/ AY, 1928) #1
56. All of Me (w/ Mildred Bailey, 1932) #1
57. Rise ‘N Shine (w/ Ramona Davies, 1933)
58. Moonlight on the Ganges (w/ AY, 1926)
59. Carolina in the Morning (1923)
60. I’m Coming, Virginia (w/ BC, AR, & HB, 1927)

61. St. Louis Blues (1926)
62. Wonderful One (1923)
63. There’s Yes! Yes! In Your Eyes (1924)
64. Manhattan (1925)
65. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South (w/ Mildred Bailey, 1931)
66. Learn to Smile (1921)
67. Charleston (1925)

DMDB Top 10%:

68. When Buddha Smiles (1922)
69. Three on a Match (w/ Red McKenzie, 1932)
70. It Had to Be You (1924)

71. When Day Is Done (1927)
72. All Through the Night (w/ Bob Lawrence, 1934)
73. Broken Hearted (Here Am I) (w/ JF, CG, & AY, 1927)
74. The Man I Love (w/ Vaughn DeLeath, 1928)
75. How Deep Is the Ocean? How High Is the Sky? (1932)
76. I Never Knew I Could Love Anybody Like I’m Loving You (1921)
77. Mandy, Make Up Your Mind (1925)
78. My Man (Mon Homme) (1921)
79. It Happened in Monterey (w/ JF, 1930)
80. I Get a Kick Out of You (w/ Ramona Davies, 1934)

81. Journey’s End (1923)
82. Let’s Put Out the Lights and Go to Sleep (w/ Red McKenzie, 1932)
83. Make Believe (w/ BC, 1928)
84. Get Out and Get Under the Moon (1928)
85. I’ll Never Be the Same (w/ Mildred Bailey, 1932)
86. Chiquita (w/ JF, 1928)
87. Dearest, You’re the Nearest to My Heart (1923)
88. Changes (w/ BC, AR, HB, JF, CG, & AY, 1928)
89. Do You Ever Think of Me? (1921)
90. That Certain Feeling (1926)

91. My Moonlight Madonna (w/ JF, 1933)
92. C-O-N-S-T-A-N-I-N-O-P-L-E (w/ AR, HB, JF, CG, & AY, 1928)
93. Farewell to Arms (w/ JF, 1933)
94. Canadian Capers (1921)
95. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (1923)
96. I’m Just Wild About Harry (1922)
97. Whispering (new version, 1954)
98. After You’ve Gone (w/ BC, 1930)
99. Chansonette (1923)
100. You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me (w/ BC, 1930)


Awards:


Friday, March 22, 2019

Dave’s Music Database Hall of Fame: Music Maker Inductees (March 2019)

Originally posted 3/22/2019; last updated 5/21/2021.

January 22, 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog! To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announces its own Hall of Fame. Each month, new inductees will be added. In January, the first dozen inductees were songs. In February, 9 albums were inducted. This month, the top 10 acts of all-time (according to Dave’s Music Database) are being inducted. Note: click on the name of the act to see the full DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry. See the full list of music maker inductees here.

The Beatles (active 1960-1970)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

“They were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era, and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. Moreover, they were among the few artists of any discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did, and the most popular at what they did. Relentlessly imaginative and experimental, the Beatles grabbed a hold of the international mass consciousness in 1964 and never let go for the next six years, always staying ahead of the pack in terms of creativity, but never losing their ability to communicate their increasingly sophisticated ideas to a mass audience. Their supremacy as rock icons remains unchallenged to this day.” RU1 Read more.

Bing Crosby (1903-1977)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

Bing Crosby was the undisputed best-selling artist until well into the rock era (with over half a billion records in circulation). His everyman persona gave America a symbol of what their country was about during the Depression and World War II. With a far less formal style than the European-influenced classical and popular music of the 1910s and '20s, Crosby put his own stamp on showtunes, film music, country & western songs, patriotic standards, religious hymns, holiday favorites, and ethnic ballads (most notably Irish and Hawaiian). His recording of “White Christmas” ranks as the #1 song of all time according to the DMDB. Read more.

Tommy Dorsey (1905-1956)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

“Among the greatest trombonists in jazz history. He and his brother Jimmy played with the California Ramblers, Charleston Chasers, Jean Goldkette, Red Nichols, and Paul Whiteman, among others. Tommy also played with Vincent Lopez and Rudy Vallee. Started his band in 1935 with the heart of the Joe Haymes ensemble, and over the years led an extraordinary array of top musicians. The jazz arrangements of Sy Oliver were among the most acclaimed of the era, and during the early ‘40s the band got a sensational new star in Frank Sinatra.” PM Read more.

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

“Michael Jackson was unquestionably the biggest pop star of the ‘80s, and certainly one of the most popular recording artists of all time.” SH He started as a child star in the ‘60s performing with his brothers and became a solo star in the ‘70s. He achieved his greatest success with Thriller, the biggest-selling album of all time and a DMDB Hall of Fame inductee in the first class. Read more.

Elton John (1947-)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

Elton John has been “one of the most successful purveyors of hit songs and records in the history of the music industry.” SHOF “A multifaceted talent, John excels as both a ballad-oriented singer/songwriter and a flamboyant rock and roll star.” RH “He and lyric writer, Bernie Taupin, comprise one of the longest-running and most successful songwriting teams of all time.” SHOF “In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early ‘70s.” STE His “output was as critical to this decade as the Beatles were to the Sixties and Presley to the Fifties.” RH “Moreover, his longevity as an active recording artist surpasses both of them.” RH Read more.

Billy Murray (1877-1954)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

At a time before radio ruled the waves and recording technology remained primitive, Billy Murray’s success gave the fledgling recording industry the credibility to develop into a popular form of entertainment. He became the most sensational record seller of the entire pre-1920 pioneer era, recording as a solo artist, in duets with Ada Jones, and on group hits with the Haydn Quartet, American Quartet, and the Heidelberg Quintet. In all, he sang on 30 #1 songs. The recording careers of Bing Crosby or Elvis Presley pale in comparison. Read more.

Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

As the “musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level” RU2 it could be argued that Elvis Presley is “the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music.” RU2 While he wasn’t the first white man to sing R&B, he was “the first…to assertively fuse country and blues music into the style known as rockabilly.” RU2 However, he didn’t stop there, also touching on “pop, gospel, and even some bits of bluegrass and operatic schmaltz” RU2 during his 20+ year career. Read more.

The Rolling Stones (active 1963-)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

This London based-band has often been referred to as the greatest rock and roll band of all time. They formed in the early 1960s as a contemporary to the Beatles, but were shaped as a rougher, tougher, and grittier band. True to the band’s guitarist Keith Richards’ reputation as one of the few living beings who would still be kicking after a worldwide holocaust, the band has remained active for six decades, releasing albums and touring. Read more.

Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

Frank Sinatra was one of the most important acts of the 20th century, rivaled only by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles. Through his ability to make classics from his interpretations of others songs, Sinatra survived ‘50s’ rock and ‘70s’ punk, winning over new fans while retaining a loyal, if aging, group of aficionados. Besides recording nearly 1,500 songs, Sinatra starred in nearly 60 motion pictures (many with his Rat Pack buddies). His turbulent personal life and tough-guy posturing also made him a well-known media figure. Read more.

Paul Whiteman (1890-1967)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

The most popular bandleader of the pre-swing era. Played violin and viola in the Denver & San Francisco Symphony Orchestras before forming his band in 1919 featuring Henry Busse (trumpet) and Frede Grofe (piano/arranger). Almost immediately after the blocbuster debut hit “Whispering,” the Whiteman band became the dominant force in American popular recording, with a staggering profusion of hits. Whiteman’s historic premiere of George Gershwin’s classic “Rhapsody in Blue,” his late-’20s addition of Bix Beiderbecke and other jazz greats, and his introduction to America of Bing Crosby, solidified his stature in popular music history. PM Read more.
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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper hit #1 with “Shallow”

First posted 3/20/2020; last updated 3/16/2021.

Shallow

Lady Gaga with Bradley Cooper

Writer(s): Lady Gaga/Andrew Wyatt/Anthony Rossomando/Mark Ronson (see lyrics here)


Released: September 27, 2018


First Charted: October 13, 2018


Peak: 11 US, 18 RR, 2 AC, 2 A40, 12 UK, 11 CN, 15 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.01 US, 0.6 UK, 10.2 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1265.4 video, 950.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

A Star Is Born first made it to the movie screen in 1937 and was remade in 1954, 1976, and 2018. The movie focuses on the romance between what Spin magazine’s Maggie Serota called “a grizzled, whiskey-throated troubadour” WK and his up-and-coming protégé. The most recent adaption starred Bradley Cooper, who also directed, and Lady Gaga.

The song “Shallow” is pivotal in the movie. Ally (Gaga) sings part of the song to Jackson Maine (Cooper) after sharing her musical dreams with him. When he invites her to one of his shows, he begins the song onstage and coaxes her out of the wings to join him in a duet. The performance, which was filmed in the movie at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, Calfornia in front of a live audience, launches Ally’s career.

On Beats 1, Gaga explained the song is part of the reason her character and Jackson fall in love. WK “It’s two people talking to each other about the need and the drive to dive into the deep end and stay away from the shallow area.” SF The recording features Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson, on acoustic guitar as well as other members of his Promise of the Real band.

Maeve McDermott from the Chicago Sun-Times said the track elevated the movie “from normal blockbuster fare to a masterwork of the form.” WK The New York Times’ Jon Pareles praised Gaga for her “throaty and breathy to full-scale belting.” WK Spotify called it the movie’s “hero song,” saying it was the first to really delve into the “dangers of Hollywood, fame, and stardom.” WK

The song rebounded on the charts leaping from #21 to #1 after Gaga and Cooper gave what Billboard’s Aly Semigran called “a perfect Oscar performance” at the Academy Awards. WK She said “their chemistry on stage was just as electric as it was on the big screen” and that it “launched a thousand ‘OMG’s on Twitter.” WK It hit #1 in over twenty countries and won the Oscar for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song. WK It also won Grammys for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media and was nominated for Record and Song of the Year. The song’s 45 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 were the most ever for an Oscar winner for best original song. SF


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Thursday, March 7, 2019

50 years ago: The Who charted with “Pinball Wizard”

Pinball Wizard

The Who

Writer(s): Pete Townshend (see lyrics here)


First Charted: March 7, 1969


Peak: 19 US, 15 CB, 15 HR, 1 CL, 4 Uk, 6 CN, 45 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


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


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 27.0 video, 121.85 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The gist of the Who’s 1969 Tommy album isn’t just summed up in this song, but one line: “That deaf dumb and blind kid / Sure plays a mean pinball.” The rock opera tells the story of a kid so stricken by childhood abuse that he has shut down all of his senses. He becomes a sort of messiah figure when he starts amassing fans amazed by his inexplicable pinball skills.

The rock opera was inspired by the Meher Baba. Pete Townshend, the band’s guitarist and songwriter, followed the teachings of the Indian spiritual master, who lived in silence the final 44 years of his life. He explained that “Tommy’s real self represents the aim – God – and the…way, the path and all of this.” FO

The song explains how Tommy played so well because there were no distractions via his senses, such as the lights and sounds of the machine. He plays based on vibration and, as the song says, “sense of smell.” Townshend called it “the most clumsy piece of writing I’ve ever done.” WK He considered it a “mindless, badly written song.” SF

This was the last song written for Tommy. The Who previewed the album for rock critic Nik Cohn, who wasn’t overly impressed. Townshend recognized that the project was heavy and the spiritual side and needed something to lighten the tone. He decided Tommy needed to possess a special skill. Knowing that Cohn was a pinball fanatic, Townshend made his protagonist excel at the game. Cohn then gave the project a glowing review. FO

Elton John performed the song in the movie version of Tommy in 1975. His version went on to be a top-10 hit in the UK.


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First posted 8/13/2021.