Saturday, September 26, 1998

George Gershwin: Top 50 Songs

First posted 12/7/2019.

Composer and pianist George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershowitz on this day 100 years ago - 9/26/1898 - in Brooklyn, NY. Died 7/11/1937 of a brain tumor. Worked with popular and classical music. Collaborated with his brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin, on more than a dozen Broadway shows. His songs “Swanee,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953. For a complete list of this act’s DMDB honors, check out the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry.

Top 50 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. Many of these songs have been recorded multiple times. Only the highest-ranked version in Dave’s Music Database is included in this list. There are also some songs not identified as being by any particular artist. Additionally, songs which hit #1 on the following charts are noted: United States’ pop charts (US) and Hit Parade (HP).

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Swanee (Al Jolson with Charles Prince’s Orchestra, 1920) #1 US
2. I Got Rhythm (Red Nichols, 1930)
3. Someone to Watch Over Me (Gertrude Lawrence, 1926)
4. Rhapsody in Blue (Paul Whiteman with George Gershwin, 1924)
5. They Can’t Take That Away from Me (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937) #1 US
6. The Man I Love (Marion Harris, 1928)
7. Summertime (Billie Holiday, 1936)
8. Somebody Loves Me (Paul Whiteman, (1924) #1 US
9. Embraceable You (Red Nichols with Dick Robertson, 1930)

DMDB Top 5%:

10. Oh, Lady Be Good (Paul Whiteman, 1925)
11. Fascinating Rhythm (Cliff Edwards, 1925)
12. Nice Work if You Can Get It (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937) #1 US
13. Do It Again (Paul Whiteman, 1922) #1 US
14. I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise (Paul Whiteman, 1922) #1 US
15. Love Walked In (Sammy Kaye with Tommy Ryan, 1938) #1 US, HP
16. Strike Up the Band (Red Nichols, 1930)
17. Do Do Do (Gertrude Lawrence, 1927)
18. Love Is Here to Stay (Larry Clinton with Bea Wain, 1938)
19. S’ Wonderful (Sarah Vaughan, 1927)
20. But Not for Me (Ella Fitzgerald, 1959)

21. Sweet and Low Down (Harry Archer & His Orchestra, 1926)
22. A Foggy Day in London Town (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937)
23. Clap Yo’ Hands (Roger Wolfe Kahn, 1927)
24. It Ain’t Necessarily So (Leo Reisman, 1935)
25. Of Thee I Sing ( Ben Selvin, 1932)
26. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
27. Mine (Emil Coleman, 1933)
28. Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) (Al Jolson with Bob Haring’s Orchestra, 1929)
29. That Certain Feeling (Paul Whiteman, 1929)
30. Yankee Doodle Blues (Billy Murray with Ed Smalle, 1922)
31. I’ve Got a Crush on You (Frank Sinatra, 1948)

DMDB Top 10%:

32. Bidin’ My Time (Foursome, 1930)
33. They All Laughed (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
34. Funny Face (Arden-Ohman Orchestra with Johnny Marvin, 1928)
35. My One and Only (Jane Green with Nat Shilkret’s Orchestra, 1928)
36. I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ (Leo Reisman, 1935)
37. An American in Paris (George Gershwin with Nat Shilkret & the Victor Symphony Orchestra, 1929)

DMDB Top 10%:

38. Shall We Dance? (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
39. Things Are Looking Up (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937)
40. For You, for Me, Forevermore (Dick Haymes with Judy Garland & the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra, 1947)
41. Bess, You Is My Woman (Porgy and Bess cast, 1935)
42. I Loves You, Porgy (Porgy and Bess cast, 1935)

DMDB Top 10%:

43. How Long Has This Been Going On? (Bobbe Arnst with Mary O’Brien, 1927)
44. Isn’t It a Pity? (George Givot with Josephine Huston, 1932)
45. Slap That Bass (Fred Astaire with Dudley Dickerson, 1937)
46. I Was Doing All Right (Ella Logan, 1938)
47. He Loves and She Loves (Ella Fitzgerald, 1959)
48. Maybe (Nat Shilkret, 1926)
49. Anything for You (1921)
50. Love Is in the Air (1925)


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