Friday, May 1, 2020

100 years ago: “When My Baby Smiles at Me” hit #1

When My Baby Smiles at Me

Ted Lewis

Writer(s): Bill Munro (music), Andrew B. Sterling (words), Ted Lewis (words) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: May 1, 1920

Peak: 17 US, 8 GA, 12 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.10 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Ted Lewis was a clarinet player, singer, comedian and bandleader born Theodore Leopold Friedman in Ohio in 1890. His band was one of the first from the northern states to play New Orleans-style jazz SM “although even he would admit, he was more about entertainment than principled jazz playing to the level of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.” SM

Lewis co-wrote the lyrics for his #1 hit “When My Baby Smiles at Me” and introduced it in 1918 TY2 before incorporating it in the Broadway show The Greenwich Village Follies of 1919. Andrew B. Sterling also had a hand in the lyrics and Bill Munro wrote the music. However, Harry Von Tilzer, whose publishing company published the song, claimed he also had a hand in writing the lyrics. SM

“Baby” became Lewis’ theme song DJ and he even rerecorded it again in 1938 and charted again, reaching #18. The two versions bookended Lewis’ chart career. The original was only his third chart entry and first of six #1 songs. The 1938 version was the last of more than one hundred chart entrys from 1920 to 1938. PM He also recorded the song in 1926 and 1957. TY2

There were also chart versions in 1920 by Billy Murray & Gladys Rice (#8) and Henry Burr (#11). It was also used in the film of the same name in 1948. DJ It was also used in Sing, Baby, Sing (1936); Shirley Temple’s first film, Hold That Ghost (1941); and the Abbott & Costello comedy Behind the Eight Ball (1942). TY2


First posted 4/25/2023.

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