Top 100 Songs
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre which emerged in France at the end of the 19th century. They were generally comedies interspersed with songs. The format was popular in the United States from the early 1880s through the early 1930s, but became more of a series of separate acts grouped together on a bill. They could be comprised of singers, dancers, comedians, one-act plays, and circus acts.
This effort to put together a list of the top vaudeville songs of all time is based on only a handful of sources (see the bottom of the page). As such, someone with actual expertise on vaudeville may quibble with songs on this list and I welcome their input and hope they can turn me on to more sources. As it is, I took the songs referenced in the sources below and listed them here based on their overall status in Dave’s Music Database.
It should be noted that the versions listed here which ever ranked highest in Dave’s Music Database although many of these songs were introduced on vaudeville by different performers than those who had hit recordings with them.
Note: click here to see other genre-specific song lists.
1. Arthur Collins with Byron Harlan “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (1911)
11. Arthur Collins “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home” (1902)
21. Harry MacDonough “Down by the Old Mill Stream” (1911)
31. Billy Jones “Yes! We Have No Bananas” (1923)
41. Paul Whiteman “The Japanese Sandman” (1920)
51. Fanny Brice with the Rosario Bourdon Orchestra “My Man (Mon Homme)” (1922)
61. Arthur Collins “Under the Bamboo Tree” (1902)
71. Paul Whiteman “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” (1923)
81. Len Spencer “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay” (1892)
91. Henry Burr “I’m Sorry I Made You Cry” (1918)
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First posted 4/3/2021.