Sunday, August 15, 2021

100 years ago: Ted Lewis “All by Myself” hit #1

All by Myself

Ted Lewis

Writer(s): Irving Berlin (see lyrics here)

First Charted: August 15, 1921

Peak: 14 US, 12 GA, 15 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

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


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This Irving Berlin tune “is a meditation on solitude and the misery of growing old alone.” TY2 It may have been autobiographical as Berlin lost his bride shortly after their honeymoon and never remarried. TY2 It was introduced in vaudeville by Charles King DJ and in The Music Box Revue of 1922, which was part of a series of musical theater revuews by Irving Berlin from 1921 to 1925. It was first recorded by Frank Crumit (#5, 1921), SM a “popular entertainer who appeared in several Broadway musicals of the decade and later hosted a popular radio show.” TY2

Ted Lewis’ jazz band recorded the chart-topping version. SM “The famous bandleader…was famous for his half-spoken, half-singing vocals” TY2 but this recording of “All by Myself” was all instrumental. SM

In all, six versions of the song charted in 1921 – Aileen Stanley (#5), Benny Krueger (#6), Vaughn Deleath (#13), and Ben Selvin (#14). PM Krueger was the former saxophone player with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. TY2 Deleath was “one of the most famous of the early radio performers” TY2 and “supposedly the first woman to sing on radio.” TY2

Others who recorded the song include Pat Boone, Connee Boswell, Nat “King” Cole, Bing Crosby (for the movie Blue Skies), DJ Bob Crosby, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Connie Francis, Marion Harris, Brenda Lee, Nancy Sinatra, and Kay Starr. WK


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First posted 1/28/2023.

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