Thursday, December 29, 2022

100 years ago: Henry Burr hit #1 with “My Buddy”

My Buddy

Henry Burr

Writer(s): Walter Donaldson (music), Gus Kahn (words) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 4, 1922

Peak: 11 US, 6 GA, 12 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.19 video, 0.07 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“My Buddy” was the first hit for Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn. Donaldson previously had hits with “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm After They’ve Seen Paree?” and “My Mammy” while Kahn had written lyrics for “Pretty Baby” and “Ain’t We Got Fun?” The pair went on to work together on “Makin’ Whoopee,” “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” “Carolina in the Morning,” and “Love Me or Leave Me” and wrote more hits with other partners. Both were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The song “My Buddy” became a favorite in vaudeville, DJ popularized by Al Jolson. TY2 It was “quite a tearjerker.” TY2 It is “an old-fashioned ballad that brought back people’s memories of a time before the war,” SM allowing them “to express their grief now that part of their life was no longer there.” SM The lyrics say, “Life is a book that we study / Some of its leaves bring a sigh / There it was written by a buddy/ That we must part you and I / Nights are long since you went away / I think about you all through the day.”

“My Buddy” was the last of Henry Burr’s twenty-three chart-toppers as a solo artist or with Albert Campbell. He had 164 chart entries total and is considered “the #1 ballad singer of recorded music’s 1890-1930 pioneer era.” PM He was the first to chart with “My Buddy” and his was the most successful. There were also chart versions by Ernest Hare (#5, 1923), Ben Bernie (#11, 1923), and Sammy Kaye (#23, 1942). PM

The song has also been recorded by Gene Autry, Chet Baker, Count Basie, Teresa Brewer, Benny Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, Doris Day, Dr. John, Connie Francis, Glenn Frey, Stan Getz, Jackie Gleason, Eydie Gormé, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Jeff Healey, Earl Hines, Lena Horne, Harry James, Mario Lanza, Guy Lombardo, Glenn Miller, the Mills Brothers, Anne Murray, Dinah Shore, Nancy Sinatra, Kate Smith, Kay Starr, Barbra Streisand, Mel Tormé, Barry White, and Bob Wills.

The song was featured in the movie Wings (1927), the Gus Kahn biopic I’ll See You in My Dreams (1951), The Black Marble (1980), and Buddy in 1997. TY2


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First posted 4/25/2023.

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