1922: King Tut’s tomb; these #1 hits

Fanny Brice

Fanny BriceAs the book says, “The discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 opened up new realms of the ancient world.” More relevant to music, “radio swiftly evolved from a novelty into a nationwide phenomenon, with 500 stations established by 1922 and over 1,000 three years later.”

April Showers – Al Jolson, eleven weeks at #1, gold record. He was on Columbia Records. The song was written for the Broadway musical “Bombo.” It has also been covered by Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby, and Judy Garland.

Three O’Clock in the Morning – Paul Whiteman, eight weeks at #1, gold record. A waltz. All of the Whiteman hits were instrumentals.  I wrote about him last year. Almost all of the remaining hits on this list were on Victor.

Hot Lips (He’s Got Hot Lips When He Plays Jazz) – Paul Whiteman, six weeks at #1. This is labeled a blues foxtrot. Foxtrot is always spelled fox trot on the labels. 
Stumbling – Paul Whiteman, six weeks at #1. A foxtrot.
Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean  “Positively, Mr. Gallagher?” – Ed Gallager/Al Shean, six weeks at #1, gold record. This is a “comedy” record. Shean was an uncle of the Marx Brothers. The dialogue is transcribed and contains…problematic references to blacks and especially women.

Angel Child – Al Jolson, five weeks at #1

In The Alamo – Isham Jones, four weeks at #1. An instrumental on Brunswick Records. A foxtrot.

Gershwin

Do It Again! – Paul Whiteman, two weeks at #1. The George Gershwin-Buddy DeSylva song was introduced on-stage by Irene Bordoni in the 1922 Broadway comedy “The French Doll.”
Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Shean – Billy Jones/Ernest Hare, two weeks at #1. A comedy record on Okeh Records

My Man (Mon Homme) – Fanny Brice  (pictured). Originally the French-language song “Mon Homme,” Fanny performed it with the new English lyrics in “Ziegfeld Follies Of 1921”. Music-Maurice Yvain, English lyric by Channing Pollock. Orchestra conducted by Rosario Bourdon. “Thirteen years after her death, she was portrayed on the Broadway stage by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl.”
My Buddy – Henry Burr. Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson wrote this melancholy post-WWI ballad. This is the song I best recollect of this bunch.

THEN I come across the article about recorded music from 1922 and earlier, which touts pieces now in the public domain, with many of the same songs. 

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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