1932 #1: Depression music

ten cents in 1932 is about two dollars today

Cole porter
Cole Porter

Here are the songs that reached #1 in 1932 in the United States. From A Century of Pop Music by Joel Whitburn: “The record industry underwent an almost total collapse to the point of selling only six million discs in 1932 – compared to the peak of 140 million just five years earlier.”

The growth of radio, in addition to the economic woes, contributed to this phenomenon. Some of the songs reflect the difficulties of the era.

Night and Day– Leo Reisman with Fred Astaire. 10 weeks at #1. A song by Cole Porter from the musical The Gay Divorcee. I became much more familiar with the works of Porter after I bought the original Red Hot + Blue album in 1991. This song was also covered by Peter Sprague and Rebecca Jade on Planet Cole Porter
In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town – Ted Lewis and his band, 10 weeks at #1

Please – Bing Crosby with Anson Weeks and his orchestra, 6 weeks at #1
Paradise – Leo Reisman and his orchestra with Frances Maddux, vocals, 6 weeks at #1. From the film, A Woman Commands

We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians with Carmen Lombardo, vocal, 5 weeks at #1

Paradise – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians with Carmen Lombardo, vocals, 3 weeks at #1
All Of Me – Paul Whiteman and his orchestra, with Mildred Bailey, vocals, 3 weeks at #1. The song was written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons. It was given the Towering Song Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame as a result of the countless covers, including by Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson


All Of Me – Louis Armstrong, 2 weeks at #1
Dinah – Bing Crosby with the Mills Brothers, 2 weeks at #1
Say It Isn’t So – George Olsen with Paul Small, vocals 2 weeks at #1. Written by Irving Berlin
Lullabye of the Leaves – George Olsen, 2 weeks at #1

Too Many Tears – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians with Carmen Lombardo, vocal, 2 weeks at #1
River, Stay Away From My Door – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians with Kate Smith, 2 weeks at #1
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? – Rudy Vallee, 2 weeks at #1. From  Wikipedia: “Written by lyricist Yip Harburg and composer Jay Gorney,… [it] was part of the 1932 musical revue Americana; the melody is based on a Russian-Jewish lullaby. The song tells the story of the universal everyman, whose honest work towards achieving the American dream has been foiled by the economic collapse.”
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? – Bing Crosby, 2 weeks at #1

Reisman, Whiteman, Olsen were on Victor
Lewis, Armstrong, and Vallee were on Columbia, though I also found the Armstrong recording on Okeh
Crosby and Lombardo were on Brunswick, except the Kate Smith cut, on Columbia

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