Songbook top ten lists, first ten years


The numbers at right represent collective page views.

Top ten pages, 17 March 2009 to 16 January 2019 (11AM PST):

1940-1949: selected standards and hits More stats 41,910
Duke Ellington: selected songs, 1927-1953 More stats 37,161
1890-1899 selected hits and standards More stats 35,067
Route 66 More stats 25,023
1900-1909 selected standards and hits More stats 23,781
Autumn Leaves (Les feuilles mortes) More stats 16,836
Bei Mir Bistu Shein / Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (Schoen): selected early recordings, part 1 (1937) More stats 14,819
1910-1919 selected standards, hits and special features More stats 13,628
Bing Crosby: selected recordings, 1927-1934 More stats 13,191
Selected popular dances of the Jazz Age More stats 12,685


Top ten pages featuring a single song, March 2009-January 2019:

Route 66 More stats 25,023
Autumn Leaves (Les feuilles mortes) More stats 16,836
Bei Mir Bistu Shein / Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (Schoen): selected early recordings, part 1 (1937) More stats 14,819
Midnight, the Stars and You – 1934 More stats 10,012
Corcovado More stats 9,616
My One and Only Love More stats 9,568
Why Don’t You Do Right? More stats 9,344
Non Dimenticar (T´ho voluto bene) More stats 8,925
Hot Feet (Wendell Hall) – 1927, with lyric More stats 8,069
Tornerai / J’Attendrai / Komm zurück / Věřím vám / I’ll Be Yours
More stats

The biggest surprise in the second list would have to be the 1927 song “Hot Feet,” which until Disney resurrected it in an episode of Girl Meets World a few years ago had been lost in the mists of time. According to evidence that I present in the page, the song was recorded by its author, Wendell Hall, at least four times (1927-1928), though I’ve only heard one of the four, and this is the one featured in a video included in the page.* The only other recordings of “Hot Feet” that I’m aware of are a 1927 piano roll and a 1927 cover by Paul Specht and his Orchestra. I suspect that the Disney connection is a large factor in the sustained popularity of this page.

That “Midnight, the Stars and You” appears so high on the list is also rather odd. I’ve found no evidence that the 1934 Ray Noble-Al Bowlly recording was a hit, or that the song was ever popular in the 1930s or for decades after it was written and first recorded. There were two contemporaneous covers that I know of, and then there’s not a trace of interest in the song until its inclusion in the soundtrack of the 1980 horror film The Shining. Even then, it was apparently ignored by cover bands in recording studios for the next three decades. lists only a handful of covers, none before 2009. Nevertheless, numerous recent recordings of the song may be found on YouTube.


The top ten pages on a Latin standard, March 2009-January 2019:

  1. Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)
    More stats 9,616
  2. Perfidia
    More stats 7,130
  3. Manhã de Carnaval
  4. El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor)
  5. Chega de saudade
  6. Águas de março (Waters of March)
  7. Malagueña salerosa (La Malagueña)
  8. Bésame Mucho
  9. Te quiero dijiste / Magic is the Moonlight
  10. Para Vigo me voy (Say Si Si)
    More stats 3,035


Last 365 days

Top ten pages featuring a single song, last 365 days:

Crawdad Song — lyric (Woody Guthrie version) More stats 1,350
Midnight, the Stars and You – 1934 More stats 1,331
Hot Feet (Wendell Hall) – 1927, with lyric More stats 892
White Christmas More stats 862
Non Dimenticar (T´ho voluto bene) More stats 822
Águas de Março (Waters of March) More stats 775
How Deep is the Ocean? (How High is the Sky?) More stats 728
Te quiero dijiste / Magic is the Moonlight More stats 615
The Cat Came Back More stats 589
It’s Time to Say Goodnight — 1934 More stats 573
Sayonara More stats 564


* However, I’ve been unable to confidently identify which of the four recordings by Hall is represented in the video included in the page.


A summer night’s magic, enthralling me so


Howdy. This post serves is to announce the expansion of the previously published feature Under a Blanket of Blue. I’ve added a dozen recordings over the past couple of days, plus a list of of the 32 recordings included in the page, and made it into a three part feature. Here are links to the three parts (or pages) of the feature:

Each page of the feature has links to all three pages. Recordings included in the feature still cover the time span 1933-1963, as they did before these additions. I may eventually add some more recent recordings.


Under a Blanket of Blue (m. Jerry Livingston*, w. Al J. Neiburg and Marty Symes) — 1933 standard

Recordings added to the page yesterday and today:

  • The Southern Sisters — recorded in London on 10 October 1933; issued on the single (UK) Decca F.3690, c/w “Sentimental Gentleman from Georgia”
  • Paramount 6247 piano roll, played by Larry Arden — 1933
  • Maxine Gray with orchestra directed by David Rose — radio transcription; from the 27 June 1940 episode of the California Melodies program (see Old Time Radio Downloads, Old Time Radio Catalog
  • Glenn Miller and his Orchestra — from the 19 December 1940 episode of the Chesterfield Cigarettes “Moonlight Serenade” radio series
  • Barry Wood and The Melody Maids, with orchestra directed by Henry Sylvern — radio transcription; from, according to the video provider, a 1946 episode of The Barry Wood Show
  • Benny Goodman Sextet – recorded in New York on 30 July 1952; released on the 1954 album The New Benny Goodman Sextet, Columbia CL 552 — session personnel: Benny Goodman (cl), Terry Gibbs (vib), Teddy Wilson (p), Mundell Lowe (g), Sid Weiss (b), Don Lamond (d)
  • Art Tatum – Benny Carter – Louis Bellson — recorded on 25 June 1954 in Los Angeles, CA; originally released on the 1958 album Makin’ Whoopee, Verve Records MG V-8227
  • Billy Tipton Trio — from the 1955 album Sweet Georgia Brown, Tops L1522
  • Jane Froman — from the 1957 album Songs At Sunset, Capitol Records T889/T-889; also included on the 1957 EP Songs At Sunset, Part 2, Capitol EAP 2-889
  • Doris Day — from her 1957 LP Day By Night, Columbia CL 1053



* credited under his birth name, Jerry Levinson

About sixteen bloodhounds took in after him


New page published late tonight (Thursday, 10 January):

(Hint: Click on the link directly above to visit the page.)

Porgy (Fields & McHugh), 1928 – lyric


Porgy (m. Jimmy McHugh, w. Dorothy Fields) – lyric transcribed by doc from a 1930 Ethel Waters recording*

Following a 16 bar verse, the chorus is 72 bars long, with nine sections, eight bars each. In the 32-bar or AABA song form most common during the classic American songbook era, a song with 64 or more bars of chorus typically has a second part of the chorus with the same structure as the first: (1) AABA, (2) AABA. The words will be different in the second part, but the music will be essentially a repetition of the first part. That’s certainly not the case here. Instead the structure of the chorus is something like AABA CDEF A.

Selected recordings of the song, from 1930 to 1974, are available on my recently published page, Porgy (McHugh, Fields) – © 1928. Of the later recordings of “Porgy” that I’ve heard, none of them include the entire chorus of the Waters version, and the only other that includes the verse is that by Adelaide Hall.

There ain’t no man in Charleston
A stranger to big Crown’s Bess
Catfish Row is closed now
To the sight of this old red dress
But there is one they call Porgy
Seems like that man understood
Got his trust in me, Lord
And I’s gonna stick for good

I’s got a man now
I’s got Porgy
I understand now
‘Cause I’s got Porgy
I’m through with byways
And his ways is my ways

Lord, just to feel
His arms about me
Knowing he can’t
Get on without me
I wants to beg for
A chance just to camp by his door

‘Course he ain’t much for
To look and see
Lazy and no ‘count
As he can be
But he’s got that good
Kind of love for me

I’s changin’ my style
And that old way of livin’
Glad I’ve stopped takin’
And started givin’
Yes, I’ve got a man
I’ve got Porgy now

For him to hold me
In his arms and whisper
“I love you”
To have him near me
Just to cheer me
How could I get blue?

Deep in my heart
Oh, I get such a thrill
Why we’ll never part
That I’m sure we never will

‘Cause love, true love, will find a way
Never fear
There’ll come a day
Maybe, my dear

I’ll wait
Trust fate
That we’ll be happy some day
On just a precious little thing called love

That’s why I’m changin’ my style
And that old way of livin’
Glad I’ve stopped takin’
And I’ve started givin’
Oh, I’s got a man
I got Porgy now

~ lyric written by Dorothy Fields, ©1928; transcribed by doc (Jim Radcliff), on 8 January 2019, from a 1930 Ethel Waters recording*


* The  Discography of American Historical Recordings indicates that two masters of Columbia matrix W150159 were made, drawn from the first and second of three takes on 1 April 1930 in NYC. On the Columbia 2184-D page, DAHR suggests that each of the masters were issued on separate pressings of the single with that catalog number. I don’t know which of the masters is represented in the recording by Waters included in our feature page, Porgy (McHugh, Fields) – © 1928.

I wants to beg for chance just to camp by his door


The song “Porgy” was written by Jimmy McHugh (music) and Dorothy Fields (words) for the hit Broadway musical revue Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1928. I published a page today on the song, in response to a request from a visitor. Here’s a link to the new page:

Porgy (McHugh. Fields) – © 1928

From Pick Yourself Up: Dorothy Fields and the American Musical, Charlotte Greenspan (2010), Chapter 4 “Give My Refrains to Broadway,” p. 48:

A different slice of southern black life is offered in the song “Porgy.” Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward based their play Porgy on DuBose’s eponymous novel of 1925. The Theatre Guild produced the play, which opened on Broadway in October 1927, just a few months before Dorothy Fields’s first songs were heard in the Cotton Club. She may well have seen Porgy as part of her research into black turns of speech. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, following their success with Show Boat, had considered writing a musical version of Porgy, which would have had Al Jolson as its star, but they did not follow through with this plan. George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess opened in 1935, seven years after McHugh and Fields wrote the song “Porgy.” A second engagement of the play Porgy opened at the Republic Theater on May 28, 1928 less than two weeks after Blackbirds of 1928 had opened.


Recordings included in the page:

  • Ethel Waters — recorded on 1 April 1930; originally issued on Columbia 2184D, c/w “(What did I do to be so) Black and Blue”
  • Auld-Hawkins-Webster Saxtet — recorded in NYC on 17 May 1944; issued on Apollo Records 754, as the B-side of “Pick-Up Boys” (Leonard Feather)
  • Adelaide Hall — radio transcription, 1945(?)
  • Louis Prima and his Orchestra, vocal: Lilyann Carol  —  issued in June 1946 on the 78 rpm single Majestic 1051, as the B-side of “Boogie in Chicago” (Louis Prima); recording date disagreement: March 1946 (, April 1946 (,; VBR MP3 files,
  • Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with Ottilie Patterson ‎– originally issued on the 1955 album Echoes Of Harlem, (UK) Pye Nixa NJL 1, Pye Nixa NJL.1
  • Anita Ellis — originally released on her 1957 album Hims, Epic LN 3914
  • Teddi King — from her 1957 album A Girl and Her Songs, RCA Victor LPM-1454
  • Abbey Lincoln — from the 1957 album That’s Him!, Riverside RLP 12-251, recorded in NYC on 28 October 1957 — An alternate take (take 1) was released on the 1988 CD reissue of the album, and also included on the compilation album La chanteuse de jazz idéale, released in 1996 in France on the Wea Music label.
    • take 1
  • Nina Simone — recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival, 30 June 1960; released on the 1960 album Nina At Newport, Colpix Records CP 412 (Mono) SCP 412 (Stereo) — For unknown reasons, some pressings of the album give the title of the song as “Blues For Porgy” on both the back of the album cover and the label.
  • Dakota Staton — originally issued on her 1974 album Ms. Soul, Groove Merchant GM 532

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