Shine On Harvest Moon


1908-shine-on-harvest-mnShine On, Harvest Moon (m. Nora Bayes, Jack Norworth, w. Jack Norworth)

From Wikipedia:

The song was debuted by Bayes and Norworth in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1908 to great acclaim. It became a pop standard, and continues to be performed and recorded even in the 21st century.

During the vaudeville era, songs were often sold outright, and the purchaser would be credited as the songwriter. John Kenrick‘s Who’s Who In Musicals* credits the song’s actual writers as Edward Madden and Gus Edwards. However, David Ewen’s All the Years of American Popular Music credits Dave Stamper, who contributed songs to 21 editions of the Ziegfeld Follies and was Bayes’ pianist from 1903 to 1908.[1] Vaudeville comic Eddie Cantor also credited Stamper in his 1934 book Ziegfeld – The Great Glorifier.[2]

The earliest commercially successful recordings were made in 1909 by Harry Macdonough and Elise Stevenson (Victor 16259), Ada Jones and Billy Murray (Edison 10134), Frank Stanley and Henry Burr (Indestructable 1075), and Bob Roberts (Columbia 668).[3]


Ada Jones and Bill Murray – released in 1909




Hal Kemp and his Orchestra – 1929



The Boswell Sisters – recorded on 28 August 1931, in NY, accompanied by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra: Mannie Klein (tpt) Tommy Dorsey (tbn) Jimmy Dorsey (cl, as) unknown (vln) Martha Boswell (p) Eddie Lang (g) Joe Tarto (sb) Stan King (d)


Ruth Etting – recorded on 19 July 1935


* John Kenrick, at his website Musicals 101, in the Nora Bayes bio found in the section Who’s Who In Musicals: A to Ba, says:

She scored [sic] in Florenz Ziegfeld‘s first Follies (1907) and returned for the 1908 edition, singing the smash-hit “Shine On Harvest Moon,” which she supposedly co-wrote with her third husband, composer Jack Norworth  (In fact, the song was composed by songwriters Edward Madden and Gus Edwards).

Kenrick may have been confusing “Shine On Harvest Moon” with “By the Light of the Silvery Moon.” The latter was written by Gus Edwards (music) and Edward Madden (words), but I’ve seen no evidence to support Kenrick’s claim that Edwards and Madden wrote “Shine On Harvest Moon.”


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