1921 selected standards, hits, and other songs


Ain’t We Got Fun? (Richard A. Whiting, Raymond Egan, Gus Kahn)
I’m Just Wild About Harry (Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle)
Second Hand Rose (Grant Clarke, James F. Hanley)
Wabash Blues (Fred Meinkin, Dave Ringle)
All By Myself (Irving Berlin)
Say It With Music (Irving Berlin)
The Sheik of Araby (Ted Snyder, Harry B. Smith, Francis Wheeler)

  • April Showers (m. Louis Silvers, w. B. G. “Buddy” DeSylva) – separate feature page


Ain’t We Got Fun (m. Richard A. Whiting, w. Raymond B. Egan, Gus Kahn)

From Wikipedia:

[“Ain’t We Got Fun”] was first performed in 1920 in the Fanchon and Marco revue Satires of 1920, then moved into vaudeville and recordings. “Ain’t We Got Fun?” and its jaunty response to poverty and its promise of fun (“Every morning / Every evening,” and “In the meantime, / In between time”) have become symbolic of the Roaring Twenties, and it appears in some of the major literature of the decade, including The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and in Dorothy Parker‘s award-winning short story of 1929, “Big Blonde.” The song also contains variations on the phrase “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” (substituting, e.g., “children” for “poorer”); though this phrase predates the song, its use increased with the song’s popularity.


Van & Schenck – 1921


  • (above left) Billy Jones in a rare early recording studio shot. He used the pseudonym Victor Roberts only when recording with Victor.
  • (above right) Billy Jones and Ernest Hare (see The Happiness Boys)

(below) Billy Jones – Edison Blue Amberol # 4309. Recorded NY 5/23/1921 and released in 7/21/1921.


Benson Orchestra of Chicago: 1921 recording (link)– featuring pictures of old Chicago


I’m Just Wild About Harry (Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle) underwent a complete rewrite during rehearsals [for the revue Shuffle Along] and was nearly cut from the show.  Blake’s original version of the song was a Viennese waltz; but according to the authors of America’s Songs, performer Lottie Gee encouraged rewriting the number as an up-tempo one-step. Blake disliked the suggestion and feared it would ruin his waltz but capitulated after Sissle agreed with Gee.
Audiences did not respond well to the revised version during early performances. Blake was on the verge of dropping the number from the show when a dancer took ill and had to be replaced. The understudy was a singer who did not know the steps; so when he was unable to follow the routine he ignored it and improvised. America’s Songs quotes Sissle’s recollection of how the performance saved the song, “He dropped out of line and with a jive smile and a high-stepping routine of his own, he stopped the show cold.” -wikipedia

  • audio file [Played by the song’s composer, Eubie Blake — from Biograph BCD 112]  source: florencemills.com

Piano roll — recorded by Eubie Blake, 19 May 1973


Vaughn De Leath


Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra – recorded May 1922, in New York


Al Jolson – from Jolson Sings Again, 1949



Second Hand Rose (Grant Clarke, James F. Hanley)

Fanny Brice — 1921


Vaughan DeLeath — 1921


Barbra Streisand — from My Name is Barbra, Two… – 1965


Wabash Blues (Fred Meinkin, Dave Ringle)

Isham Jones and his Orchestra


Pete Wendling — piano roll QRS #1760, made in 1921


My name and number
Are in the book
The one that hangs on a hook
In almost ev’ry drug store
Why don’t someone bother to look?
My central tells me all day long
“Sorry, the number is wrong”

All By Myself (Irving Berlin) – If you look for this number in the Internet Broadway Database under the production songs of the show in which it was introduced, Berlin’s 1921 edition of Music Box Revue, you won’t find it. Why? Because it was part of a larger number called An Interview With Irving Berlin where it wassung by the composer.

Aileen Stanley – recorded 21 May 1921


Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra


Say It With Music (Irving Berlin)

Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra — 1921


The Columbians — Columbia (UK) 3091, according to the provider, 1921?


Jack Payne and his B.B.C. Orchestra, vocal: Jack Payne — recorded on 27 January 1931, and issued on Columbia (UK) CB 240; according to the video provider “Say It with Music” was Payne’s signature song


The Sheik of Araby (Ted Snyder, Harry B. Smith, Francis Wheeler) was a response to the popularity of the Rudolph Valentino film The Sheik. In 1926 it received new lyrics by Billy Rose and was retitled That Night in Araby.  A popular hit, the song was also adopted by early jazz bands, especially in New Orleans, making it a jazz standard. It was a well recognized part of popular culture, earning a mention in The Great Gatsby. – Wikipedia, adapted

Quintette du Hot Club de France — 1937


Fats Waller — 1938


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. David Kornblum
    May 19, 2013 @ 15:06:35

    What song written by George Gershwin and Irving Caesar was interpolated into the 1921 musical “Blue Eyes” with music by I.B Kornblum and lyrics by Zion Myers which opened at the Casino Theatre and was moved to the Shubert Theatre?

    Liked by 1 person


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