Irving Berlin: selected songs from 1916-1919 (partially constructed)
Most of the images for “The Century Girl” need editing.
The Century Girl
Above: Members of the cast of The Century Girl (1916) in costume for the Irving Berlin number Alice in Wonderland. The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin names some of the cards: Lilyan Tashman (King of Hearts), Marion Fairbanks (Jack of Diamonds), and Madeleine Fairbanks (Jack of Clubs).
“The Century Girls,” photograph by White Studio
(above, left) Hazel Dawn; right: Leon Errol and Gertrude Rutland, by White Studio
(above) Two copies of a Raphael Kirchner sketch for The Century Girl
The Chicken Walk (Irving Berlin) from the Broadway revue The Century Girl which opened at the Century Theatre, New York, 6 November, 1916. It closed on 28 April 1917 after 200 performances. I may do a small feature on the revue as there are a number of photographs of cast members in costume and a few fine illustrations by Raphael Kirchner available. Despite the great length of the show, reportedly lasting four and a half hours on opening night, Berlin hadn’t written many songs for it. In fact IBDb lists only 16 songs in the program, which doesn’t seem excessive. Perhaps it was extended by the time required to prepare elaborate sets and ensembles between songs.
Victor Herbert, who composed songs for the show with lyrics by Henry Blossom, contributed seven songs, Berlin six, to the production. The three remaining songs were contributed by other songwriters. The Chicken Walk might have been the only song of Berlin’s from the revue recorded. I haven’t found recordings of any of the others songs in the show yet. Will post them if I do.
Irving Kaufman – 1916
The Six Brown Brothers – 1916
I’ve Gotta Go Back to Texas — According to The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, Eds. Kimball and Emmet, 2001, p. 117, the song was published and copyrighted on 17 January 1916, and was “added to the show Watch Your Step (1914) during the post Broadway tour, where it was introduced by Bernard Granville.”
Charles King and Elizabeth Brice, 1916
From Here to Shanghai
From The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, p. 152:
“Published. Copyrighted January 23, 1917. Probably written in December 1916, as Al Jolson’s recording…was made on December 11, 1916.”
Piano roll by Pete Wendling
Gene Greene and the Peerless Quartet — Recorded 30 January 1917, issued as Victor 18242, b/w Napoleon, recorded by Billy Murray
I’ll Take You Back to Italy – from the 1917 musical Jack O’ Lantern
Ada Jones and Billy Murray, released 1918
Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning
Arthur Fields, 1919
Smile and Show Your Dimple – In 1933 Berlin borrowed part of the melody of the chorus from this song for his much better-known Easter Parade.
Sam Ash, 1918
Nobody Knows (And Nobody Seems to Care)
Esther Walker, 1919