Most popular dance tunes that Influenced what we listen to.

Discussion in 'Music' started by LittleNipper, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. LittleNipper
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    It must be totally understood, that the top 100 recordings as listed by Rolling Stones Magazine or any other present day contrivance (though voted on by the public at large), cannot in fact do justice to melodies or tunes (no matter how seemingly obscure or forgotten) that at a time in history may have been highly enjoyed by an earlier generation. As a result, it is hoped that you might endure what I consider are popular tunes that seemed to have had a wide influence on what people once regarded as the "cat's meow."

    The first on my list is entitled HIAWATHA. It has appeared in several movies (Meet Me in Saint Lewis comes to mind). It has also be recorded by various folk bands to this day. HIAWATHA 1903 actually instigated a bunch of "Indian" novelty tunes that continued for some time. Hiawatha is a Ragtime song with words; however, I enjoy it most as a party dance tune from back in that day. It was quite popular and considered the highlight if any social event

     
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    In 1905 we have a very popular tune that's a waltz as well as a bit of an advertisement for the infant auto industry --- in this case the curve dash Oldsmobile. This would foreshadow other auto tunes that would come as the industry blossomed. Here we have both a music box rendition; as well as, an early recording from the same time period. The music box was still very popular, as was the cylinder record --- but the popularity of disc recordings was quickly assuming the market-share.


    Here is Billy Murray (one of my most favorite male artists from the period) singing In My Merry Oldsmobile Youtube - Yahoo Video Search Results
     
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    This spirited ditty was a real hit in 1909 for two artists, and continued to remain popular for many many years. It is still recognized by many and it could be because it became a carousel favorite and made a good "Irish" song. The tune lent itself to a Two Step. Blanche Ring and Ada Jones both had a hit with this melody/song the same year.



     
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    By 1910 Ragtime syncopation is really beginning to become accepted among the general public. And barbershop quartets also began to be very popular as well as minstrel shows. And so it isn't out of place that a ragtime tune would appear that combined all three. Bert Williams was the first black to become a star comedian on Broadway made a hit of PLAY THAT BARBERSHOP CORD. Shortly after his opening on Broadway, Theatre Magazine called Bert Williams "a vastly funnier man than any white comedian now on the American stage." He was the first Black featured in a Broadway revue and was the first Black actor to join Actor's Equity. In London he played a command performance before King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace. Through mime, Bert Williams displayed an emotional range that transcended the boisterous performance style of minstrels or the broad physical comedy of vaudeville. Although the performance was comedic, beginning and ending in laughter, it was also dramatic, touching upon his emotional depth. Although Bert played the familiar Jim Crow character, his performance enabled him to step a bit out of the heavy shadow that the stereotype cast. Williams became the first Black comedian to ever appear in the cinema, debuting on screen in 1914, in Darktown Jubilee. In 1910 both Bert Williams and Billy Murray made hits of PLAY THAT BARBERSHOP CORD and both sung it in minstrel style.



    I'm including the 1949 Judy Garland version here as I feel she did a swell job and it puts the popularity of this tune in a visual perspective.
     
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    1911 is the year that brought gave us Alexander's Ragtime Band by Irving Berlin. And it goes without saying it influenced many generations as it remained popular for years. This song was sung by nearly everyone and YouTube is proof of that. Here is an early record of that year and also how the tune was likely played by the band on the Titanic in 1912.

     
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    !912 marked a banner year for both Ragtime and the Dance Craze. Irving Berlin had another hit with Everybody's Doing it Now which came out in February of that year. It seemed that everyone was either dancing or learning to dance. It is likely that home entertainment (namely the talking machine) was helping to spread the syncopation and it was making people want to move their feet. The music was happy, entertaining, healthy, lively, and fun...

     
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    The year 1913 gave us the classic You Make Me Love You. Here it is sung by the popular singer Al Jolson on this early hit of that year...


    Also that year Irving Berlin introduced his THAT INTERNATIONAL RAG. I felt I should include it as it demonstrated America's influence on the music of that time. This one is played on a Player Piano. If you look to the right on the roll, you can sing along ----enjoy!
     
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    Two dance hits from 1914 --- However, Ballin' the Jack was indeed written in 1913 and was introduced in the Ziegfeld Follies of that year. The song was considered rather suggestive/risque and so the earliest recordings were instrumental only and appeared starting in 1914. While They Were Dancing Around was a big hit, too ---- both are good dance tunes.
     
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