Down Memory Lane

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This week …………. I love the 1930’s!

Series 1 – 1930’s E2#

In the 1930’s – what was sometimes referred to as ‘Big Music’ arrived – big band music and large as life bandleaders became household names. The bigger the music, the better – the music of the 30’s also signalled the introduction of more home radios – more listeners could tune into their favourites and more importantly different styles of music and entertainment all at the flick of a dial – music started to be measured and recorded by popularity.

Back then, the radio was very different – it was an all rounder for entertainment – music, news, variety shows, poetry readings and stories – it was artistic expression and it brought the people together!

People needed to be enthused, to be motivated, they needed to believe in something – the 1930’s were known for a world wide melancholy, a depression and suffering! People wanted to think of something else – they wanted to seek out the comfort of the music and be able to express themselves through dance!

It was during this period of time that ‘dancing marathons’ started to increase in popularity not just for the comfort and closeness they awarded, but also because they offered food and prizes and at a time when the nations had to embrace a more frugal way of life due to severe economic changes entertainment was sought out to escape the motto of  “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.”

Whilst jazz was still present from the 1920’s it started to change and become a different tune to what it had once started out as – it had started to become a music you could do more with than merely tapping your toes, but jiggling your entire body with! Jazz had become a commodity that you could dance with and to and oh how so! Swing jazz was fast becoming a very popular past time, as was boogie woogie and jitterbug!

The household radio introduced so much more to the average listener – the blues movement was fast becoming a dominant style, story-telling music and lyrics were very popular, listeners could relate many a time with their own situations.

Western theme music was just starting to emerge also sometimes known as ‘singing cowboy music’, which in turn introduced western swing and honky-tonk.

Musicals also became a very popular pass time as did crooners and the 1930’s also saw the arrival of the very first pop stars!
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The most popular music of the 1930’s was swing, big band, swing jazz, boogie woogies, gospel, orchestral jazz, western swing and so on … but the main genres were swing and big band music …
Today’s Top Ten most popular songs from the 1930’s period are ……..
Louis Armstrong made this recording on a visit to Paris in 1934.

“On the Sunny Side of the Street” is a 1930 song composed by Jimmy McHugh with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Some authors say that Fats Waller was the composer, but he sold the rights to the song. It was introduced in the Broadway musical Lew Leslie‘s International Revue starring Harry Richman and Gertrude Lawrence.
Richman and Ted Lewis enjoyed hit records with the song in 1930
On The Sunny Side Of The Street – Louis Armstrong
Georgia on My Mind” is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that year by Hoagy Carmichael. It has often been associated with Ray Charles, a native of the U.S. state of Georgia, who recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road. In 1979, the State of Georgia designated Ray Charles’s version the official state song
Georgia on My Mind – Hoagy Carmichael
I Got Rhythm” is a piece composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and published in 1930, which became a jazz standard. Its chord progression, known as the “rhythm changes“, is the foundation for many other popular jazz tunes such as Charlie Parker‘s and Dizzy Gillespie‘s bebop standard “Anthropology (Thrivin’ on a Riff)”.
George Gershwin – I’ve Got Rhythm
Minnie the Moocher” is a jazz song first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, selling over a million copies. “Minnie the Moocher” is most famous for its nonsensical ad libbed (“scat“) lyrics (for example, “Hi De Hi De Hi De Ho”). In performances, Calloway would have the audience and the band members participate by repeating each scat phrase in a form of call and response, until making it too fast and complicated for the audience to replicate it.
Cab Calloway – Minnie the Moocher
Summertime” is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, although the song is also co-credited to Ira Gershwin by ASCAP.
Billie Holiday – 1936 Summertime
“Three Little Words” is a popular song with music by Harry Ruby and lyrics by Bert Kalmar, published in 1930.
The Rhythm Boys (including Bing Crosby), accompanied by the Duke Ellington orchestra, recorded it on August 26, 1930 and it enjoyed great success. Their version was used in the 1930 Amos ‘n’ Andy film Check and Double Check, with orchestra members miming to it. The film was co-written by Kalmar and Ruby along with J. Walter Ruben. The song also figured prominently in the film Three Little Words, a 1950 biopic about Kalmar and Ruby.
1930 HITS ARCHIVE: Three Little Words – Duke Ellington
Out of Nowhere” is a popular song composed by Johnny Green with lyrics by Edward Heyman and published by Famous Music. It was popularized by Bing Crosby, and was the first recording under his Brunswick Records contract. He recorded it on March 30, 1931 and it became his first number one hit as a solo artist. Crosby also sang it in the film Confessions of a Co-Ed (1931) and in his short film I Surrender Dear (1931). He recorded it again in 1954 for his album Bing: A Musical Autobiography.
1931 HITS ARCHIVE: Out Of Nowhere – Bing Crosby
Blue Moon” is a classic popular song written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934. Al Bowlly recorded this song in 1936. It may be the first instance of the familiar “50s progression” in a popular song and has become a standard ballad. The song was a hit twice in 1949, with successful recordings in the U.S. by Billy Eckstine and Mel Tormé.
1935 HITS ARCHIVE: Blue Moon – Benny Goodman (Helen Ward, vocal)
Moonlight Serenade” is an American swing ballad composed by Glenn Miller with subsequent lyrics by Mitchell Parish. It was an immediate phenomenon when released in May 1939 as an instrumental arrangement, though it had been adopted and performed as Miller’s signature tune as early as 1938, even before it had been given the name “Moonlight Serenade.” In 1991, Miller’s recording of “Moonlight Serenade” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Over the Rainbow” is a ballad composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Yip Harburg. It was written for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale.[1] It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became Garland’s signature song.
Judy Garland Somewhere Over The Rainbow 1939

So folks, there we go, some of the most popular songs from the 1930’s – hope you enjoyed the line up for this episode of Down Memory Lane – Series 1 – 1930’s E2#

18 thoughts on “Down Memory Lane

  1. Thank you so much for the trip down memory lane, Rory! We enjoyed them all and found lots to talk about and look up concerning both the songs and the artists. The Featherlies sang their little hearts out, except for Minnie the Moocher, during which they were stone silent. Don’t know why – were they just listening, or resting, or didn’t like it? 😊

    Hope you have a nice evening and good night with lots of sweet dreams. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. 🤗💞

    1. Hey Betty, l love the Minnie song, but it is a slowbie, and l think perhaps the featherlies were maube confused 🙂

      Wishing you also a lovely afternoon 🙂

  2. You finally found a decade I did not live in. I expect my attachment to music is influenced by when and where I heard it as the 1930 selections do not do as much for me. Somewhere Over the Rainbow is an exception as I have many connections with the Wizard of Oz over the years.

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