In The Good Old Summer Time;
If ever a song established a connection with a season, this 1902 masterpiece did so in a definitive way. Perhaps the signature song for summer it still is top of mind when most folks think of a song connected to summer. After over 100 years, I dare say this song is more alive than many songs written afterwards and will be for many more years to come. With all those superlatives, I debated placing this song last as the grand finale to this issue but decided not to because though this may be the best known, it may not be the best song about summer time. We'll start with this as perhaps the benchmark and see how the others stack up. I think you'll be surprised at some of the others we have for you.
In The Good Old Summer Time was introduced to the world by Blanche Ring (b. 1877 - d. 1961) in the Broadway show, The Defender. The show opened at the Herald Square Theater on July 3, 1902 and closed after 60 performances on August 23 that same year. The cast was an all star affair featuring some of the best performers of the period including Ring and Emma Carus. The song has stayed with us due to a happy, singable melody with easy to remember lyrics. The song also has appeared on many recordings and was featured as the title song in the Judy Garland - Van Johnson film of the same name. It also was connected to a 1927 film also with the same name.
Hear this lasting "Summertime" hit. ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)
On a more cerebral and pure musical note, the great Harry J. Lincoln wrote this rather enjoyable piano solo "reverie" several years after In The Good Old Summer Time. Illustrated with an actual photo of some unknown couple striking a loving pose in a garden nearly devoid of flowers; mostly shrubs. The photo is a somewhat personal touch as the photo almost appears to be a family "snapshot" taken one summer's day in anyplace America. I wonder if it is Lincoln or some of his relatives.
Despite that rather useless musing, this is a scarce item from Lincoln. He was perhaps best known for his rousing march songs written in the early years of the 20th century into the war years. Perhaps his best known work is The Midnight Fire Alarm (Scorch format), written by Lincoln in 1900 and republished by E.T. Paull in 1908 and became one of Paull publishing's more famous works. Some other Lincoln works we've featured include Trinity Chimes (1911), My Western Rose (1910) and The United Musician's March (1915)
Enjoy this wonderful old reverie ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)
On an artistic plane, Carrie Jacobs-Bond wrote this excellent and artistic song in 1901 when she was still struggling to establish herself as a songwriter and self publisher. For those of you who regularly visit this site and have read many of our articles, you probably know that Carrie Bond is my most admired composer from the period. Though few of her songs made the Tin Pan Alley hit list, many were very popular and she became the first big selling woman composer of popular songs in America. Her biggest hit was A Perfect Day, published in 1910 but all of her songs managed to sell well due to her large following.
The majority of Bond's music lies somewhere between popular song and
art song with in my opinion, more of a leaning towards the art or classical
style of song. Her musicianship and composition skills were nothing short
of amazing and all of her songs have wonderful melodies, attractive ornamentation
and most of all, deeply meaningful lyrics. In this instance, we have one
of her very insightful looks at how one's eyes speak volumes more than
words and how the eyes can often belie those words. Summertime, indeed.
For more about Carrie Jacobs-Bond's inspiring life, see our
biography of her with links to many of her songs we've published over
Music by: Harry Von Tilzer
Words by: Jack Mahoney
Cover artist: Gene Buck
In 1935, George Gershwin wrote the song most associated with this title for his operetta, Porgy and Bess. Well, this ain't that song. It is however a very nice period march-song from the pen of two of America's greatest popular song composers from the Tin Pan Alley Era.
Billed as Von Tilzer's "Latest Big March Song Hit," the song starts off rather innocuously in the verse with a happy little tune but nothing particularly memorable about it. However, it's in the chorus (as with most songs) the the music starts to rock. With an up-tempo and exciting melody, Von Tilzer lives up to the cover's braggadocio. It's a good song, not a lasting hit but one that deserves dusting off and saving for posterity. Enjoy it well. For more about Von Tilzer and his music, see our biography of Harry Von Tilzer published in Feb., 2004.
Jack Mahoney was the pen name for Ruben Kusnitt, born in Buffalo New York in 1882 and died in New York City in 1945. Mahoney's greatest lyrics hit was When You Wore A Tulip, (Scorch format) with Percy Wenrich but as one of the early 20th century's more popular lyricists, he also wrote a number of other popular (at that time) works including, Kentucky Days (1912, MIDI), A Ring On The Finger Is Worth Two On The Phone (1911), On A Monkey Honeymoon (1909 scorch format) and While Others Are Building Castles In The Air in 1919, The Girl I Left Behind Before, with Bob Miller (1937), The Statue of Liberty Is Smiling, with Halsey K. Mohr, (1918), Good bye Betty Brown, with Theodore Morse (1910), and The Ghost of The Terrible Blues, with Harry Von Tilzer in 1916.
Hear this "original" Summertime (Scorch format)
Looks like we'll have to wait a while though as this song gets us close, but no cigar. All fussing aside, this song is one of the real gems of discovery this month. Aside from a great cover that depicts the times, the music and lyrics are among the many masterworks to come from Williams and Gumble. The song is a great novelty song with music and lyrics that mesh perfectly to set the humorous mood of the song. The melody is great and the lyrics tell the story of a couple in wintertime wishing for and planning ahead for summertime. Be sure to use the scorch player to listen to and watch the music and lyrics. This one is my runner-up for discovery of the month.
Albert Gumble (b. 1883 - d.1946) . Gumble not only wrote original music but he also arranged for many of Tin Pan Alley's most prominent composers including; Percy Wenrich, Alfred Bryan, Gus Kahn, Edward Madden, Bud D. Sylva and Jack Yellen. He wrote the music for at least one Broadway musical, Red Pepper in 1922 as well as a number of single hits during the Tin Pan Alley days. Albert Gumble's best known single work work is Bolo Rag (1908) however his credits also include Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1914), The Wedding of the Sunshine and the Rose (1915), If You'll Come Back to my Garden of Love (1917), I'll Do it all over Again (1914) and The Chanticleer Rag.
Harry Williams (b. 1879, Minn. - d. 1922,
Calif.) Williams is considered an important early Tin Pan Alley lyricist
who collaborated with several of the greatest composers of the time including
Niel Moret, Jean Schwartz and most frequently with Egbert Van Alstyne.
He also collaborated on several Broadway scores including A Yankee
Circus On Mars (1905), Girlies (1910) and A Broken Idol
(1909). He began his musical industry career in vaudeville with Van
Alstyne and then they began writing songs together. Williams formed his
own publishing company and also became a director of silent movies in
1914. Among his most important and lasting hits are; In The Shade Of
The Old Apple Tree, Goodnight Ladies, It's A Long Way To
Tipperary and Mickey.(Scorch
format) (Essential facts from Kinkle, V. 3, p. 1960)
Enjoy this great summer song (Scorch format)
The second memorable blockbuster hit featured this month is another that has one of the most memorable melody and lyric combination of all time. Certainly the most memorable of the "seashore" songs. I'm not sure there is very much that can be said about this song. I know that in my childhood, every man, woman and child knew this song and kids often sang it when at the seashore or just when having fun. I suppose kids don't do that much anymore and we're all the poorer for it.
The song was introduced in vaudeville by the Stanford Brothers (not them on the cover) and ever since has been in the repertoire. It has played a part in several films including the Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), Atlantic City (1944) and Some Like It Hot (1959). Most people know the song as simply "By The Sea" from the chorus line but as you can see, it is a bit more than that. I also once again draw your attention to the cover art. Look at the way those folks are dressed on the beach! Suits, long dresses and bloomer bathing suits. I hate to harp on it, but how did they ever cool down?
In 1914, he wrote By the Beautiful Sea, with lyric by Harold Atteridge. In 1918, Carroll produced his own Broadway musical Oh, Look!, and the classic I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, (Scorch format) was written with the lyric by Joseph McCarthy. Harry married Anna Wheaton, and the two starred in vaudeville for many years. After the decline of vaudeville, Harry was a 'single' act in various cafes, where he sang his own songs. From 1914 through 1917, Harry was the director of ASCAP. Carroll is a Songwriters' Hall of Fame member.
Listen to this great seashore piece (Scorch format)
Well at least now we're dressed somewhat more appropriately and closer to the water. With another "summertime" title, Caddigan and Brennan have produced for us a workmanlike result in a song with a strong melody and enjoyable lyric. The music is soothing and pleasant but to me it's a little dated, seemingly more from the 1890's than the period right before the great war. The verse is not particularly memorable but the chorus has a nice sound to it and you can just imagine sitting in the shade (or on the beach) just relaxing. The second verse gets a little nostalgic and laments the end of summer and the onset of winter. It won't knock your socks off but it will be a pleasant experience for you.
J. Kiern Brennan ( b. 1873, San Francisco, d. 1948, Hollywood) began his musical career as a vaudevillian singer and turned to writing lyrics. His biggest hit was A Little Bit Of Heaven, Sure They Call It Ireland, written for the stage show The Heart Of Paddy Wack in 1914. The music for that song was by Ernest R. Ball and with that start, the two teamed for a long line of songs that were popular and lasting hits. Though Ball did write some songs on his own and a few with other lyricists, Brennan in generally considered to be Ball's chief lyricist. As a youth, Brennan worked as a cowboy and took part in the Klondike gold rush. He worked as a singer in a number of Chicago publishing houses and also wrote a number of stage show scores including White Lilacs (1928), Boom! Boom! (1929) and Luana (1929). In 1929, he focused his efforts on writing songs for Hollywood.
Listen to this great summer seashore song (Scorch format)
Ahh, at last we can cool off in the water! This song is my discovery of the month, one of those songs that you've never heard of and just blows you away. It's not often that a song makes me laugh out loud, but this one did. I hope you'll see why when you give it a listen. The lyrics by Lamb are completely unlike most of his other work which was much more serious and almost classical in style. One need only listen to Asleep In The Deep (we featured the German version on our site a few years ago, Des Seemanns Los (Scorch Format).
This song is a musical delight beyond my limited summertime expectations. It was not the lyrics as much as the music that made me so delighted. The lyrics are cute and fun (except for the darker side of relationships, infidelity) but is the creative writing of Solman that makes this song. The simulated splash in the introduction and at the end of the chorus is a touch of genius although sound effects were often used in some songs, this one simply adds to the joyfulness of the song. The transition to the chorus is downright funny in its cliche-like humor and the chorus is one that can get stuck in your head and haunt you for a long time. I warn you, this song is infectious and if you listen, it will stay with you for a while. Enjoy it and we wish you a fun summer from all of us at The Parlor Songs Academy.
Alfred Solman (1868 - 1937) Was one of Tin Pan Alley's more prolific lyricists who collaborated with a number of composers. In spite of his output, little biographical information is available for him. His most successful work is probably his 1916 song, There's a Quaker Down in Quaker Town. Other works from his pen include; The Bird On Nellie's Hat, 1906; Why Did You Make Me Care, 1912; In the Sweet Long Ago, 1916; The Heart You Lost in Maryland, You'll Find in Tennessee, 1907; My Lonely Lola Lo (In Hawaii), 1916 and In the Valley of the Moon, 1913.
Arthur J. Lamb (b. 1870, Somerset, England - d. 1928, Providence, R.I.) is perhaps most well known as the lyricist for the famous and still popular, Asleep In The Deep (for a German version, see Des Seemanns Los in our feature about music of the sea). This song though, was his best selling hit song at the time. As with many songwriters, Lamb followed up the success of "Asleep" with At The Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea in 1899 and another sea themed song, Out Where The Billows Roll High (Scorch format) in 1901, both with music by W.H. Petrie. Other popular songs by Lamb include Dreaming Of Mother And Home, 1898, When The Bell In The Lighthouse Rings Ding, Dong, 1905, The Bird On Nellie's Hat, 1905, You Splash Me and I'll Splash You, 1907 and the 1917 War song, Good Luck To The USA.
Listen to this great old song (Scorch format)
This article published July, 2005 and is Copyright © 2005 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author or an officer of the corporation. Though the songs published on this site are often in the Public Domain, MIDI renditions are protected by copyright as recorded performances.
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