The second disc in our tribute to the early works of Berlin. Having only written single numbers up to and including his success with Alexander's Ragtime Band in 1911, Berlin wrote his first complete score for a musical show with 1914's Watch Your Step. A critical success, this would ultimately lead to his building his own theater, The Music Box, in 1921, ushering in annual Music Box Revues, which ran through 1924.
This volume contains a number of the songs written and introduced in those shows.
About the Early Berlin Songs on Vol. 2
1. 1914 Medley
I Want To Go Back To Michigan, Along Came Ruth, and He's a Rag Picker all hits of 1914. Of course, Berlin was so popular that compilations of his songs were important marketing tools for his publishing company. In this case, we have created such a compilation for a medley of some of his most captivating tunes from the early years. Consider this your appetizer for the rest of your listening pleasure.
2. Lady of the Evening - 1922
Copyrighted November 2, 1922. Another song written especially for the Music Box Revue. Sung by Leila Richard, Sherry Marchall, Fraun Koski, Trudde Marr, Dorothy Durland, Helen Lyons, Claire Hooper, Evelyn Oliphant, Helene Gardner, and Myrtle Thoreau as the Ladies of the Evening. Rarely heard today, the song is one written by Berlin as the end of his early years carme and his style had thoroughly developed into his ability to write hit after hit in a style that was so purely his own that just hearing the song one could guess the author.
3. Mandy – 1919
Copyrighted June 26, 1919. A tune from the Follies of 1919. Derived from Berlin's song The Sterling Moon, written in 1918 for Yip, Yip, Yaphank
4. The Syncopated Walk – 1914
Copyrighted December 2, 1914. Written for Watch Your Step, Berlin's first full musical score. In the Victorian era, it was considered unseemly for couples to dance in public, other than the Waltz. By 1914, there was an explosion of new dances, hence Berlin's reference to "the dancing craze" in the verse.
5. When That Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves For Alabam’-1912
Copyrighted November 2, 1912. As usual, Berlin crafts a memorable song that musically is interesting and has neat lyrics. His use of cue notes, triplets and little ornaments throughout the song add interest and demonstrate this man's genius. There was no "midnight" choo-choo to Alabam'. It left at 12:15
6. My Sweetie – 1917
Copyrighted October 11, 1917. This song shows Berlin in a happier mood, telling us a story of a young gent who's been visited by Cupid and has fallen in love. A tune representative of the popular music being produced just before the U. S. entered World War I. Berlin published this cute and wonderful ballad in 1917, a year when Berlin was starring at the Hippodrome in New York and billed as the "Ragtime King". How strange since Berlin had never even written a true Ragtime tune
7. Nobody Knows and Nobody Seems To Care – 1919
Copyrighted September 30, 1919. Sung by Berlin himself in vaudeville at the Palace Theater in New York the week of October 13, 1919
8. You've Got Your Mother's Big Blue Eyes – 1913
Copyrighted September 12, 1913. Sung in vaudeville by Pauline Welsh. On some original sheet music there is a large photo of Helene Vincent with the caption "Successfully introduced by Helene Vincent".
9. Some Sunny Day – 1922
Copyrighted March 25, 1922. Another of the nostalgic songs about longing to be back home that were the staple of the day
10. Tell Me Little Gypsy – 1920
Copyrighted June 21, 1920. Introduced by John Steele and Delyle Alda. The most popular song in the Follies of 1920.
11. At the Picture Show – 1913
Copyrighted January 20, 1913. Co-written with E. Ray Goetz, brother of Berlin's first wife, Dorothy. Although Thomas Edison invented the motion picture projector in the 1800s, it took quite a while before the technology was adapted to allow the motion picture industry to be created. Marcus Lowe was the owner of the largest chain of theaters in the country. One of the few songs for which we cannot find the original cover
12. He Played It On His Fid, Fid, Fiddle Dee-Dee – 1912
Copyrighted on May 27, 1912 under this title. Also co-written with E. Ray Goetz.Copyrighted on June 12. 1912 with the title saying simply Fid, Fid, Fiddle Dee-Dee. The second song has slightly different lyrics in the verse
13. Everybody's Doing It Now – 1911
Copyrighted November 2, 1911. Many of the early sheet music covers bear the legend "As sung by Lydia Barry at the Winter Garden in New York".
14. The Ragtime Violin – 1911
Copyrighted October 6, 1911. Another of the early plays on the Ragtime theme. Top selling recording by the American Quartet (Victor).
15. When I Leave The World Behind – 1915
Copyrighted May 15, 1915. "Respectfully dedicated to the memory of Charles Lounsbury whose legacy suggested this song". Another of Berlin's most beautiful ballads
16. Won't You Play a Simple Melody – 1914
Copyrighted December 2, 1914. Another tune written for Watch Your Step. An example of Berlin's use of "counterpoint", two different melodies written to fit together in one song. Introduced by Sallie Fisher and Charles King. Rich and Debbie's duet of this song is an absolute delight.
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