Enduring American Song Hits

The Best Of American Popular Song,
Part One 1890 - 1910

In the music industry, ever since around 1890, we have seen the concept of "hit songs"; those that sell the most copies or in today's environment, sell the most CDs or get the most radio play. In most cases, "hit" songs come and go. Like a spring snow, they come and are soon gone and forgotten. Some are like a flash in the pan, a very short lived phenomenon, others hang on a little longer, but few endure over a span of years. Fewer yet stay in the popular repertoire for decades.

This month we begin a two part look at enduring hits; classic American songs that have enjoyed continuous popularity for decades, and now, many for over a century! These are songs that are immediately recognized by a large part of the population. Songs that many people could sing with little or no coaching that somehow have become embedded in our culture and have transcended the times in which they were written.

This month (January, 2002), we will begin with a sampling of some of the most memorable songs from the period 1890 - 1910. We will offer many new songs and point you to the many other hits we have already published. Next month, we will look at the period from 1910 to 1920, a period where lasting hits exploded on the scene in numbers never before or since seen in American popular music. We have also added a new "in search of" article that explores the concept of hit songs in more depth and from a contemporary 1910 perspective.

As with most of our features, this month's is covered on two separate pages to speed your downloads and to avoid a mile-long page. Be sure to see them BOTH to fully enjoy all of this month's music!

Go To Page One Of This Month's Feature

Works on Page One
Oh Promise Me, 1890
Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!, 1891
Hearts and Flowers, 1893
The Sidewalks of New York
, 1894
The Band Played On
A Hot Time In The Old Town, 1896

Go To Page Two Of This Month's Feature

Works on Page Two
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home, 1902
Toy Land
, 1903
In The Sweet Bye & Bye, 1904
Give My Regards to Broadway, 1904
On The Road To Mandalay, 1907
School Days, 1907

Parlor Songs is an educational website about American popular music and the history of the genre

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