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“Swanee” by Al Jolson

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“Swanee” by Al Jolson


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“Swanee” by Al Jolson


     
 

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    “Swanee” by Al Jolson is a jazz song.
    “Swanee” is an American popular song written in 1919 by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Irving Caesar. It is most often associated with singer Al Jolson.

    Song Title: Swanee
    Artist: Al Jolson
    Genre: jazz, Broadway
    Composer: Copyright © 1919 music: George Gershwin; lyrics: Irving Caesar
    Lead Vocals: Al Jolson
    Recorded: January 8, 1920
    Released: 1920
    Label: Columbia A 2884, matrix 78917-2

    This song is the number one (1) greatest 1920s popular song according to Digital Dream Door’s Bruce.

    Number of listens: 9735
    Current rank: 624 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 530 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)

Translations courtesy of Apple and Google.

 
     

    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Swanee” is an American popular song written in 1919 by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Irving Caesar. It is most often associated with singer Al Jolson.

    The song was written for a New York City revue called Demi-Tasse, which opened in October 1919 in the Capitol Theater. Caesar and Gershwin, who was then aged 20, claimed to have written the song in about ten minutes riding on a bus in Manhattan, and then at Gershwin’s apartment. It was written partly as a parody of Stephen Foster’s “Old Folks at Home”. It was originally used as a big production number, with 60 chorus girls dancing with electric lights in their slippers on an otherwise darkened stage.

    The song had little impact in its first show, but not long afterwards Gershwin played it at a party where Al Jolson heard it. Jolson then put it into his show Sinbad, already a success at the Winter Garden Theatre, and recorded it for Columbia Records in January 1920. “After that,” said Gershwin, “Swanee penetrated the four corners of the earth.”. The song was charted in 1920 for 18 weeks holding No. 1 position for nine. It sold a million sheet music copies, and an estimated two million records. It became Gershwin’s first hit and the biggest-selling song of his career; the money he earned from it allowed him to concentrate on theatre work and films rather than writing further single pop hits. Arthur Schwartz said: “It’s ironic that he never again wrote a number equaling the sales of Swanee, which for all its infectiousness, doesn’t match the individuality and subtlety of his later works.”

    Jolson recorded the song several times in his career, and performed it in the movies The Jolson Story (1946), Rhapsody in Blue (1946), and Jolson Sings Again (1949). For the song’s performance in The Jolson Story, Jolson, rather than actor Larry Parks, appeared as himself, filmed in long shot. Although usually associated with Jolson, “Swanee” has been recorded by many other singers, most notably Judy Garland in A Star Is Born. Rufus Wainwright performs the song on his 2007 album, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall. In 1979 “Swanee” was performed by the Muppets.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that ThisSideofSanity.com applied to this block of text)

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