Pop Memories 1900-1940


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Walk through the emergence of ragtime, blues, country, jazz, big-band, and gospel music in this artist-by-artist anthology of the top-selling songs and artists from this formative era.  Complementing invaluable chart data are B-sides, artist bios, photos, awards, and big bonus sections.

Joel scrutinized every line and detail of the research which begins when the newly formed recording industry became firmly established.


  • INCREASED ACCURACY – Joel checked every artist and title in the book against each record’s original label, and made sure they matched.
  • B-SIDES now appear for every title, except for single-faced discs and cylinder records, nearly doubling the amount of songs of that era! Some B-sides are better remembered than their A-sides as noted by their historical awards.
  • UPDATED BIOS for every artist
  • PHOTOS of the top 100+ artists are shown next to their bios (a peek at these long lost rulers of the charts!)
  • AWARDS – All songs recognized by the Grammy Hall of Fame, the National Recording Registry (NRR) and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are noted; those that did not chart are designated after the discography.
  • FEATURED VOCALISTS are listed alphabetically after the bio of orchestras with many hits. ORCHESTRAS are listed alphabetically after the bio of featured vocalists with many hits.
  • TOP 3 or 5 HITS are listed after the bio of artists charting 10-20+ hits.
  • #1 HITS are shaded
  • REINVIGORATED – fresh format, font and size brings this edition up to date with our recent books.

BONUS sections include:

·  Music History Chronology, 1800-1940

·  Classic Songs By Year, 1500-1889

·  50 Most Important Records, 1890-1899

·  Record Label Capsule Histories, 1887-1940

·  Chart Synopsis, 1900-1940

·  Top 150 Artists / Top 100 Songs

·  #1 Hits (all 573 titles in chronological order)

The research in this book ends with Billboard’s “Record Buying Guide” of July 20, 1940. All chart hits from 1940 that were covered in the old edition of Pop Memories and our Billboard-based book Pop Hits Singles & Albums 1940-1954 are in this new edition right up through that date of July 20, 1940.

So, what’s this amazing era all about? It’s got everything!

  • Blues – Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, W.C. Handy, Ma Rainey, Mamie Smith, Ethel Waters ….
  • Country – Uncle Dave Macon, Jimmie Rodgers, Patsy Montana, The Carter Family, Fiddlin’ John Carson, Charlie Poole ….
  • Jazz – Nick LaRocca’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller ….
  • Big Band – Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Eddy Duchin, Leo Reisman, Glenn Miller ….
  • Vocalists – Billy Murray, Byron G. Harlan, John McCormack, Harry Macdonough, Henry Burr, Ada Jones, Arthur Collins, Al Jolson ….
  • Classical – Caruso, Arturo Toscanini, Fritz Kreisler, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra ….
  • Ragtime – Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake, Jelly Roll Morton, Fred Van Eps ….
  • Orchestras – Paul Whiteman, Ben Selvin, Ted Lewis, Isham Jones, Nat Shilkret, Fred Waring ….
  • Hotel dance bands – Charles Agnew & His Stevens Hotel Orch., Ben Bernie & His Hotel Roosevelt Orch., Earl Burtnett & His Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Orch. ….
  • Gospel – Fisk Univ. Jubilee Quartet, Thomas A. Dorsey, Paul Robeson ….
  • Harmonic Quartets – Peerless, American, Haydn ….
  • Originals – early recordings of later hits such as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (which is now shown as a 1939 record known as “Mbube,” a non-charted Grammy Hall Of Fame winner)

For the WHOLE HISTORY of American charted recordings, get this essential reference while it’s here and not an out-of-stock memory. Here’s a sampling of a few of the 800+ artists from this exciting era of American popular music that must never be forgotten … Rudy Vallee, Gene Austin, Billie Holiday, Billy Murray, Al Jolson, Paul Whiteman, Ted Lewis, Ethel Waters, John McCormack, Larry Clinton, Sophie Tucker, Peerless Quartet, Henry Burr, Bessie Smith, Isham Jones, Fred Waring, Ben Selvin, George Olson, Ada Jones, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Vincent Lopez, Jan Garber, Ben Bernie, Wayne King, Bing Crosby, Kate Smith, Benny Goodman, Jimmie Grier, The Boswell Sisters, Ruth Etting, Ozzie Nelson, Fats Waller, Eddy Duchin, Hal Kemp …


Additional information

Weight 2.25 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 1 × 11 in




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