Songs from the Year 1921

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This page lists the top songs of 1921 in the source charts. The way that the various charts are combined to reach this final list is described on the in the site generation page.

Between 1920 and 1940 there are few available charts (at least that we can find). These results should be treated with some caution since, with few exceptions, they are based on fairly subjective charts and biased towards the USA.

The top ten song artists of 1921 were:

1:Paul Whiteman2:Marion Harris3:Ted Lewis & his Orchestra4:Frank Crumit5:Nora Bayes
6:Ben Selvin7:Original Dixieland Jazz Band8:Al Jolson9:Aileen Stanley10:Van & Schenck
# Artist Song Title Year Chart Entries
1 Marion Harris I Ain't Got Nobody 1921 US BB 1 of 1921, POP 1 of 1921, US Billboard 3 - Jun 1921 (7 weeks), Brazil 18 of 1922, nuTsie 45 of 1920s, RYM 21 of 1921
2 Nora Bayes Make Believe 1921 US Billboard 1 - Jun 1921 (10 weeks), ASCAP song of 1921, Brazil 7 of 1922, US BB 13 of 1921, POP 16 of 1921
3 Van & Schenck Ain't We Got Fun? 1921 US Billboard 1 - Aug 1921 (9 weeks), US BB 2 of 1921, POP 2 of 1921, Brazil 23 of 1922, nuTsie 79 of 1920s
4 Eddie Cantor Margie 1921 US Billboard 1 - Feb 1921 (12 weeks), Brazil 7 of 1921, US BB 11 of 1921, POP 12 of 1921, nuTsie 90 of 1920s, RYM 55 of 1920
5 Paul Whiteman Song of India 1921 US Billboard 1 - Aug 1921 (14 weeks), US BB 4 of 1921, POP 4 of 1921, Brazil 31 of 1922
6 Marion Harris Look For The Silver Lining 1921 US Billboard 1 - Apr 1921 (10 weeks), US BB 12 of 1921, POP 14 of 1921, Brazil 34 of 1922, RYM 22 of 1921
7 Paul Whiteman Say it With Music 1921 US Billboard 1 - Nov 1921 (14 weeks), US BB 15 of 1921, POP 20 of 1921, Brazil 29 of 1922, RYM 10 of 1921
8 Ted Lewis & his Orchestra All By Myself 1921 US Billboard 1 - Sep 1921 (12 weeks), US BB 6 of 1921, POP 15 of 1921, Brazil 21 of 1922
9 Al Jolson O-H-I-O (O-My-O!) 1921 US Billboard 1 - Apr 1921 (7 weeks), US BB 5 of 1921, POP 5 of 1921, RYM 48 of 1921
10 Al Jolson Avalon 1921 US Billboard 2 - Nov 1920 (9 weeks), POP 11 of 1921, Europe 14 of the 1930s (1920), Brazil 22 of 1921, RYM 47 of 1921
11 Paul Whiteman Cherie 1921 US Billboard 1 - Jul 1921 (12 weeks), POP 6 of 1921, Brazil 20 of 1922, RYM 46 of 1921
12 Isham Jones Wabash Blues 1921 US Billboard 1 - Dec 1921 (12 weeks), US BB 9 of 1921, POP 9 of 1921, RYM 23 of 1921
13 Paul Whiteman My Mammy 1921 US Billboard 1 - May 1921 (12 weeks), POP 18 of 1921, Brazil 27 of 1922, RYM 20 of 1921
14 Billy Murray & Billy Jones Down By the O-HI-O 1921 US Billboard 2 - Mar 1921 (5 weeks), US BB 7 of 1921, POP 7 of 1921
15 Ethel Waters There'll Be Some Changes Made 1921 US Billboard 5 - Dec 1921 (5 weeks), US BB 10 of 1922, POP 10 of 1922, RYM 8 of 1921
16 Marion Harris I'm a Jazz Vampire 1921 US Billboard 8 - Feb 1921 (2 weeks), US BB 10 of 1921, POP 10 of 1921, RYM 14 of 1920
17 Aileen Stanley My Man (Mon Homme) 1921 US Billboard 7 - Aug 1921 (2 weeks), US BB 8 of 1921, POP 8 of 1921
18 Paul Whiteman My Man (Mon Homme) 1921 US Billboard 2 - Jul 1921 (7 weeks), Brazil 28 of 1922, RYM 46 of 1921
19 Paul Whiteman Bright Eyes 1921 US Billboard 2 - Apr 1921 (7 weeks), POP 13 of 1921, RYM 9 of 1921
20 Aileen Stanley My Mammy 1921 US Billboard 8 - Jun 1921 (2 weeks), US BB 14 of 1921, POP 18 of 1921
21 Bahiano Esta Nega Que Me Da 1921 Brazil 1 of 1921
22 Richard Crooks Arise O Sun 1921 Peel list 1 of 1921
23 Ted Lewis & his Orchestra Second Hand Rose 1921 US Billboard 2 - Nov 1921 (7 weeks), Brazil 30 of 1922
24 William Jennings Bryan Cross of Gold 1921 Library of Congress artifact (1921)
25 Paul Whiteman Caresses 1921 US Billboard 5 - Mar 1921 (5 weeks), POP 19 of 1921, RYM 90 of 1929
26 Paul Biese Trio & Frank Crumit MiMi 1921 US Billboard 10 - Oct 1921 (1 week), Brazil 12 of 1922
27 Arturo Toscanini & La Scala Orchestra Symphony in E Flat Major (Finale) 1921 US Billboard 12 - Apr 1921 (1 week), Brazil 19 of 1922
28 Paul Whiteman When Buddha Smiles 1921 US Billboard 2 - Mar 1922 (7 weeks), RYM 15 of 1921
29 Original Dixieland Jazz Band Home again blues 1921 US Billboard 2 - Apr 1921 (6 weeks), RYM 34 of 1921
30 Paul Whiteman April Showers 1921 US Billboard 2 - Feb 1922 (6 weeks), RYM 40 of 1921
31 Paul Whiteman Make Believe 1921 US Billboard 2 - May 1921 (9 weeks), RYM 77 of 1921
32 Prince's Orchestra Deep In Your Eyes 1921 US Billboard 8 - Oct 1921 (2 weeks), POP 17 of 1921
33 Patrick Waddington Night May Have It's Sadness 1921 Peel list 2 of 1921
34 Orquestra de Eduardo Souto Paixao de Artista 1921 Brazil 2 of 1921
35 Vincent Lopez I'm Just Wild About Harry 1921 US Billboard 11 - Jan 1922 (1 week), Jazz Standard 964
36 Paul Biese Trio Canadian Capers 1921 Peel list 4 of 1921, RYM 81 of 1921
37 Marion Harris I'm Nobody's Baby 1921 US Billboard 3 - Oct 1921 (8 weeks), RYM 27 of 1921
38 Paul Whiteman Learn to Smile 1921 US Billboard 3 - Sep 1921 (5 weeks), RYM 28 of 1921
39 Original Dixieland Jazz Band St Louis Blues 1921 US Billboard 3 - Aug 1921 (6 weeks), RYM 42 of 1921
40 Original Dixieland Jazz Band Palesteena 1921 US Billboard 3 - Mar 1921 (5 weeks), RYM 58 of 1921
41 Frank Crumit Sweet Lady 1921 US Billboard 3 - Dec 1921 (6 weeks), RYM 67 of 1921
42 Henry Burr & Albert Campbell Feather Your Nest 1921 US Billboard 2 - Jan 1921 (6 weeks)
43 Art Hickman Darlin' 1921 US Billboard 2 - Mar 1921 (7 weeks)
44 Vernon Dalhart Tuck Me to Sleep (In My Old 'Tucky Home) 1921 US Billboard 2 - Dec 1921 (7 weeks)
45 Leopoldo Froes Mimosa 1921 Brazil 3 of 1921
46 Alfred Lester Ours is a Nice 'ouse Ours Is 1921 Peel list 3 of 1921
47 Paul Whiteman Gypsy Blues 1921 US Billboard 4 - Mar 1922 (4 weeks), RYM 15 of 1921
48 Benson Orchestra of Chicago Bimini Bay 1921 US Billboard 4 - Jan 1922 (4 weeks), RYM 41 of 1921
49 Paul Whiteman Canadian Capers 1921 US Billboard 4 - Dec 1921 (5 weeks), RYM 41 of 1921
50 Paul Whiteman Do You Ever Think of Me? 1921 US Billboard 4 - May 1921 (4 weeks), RYM 76 of 1921

Comment on the contents of the 'Songs from the Year 1921' page
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Previous Comments (newest first)

22 May 2012

# 17 You Can't Keep a Good Man Down

Mamie Smith recorded this song twice. The 1920 recording OKay 4113 is a vocal by Mamie. The 1921 recording OKay 4305 is an instrumental by her Jazz Hounds and is the recording that charted. If this is the recording you are targeting, it should properly belong in the 1921 listing.

We suspect you are correct, however the RYM listing has Mamie Smith as the artist for the 1920 hit (probably wrongly as you say). The year a song is assigned to is the median of all the years of charts it shows up in, the median of 1920 & 1921 is 1920, that is why it is listed here.

This is one of those cases where the data looks wrong but we feel the case is (as they say in Scotland) "unproven". So we are going to add a note (this one) but leave the data as it was originally found.


15 Mar 2012

MY PARENTS SONG

IV,E BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS TOO. I USED TO SING IT IN MY TEENS 1948 TO 1952. FOUND UGLY CHILE BY JOHNNY MERCER WORDS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT.1999. WOULD ALSO LIKE TO FIND ORIGINAL


24 Aug 2011

27 Make Believe

Bing Crosby did not join the Whiteman band until late 1926. He did record this song with members on the Whiteman band in 1929, but the 1921 Whiteman recording is instrumental only.

You are correct, the entries have been changed, thanks for the correction.


19 Aug 2011

Probable Duplicate

#20 Nora Bayes and #29 Charles Prince AHO version of "Make Believe" are probably the same song. Nora sang the vocal for the Charles Prince recording.

Thanks again for the great website!

You are correct, the data has been fixed, thanks for the suggestion.


15 Aug 2011

My Parents Song

I have no idea what year this song was released, and the only lines of the lyrics I remember are: "Your teeth are yellow who's your fellow your some ugly child"

Hope someone can help !!


29 May 2011

Error Found - Marion Harris

You have an incorrect song title listed for Marion Harris.

Your database listing: "Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad)" - 1920 US Billboard 4 - Dec 1920 (6 weeks), RYM 31 of 1920 - this This song was recorded and attributed to the Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) Broadway Rose/Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad)/Strut, Miss Lizzie, 1920, Victor 18722 See Wikipedia, Original Dixieland Jass Band

The Correct Song title for the Marion Harris Song is "Sweet Papa, Your Mama's Getting Mad." She evidently recorded this Rose/Little/ Frost song on 8-31-1920 in New York, NY on for Columbia A3300.

I don't know if your US Billboard information is attributable to the ODJB band or to Marion Harris. I didn't research it any further.

K. Kapral

The song is listed under the Original Dixieland Jass Band as well as Marion Harris' version.

Both the original source for the Billboard data (the Bullfrog spreadsheet) and the current RYM web site list Columbia A3300 as "Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad)". By seraching for "Columbia A3300" on Google we found a 78 for sale on eBay which has a picture of the label from Columbia A3300 which clearly shows the title as "Sweet Mamma (Papa's Getting Mad)" (we ignore the extra 'M' of course).

So we think your information is wrong, Marion Harris may well have recorded a song called "Sweet Papa, Your Mama's Getting Mad" but we think that is not "Columbia A3300" and it is not the song that reached number 4 in the Billboard charts.