Learn about Life in the 1920s

Popular Recordings from the Victor Records Label in 1922

Popular songs in the Victor Records catalog of January 1922 were a diverse mixture catering for all musical tastes. Songs from Broadway musicals along with nostalgic songs from former homelands across the sea, along with lighthearted comedies seemed to be the predominate offerings. We have also published a separate list of dance records from the same catalog.


Me and the Auto, It Couldn't Be Done, Wait Til Your Pa Comes Home. 10 inch, list price $1.00
To quote an admirer, Shakespeare, Shelley, Milton, Browning, Tennyson and Kipling simply " ain't in it " with Mr. Edgar A. Guest, who here presents his first Victor record. His compositions are known to the newspaper-reading public everywhere, and he has reached a place in the national life that has been accorded to few, if any, men of literary genius. Here are two characteristic numbers. "Ma and the Auto" recites one of those incidents which so electrify Flivverdom. "It Couldn't Be Done" makes an epic, in lyrical form, of the war-time declaration, "It couldn't be done—here it is!" "Wait Till Your Pa Comes Home" is father's protest against being used as a bugaboo to threaten the boy who has come home with muddy boots.

Molly O (I Love You), Love's Ship. 10 inch, list price 85c
Here is an excellent chance to hear these two popular tenors on a single record. "Molly-O" (I Love You) is not the " Molly-O" familiar to a past generation, but a new song. It is addressed, of course, to an Irish "Molly-O," who has an irresistible smile and other attractions—a natural birthright. It is by James C. Emery and Norman McNeil. "Love's Ship" is by Nellie and Alice N. Morrison. "Love's Ship" is described as a "waltz song." It is in rather slow waltz tempo, richly and abundantly scored and has a fine melody.

I Want My Mammy, Mandy 'n' Me. 10 inch, list price 85c.
"I Want My Mammy" is not simply a child's bawl for its "ma"; the record is a ballad in fox-trot tempo; and it recounts the longings of a denizen of the "Great White Way" for a Southern mammy. It has a swinging, free type of melody, a single voice, as a rule, singing a stave and the others joining in response. Near the middle of the record the fox trot breaks off while the four voices carol bits of "Put Me in My Little Bed" and "Old Black Joe." It is from "The Midnight Rounders," and is by George B. Wehner and Louis Breau. "Mandy 'n' Me" is by Bert Kalmar, Con Conrad and Otto Motzan. It will supply a bit of ginger for the forlorn soul who misses an occasional toddy.

Mary of Argyle, Auld Scotch Sangs. 10 inch, list price $1.00
Once a public speaker referred to Sir Harry Lauder as a "great humanist." A reporter got it "humorist," and the next day someone who had heard the speech wrote to the newspaper and complained. Both the speaker and the reporter were right. It is not, however, as the humorist that Sir Harry comes before Victor audiences this month. He is singing two old Scotch favorite numbers, and he is singing them in the colloquial fashion which, to those who know Scotch life and Scotch tradition, is of the very essence of pathos. "Mary of Argyle" was written by Charles Jefferys and composed by Sidney Nelson; it dates from about 1850. "0 Sing to me the Auld Scotch Sangs" is by Rev. Dr. Bethune and J. F. Leeson. Neither song calls for any special introduction; the record which includes both will brighten many a Scotch—and many an American—household.

Say it With Music, If You Only Knew. 10 inch, list price $1.00
"Say it With Music" is a recent song success; you have probably picked it up yourself on the streets, from hearing someone else whistle it, or may be you have danced to it; for it is in fox-trot time, and there is a Victor fox-trot record of it. The song is admirably scored as Mr. Steel sings it; and there is a very beautiful interlude for the violin and the 'cello. The song is by Irving Berlin—from his "Music Box Revue." "If You Only Knew" is by Neville Fleeson and Albert Von Tilzer. It is a delightful love song, in a popular style, but distinguished for all that. If you care for the purely musical side of a popular song, listen for one or two bits of trumpet counter melody in the accompaniment; they have something of the quality of great music. The refrain of the song breaks into a swinging waltz.

When Francis Dances With Me, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. 10 inch, list price 85c.
Ada Jones and Billy Murray, in "When Francis Dances," have an interesting vaudeville sketch of "tough life." Ada is engaged to Francis, who is a lovely dancer. If he does step on her toes, it doesn't seem to hurt. Although the pair have abjured the old Bowery for the cabaret district and a "Tuxedo," Francis still sleeks down his hair with suet and maintains some old habits. "When Francis Dances With Me" is by Ryan and Violinsky. "Ten Little Fingers" is the joint work of four intellects—Harry Pease, Johnny White, Ira Schuster and Ed. G. Nelson. The purport of the song is that Billy (who is living, for the occasion, in Tennessee) has just received word from home that ten little fingers and ten little toes have been added to the family. Part of the song is in fox-trot time, and part in vamp time. It ends with a funny little "Well, well!" in the orchestra.

Drifting Along With the Tide, A Dream of Your Smile. 10 inch, list price $1.00
It is always a treat to hear a frankly popular song interpreted by a singer who knows his art—who can sing it in tune, who can keep his words clear, who can "breathe out" a long phrase without clipping it through lack of breath; such things as these make the world-wide difference between the artist and the makeshift. And the public is beginning to recognize it. Lambert Murphy has two remarkably fine examples of this principle. "Drifting Along With the Tide" is naturally tuneful, but he has made it an unusually fine, melodious and spirited composition. It has a very beautiful interlude for two violins and an oboe, against the orchestra. It is by Arthur Jackson and George Gershwin, and is from "George White's Scandals." "A Dream of Your Smile" is by Con Conrad. It is a charming love song, with a lovely interlude for the violin and the 'cello, of course with the orchestra in the background.

Source: Victor Records Catalogue, January 1922.