Shine on Harvest Moon

"Shine on Harvest Moon" was first published in 1908 by performers Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth; although, apparently there is some controversy as to the actual composers. This song is one of many moon-themed songs of the era.

The song has enjoyed long-term popularity. In addition to being featured in many films, there are at least two movies with the same title as the song; a 1938 western starring Roy Rogers, and a 1944 bio pic about Bayes and Norworth. It has been recorded by many performers throughout the 20th century and continues to be a popular choice more than a century later.

I'm using sheet music from 1918 that includes chords for uke in D. Since I'm playing a soprano ukulele tuned in C and singing it in the original key, I'm ignoring the chord shapes and just reading the chord names. As with many songs of the tin-pan-alley era, the chorus is more well known than the verses, but I've decided to sing the first verse as well.

Here it is in honor of this week's harvest moon, and the autumnal equinox. Enjoy!

Let Me Call You Sweetheart (I'm in Love with You)

In honor of Valentine's day, here's a little love song. "Let Me Call You Sweetheart (I'm in Love with You)" is a popular tune from 1910 with music by Leo Friedman and words by Beth Slater Whitson. I'm playing from the 1912 sheet music, which includes ukulele chords along with the piano accompaniment. I made a few minor adjustments, but I'm basically playing and singing as written. You may have heard this song in a recent episode of Downton Abbey (series 3, episode 2).

After You've Gone

"After You've Gone" was written in 1918 by Creamer and Layton. The 1918 recording by Marion Harris was a hit. It has become a jazz standard performed by many others including Ella Fitzgerald and Fats Waller. I've decided to include the first verse and the refrain (which often stands on its own). I'm also trying out a new mic. I think the sound is much better, but I'm sure I'll find ways to tweak it as I use it more.

Give My Regards to Broadway

Here's another tin pan alley tune for my public domain project. This one is perhaps the most famous of those I've recorded so far. George M. Cohan wrote this tune for his musical Little Johnny Jones in 1904; wherein he sang this song in the title role. It has been performed by many, including Billy Murray in a 1904 recording, James Cagney for the 1942 movie Yankee Doodle Dandy, and Judy Garland in 1966 for the Sammy Davis, Jr. Show.

All By Myself

It's been a whole week since I've posted! I'm working on several posts, but none are ready quite yet. Here's my latest video to tide you over.

This song is a gem by Irving Berlin from 1921. Early recordings of "All By Myself" were by Aileen Stanley and Earnest Hare, but it's been recorded by many others including Ella Fitzgerald. It had a resurgence in popularity in the late 1940s when Bing Crosby sang it in the film Blue Skies.

Video Project

This is the first post as part of my new project to find performing outlets. In the internet age that can include Youtube. I've already made several videos and I'm having lots of fun doing it. The only rules are that I perform any instruments used and that the work must be in the public domain. This performance isn't perfect, but the goal isn't perfection, the goal is to do it.

I've been teaching myself ukulele for a while and I've also been interested in tin pan alley songs. This video combines the two. It's "Look for the Silver Lining," music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Buddy DeSylva. This was made famous by Judy Garland in the mid-twentieth century, but was originally written in 1920.

I'll be posting more videos in the coming days and weeks, but if you'd like to view more sooner check out my Youtube channel. Enjoy!