1919: "Jazzin' Around and Paintin' the Town"
Various Artists

Various Artists: 1919: "Jazzin' Around and Paintin' the Town"

25 selections from 1919, the year the White Sox threw the World Series and the nation experienced one of the largest labor strikes in history. Highlights include Marion Harris' "After You've Gone," John Steel's "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," Billy Murray's "The Alcoholic Blues" and hits by some of the leading dance orchestras of the day. The set includes a 24-page full-color booklet with an interpretive historical essay on key events of the year and notes on all of the selections. List price: $17.49


  • Catalogue number: ARCH 9019
  • UPC: 778632906662
  • Original release date: September 9, 2014
  • Running length: 25 tracks / 77 minutes
  • Notes & packaging: Includes a 24-page full-color booklet
  • Tracks recorded: 1918-1919
  • Contains racially derogatory language
  • In Archeophone’s Phonographic Yearbook series
Tracks and Sound SamplesProduct DescriptionPackage DealsMore by these Artists
 Sample all tracks 
1. After You’ve Gone Marion Harris 1918
2. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles Selvin’s Novelty Orchestra 1919
3. Till We Meet Again Albert Campbell and Henry Burr 1918
4. Oui, Oui Marie (Wee, Wee, Marie) Arthur Fields 1918
5. How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm? (After They’ve Seen Paree) Nora Bayes 1918
6. Tell Me Al Jolson 1919
7. Beautiful Ohio Henry Burr 1918
8. It’s Nobody’s Business but My Own Bert Williams 1919
9. Nobody Knows (and Nobody Seems to Care) Irving and Jack Kaufman 1919
10. Mandy Gus Van and Joe Schenck 1919
11. A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody John Steel 1919
12. That Wonderful Mother of Mine Henry Burr 1919
13. Till We Meet Again Charles Hart and Lewis James 1918
14. The Vamp Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra 1919
15. A Good Man Is Hard to Find Marion Harris 1919
16. The Alcoholic Blues Billy Murray 1919
17. Ja-Da (Ja Da, Ja Da, Jing Jing!) Arthur Fields 1918
18. Beautiful Ohio Waldorf-Astoria Dance Orchestra 1918
19. Oh! What a Pal Was Mary Henry Burr 1919
20. I’ll Say She Does Al Jolson 1918
21. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles Albert Campbell and Henry Burr 1919
22. When You Look in the Heart of a Rose John McCormack 1919
23. The Rose of No Man’s Land Charles Hart and Elliott Shaw 1918
24. O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? Bert Williams 1918
25. Till We Meet Again Nicholas Orlando’s Orchestra 1919

1919: “Jazzin’ Around and Paintin’ the Town” brings you 25 selections from the year Americans returned from war, the White Sox threw the World Series, and labor strife swept the nation. Having “done their bit” and denied raises during the war effort, workers across the country were ready to get their due in peacetime, but business owners resisted. In February 1919, a general strike in Seattle, noteworthy for its peaceful and orderly conduct, brought the city to a standstill. Huge strikes in the coal and steel industries followed later in the year, and they all were denounced as the work of Bolshevists–a growing sentiment that unleashed a Red Scare throughout the land. The Chicago White Sox also couldn’t petition for raises, and they certainly couldn’t strike back then, so several players conspired with gamblers to throw the World Series. They would become known as the Chicago Black Sox.

The music that provided the soundtrack to this season of unrest is notable for its rueful character–even the numbers from the wildly successful Ziegfeld Follies of 1919. Waltzes and minor keys dominate the post-war soundscape, but the tone is thoughtful and never turns mawkish. Many of the songs–“After You’ve Gone,” “I’ll Say She Does,” “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody” and others–are all-time classics. Others were so popular as to require the inclusion here of multiple interpretations. In Henry Burr’s hands, “Beautiful Ohio” is a haunting ballad, while Joseph Knecht’s Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra makes it a brisk, muscular waltz. Campbell and Burr sing “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” with mist in their eyes, while Ben Selvin’s Novelty Orchestra make it a playful dance that highlights the xylophone. And “Till We Meet Again” was the biggest hit of all, a fitting coda to mark the end of World War I. Top performers include Marion Harris, Arthur Fields, Nora Bayes, Bert Williams, and Al Jolson, along with the pre-jazz sound of Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra doing “The Vamp,” and Billy Murray crying in “The Alcoholic Blues” about the coming of Prohibition.

The seventeenth volume in Archeophone’s popular Phonographic Yearbook series, 1919: “Jazzin’ Around and Paintin’ the Town” features our customary 24-page full-color booklet, loaded with notes and illustrations and the pristine sound you’ve come to expect. It’s one of the best yet!

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