Back in this era, songs were ranked by the number of sheet music sales for each song sold. Also, during this period, phonograph discs and cylinders were produced and were included in tabulating the popularity of a song. During 1910-1919, the introduction of two sided songs on a disc made big headlines being able to get two songs for the price of one. The costs of records in this decade were between 35 to 50 cents.
News Headlines In The Decade
In the news during this decade saw the sinking of the Titanic, the beginning and ending of World War I, the election of Woodrow Wilson, the first democrat to be elected president since Grover Cleveland. And in sports, the Black Sox Scandal took place in 1919 during the World Series in baseball.
In July of 1913, Billboard begins regular surveys of the most popular music in Vaudeville. Then, in September of 1914, Talking Machine World prints its first monthly list of the best-selling records for each major record company.
Many new artists were coming into their own and providing a ray of sunshine with many of the top hits like “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”, By The Light Of The Silvery Moon, “For Me And My Gal”, and Down By The Old Mill Stream, hit #1, and are still being recorded today.
In unrelated news, now there is a way to preserve your vinyl records and convert them to the CD format. Click here for more information.
Interesting Music Facts about This Decade
- All the songs on the list were a #1 hit for a minimum of 2 weeks.
- There were a total of 127 songs that reached the #1 peak position during this decade.
- The years of 1915-16-17 all tied with 11 songs on the chart.
- The artists Al Jolson and Henry Burr each had 9 songs on the chart.
- In this era the song “Last Night Was The End Of The World” holds the longevity title for being on the chart for 22 weeks.
- For a song to be in the top 10, it had to stay at #1 for a minimum of 8 weeks.
- For a song to be in the top 40, it had to say at #1 for 5 weeks.
- The biggest selling song of this decade was “Casey Jones” by Billy Murray as it sold over 2 million copies.
- The most recorded song from this decade was “St. Louis Blues” written by H.C. Handy in 1914.
- The song Over There a World War I tune, had six versions of the song released in 1917 with three of them, by different artists, peaking at #1. This is the most song titles reaching #1 in the same year for the same song in popular music history. The song also hit number 1 in 1918 by a fourth artist.
- The biggest selling sheet music songs of this era was “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” in 1910, and “Down By The Old Mill Stream” in 1910, both sold 6 million copies.
Criteria Used For Ranking The Top 100 Songs
Very simply, the highest peak position reached from all charts, number weeks the song held the #1 position, the number of weeks the song was on the charts. Most charts carried 10 positions during this era. Sources used in tabulating the top 100 were: Talking Machine World, Billboard sheet music best sellers, Sheet music sales, ASCAP, Record label publications, and Best-selling records information.
The Top 100 Songs 1910-1919
The top 100 songs will include the rank, title, artist, peak weeks (), and year of release.
Rank Title/Artist / Peak Weeks () / Year of Release
- Casey Jones / Billy Murray (11) 1910
- Just A Baby’s Prayer At Twilight / Henry Burr (11) 1918
- Alexander’s Ragtime Band / Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan (10) 1911
- Over There / American Quartet (9) 1917
- By The Light Of The Silvery Moon / Billy Murray & Haydn Quartet (9) 1910
- Till We Meet Again / Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (9) 1919
- Beautiful Ohio / Henry Burr (9) 1919
- Moonlight Bay / American Quartet (8) 1912
- Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody / Al Jolson (8) 1918
- It’s A Long, Long Way To Tipperary / John McCormack (8) 1915
- Down By The Old Mill Stream / Harry MacDonough (7) 1912
- Let Me Call You Sweetheart / Peerless Quartet (7) 1911
- When Irish Eyes Are Smiling / Chauncey Olcott (7) 1913
- When I Lost You / Henry Burr (7) 1913
- Peg O’ My Heart / Charles Harrison (7) 1913
- The Song That Stole My Heart Away / Henry Burr (7) 1914
- You Made My Love You / Al Jolson (7) 1913
- It’s A Long, Long Way To Tipperary / American Quartet (7) 1914
- I’m Falling In Love You Someone / John McCormack (7) 1911
- They Didn’t Believe Me / Olive Kline (7) 1915
- The Last Night Was The End Of The World / Henry Burr (6) 1913
- Oh! What A Pal Was Mary / Henry Burr (6) 1919
- Ragtime Cowboy Joe / Bob Roberts (6) 1912
- Where The River Shannon Flows / Harry MacDonough (6) 1910
- When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam’ / Arthur Collins & Bryon Harlan (6) 1913
- Waiting For The Robert E. Lee / Heidelberg Quartet (6) 1912
- I’m On My Way To Mandalay / Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (6) 1914
- Rebecca Of Sunny-brook Farm / American Quartet (6) 1914
- By The Beautiful Sea / Heidelberg Quartet (6) 1914
- M-O-T-H-E-R / Henry Burr (6) 1916
- Till The Clouds Roll By / Anna Wheaton & James Harrod (6) 1917
- Play That Barber Shop Chord / Bert Williams (6) 1910
- Good-Bye, Good Luck, God Bless You / Henry Burr (6) 1916
- Hello Frisco / Olive Kline & Reinald Werrenrath (6) 1915
- Poor Butterfly / Victor Military Band (6) 1917
- I’ll Say She Does / Al Jolson (6) 1919
- A Little Bit Of Heaven / George MacFarlane (5) 1915
- Cohen On The Telephone / Joe Hayman (5) 1914
- A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody / John Steel (5) 1919
- Carry Me Back To Old Virginny / Alma Gluck (5) 1915
- Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee / Ada Jones & Billy Murray (5) 1912
- I’m Always Chasing Rainbows / Charles Harrison (5) 1918
- Mother Machree / John McCormack (5) 1911
- Ragging The Baby To Sleep / Al Jolson (5) 1912
- Hello Hawaii, How Are You? / Prince’s Orchestra (5) 1916
- Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey / Arthur Collins & Byron Harlon (5) 1911
- Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag / Kinckerbacker Quartet (5) 1917
- The Spaniard That Blighted My Life / Al Jolson (5) 1913
- Under The Yum Yum Tree / Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan (5) 1911
- Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral / Chauncey Olcott (4) 1914
- Every Little Movement / Harry MacDonough (4) 1910
- I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier / Peerless Quartet (4) 1915
- Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning / Arthur Fields (4) 1918
- I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles / Ben Selvin (4) 1919
- Hush-A-Bye Ma Baby / Elsie Baker (4) 1917
- My Bird Of Paradise / Peerless Quartet (4) 1915
- Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon / Ada Jones & Billy Murray (4) 1910
- Meet Me To-night In Dreamland / Henry Burr (4) 1910
- When I Was 21 & You Were 16 / Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (4) 1912
- Send Me Away With A Smile / John McCormack (4) 1918
- My Own Iona / Hoarce Wright & Rene Dietrich (4) 1917
- Hail! Hail! The Gang’s All Here / Irving kaufman (4) 1918
- The Sunshine Of Your Smile / John McCormack (4) 1916
- There’s A Long, Long Trail / James F. Harrison & James Reed (3) 1916
- I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier / Morton Harvey (3) 1915
- Ballin’ The Jack / Prince’s Orchestra (3) 1914
- Come, Josephine, In My Flying Machine / Ada Jones & Billy Murray (3) 1911
- Till The Sand Of The Desert Grow Cold / Alan Turner (3) 1913
- The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine / Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (3) 1913
- Over There / Nora Bayes (3) 1917
- Turn Back The Universe And Give Me Yester Day / Orpheus Quartet (3) 1916
- For Me And My Gal / Van & Schenck (3) 1917
- Row! Row! Row! / Ada Jones (3) 1913
- I’m All Bound Round With The Mason Dixon Line / Al Jolson (3) 1918
- Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh! / American Quartet (3) 1917
- Love Is Mine / Enrico Caruso (3) 1912
- The Girl On The Magazine / Harry MacDonough (3) 1916
- After You’ve Gone / Marion Harris (3) 1919
- Hello Central, Give Me No Man’s Land / Al Jolson (3) 1918
- I Love The Ladies / Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan (3) 1914
- Ireland Must Be Heaven, For My Mother Came From There / Charles Harrison (3) 1916
- The Star-Spangled Banner / John McCormack (3) 1917
- I Sent My Wife To The Thousand Isles / Al Jolson (3) 1916
- If I Knock The L’ Out Of Kelly / Marguerite Farrell (3) 1916
- Over There / Enrico Caruso (3) 1918
- There’s A Quaker Down In Quaker Town / Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (3) 1916
- I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles / Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (2) 1919
- That Haunting Melody / Al Jolson (2) 1912
- Chinatown, My Chinatown / American Quarter (2) 1915
- The Aba Daba Honeymoon / Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan (2) 1914
- Carrie / Billy Murray (2) 1910
- I Love You Truly / Elsie Baker (2) 1912
- In The Valley Of Yesterday / Harry MacDonough (2) 1910
- Tiger Rag / Original Dixieland Jazz Band (2) 1918
- Come, Josephine, In My Flying Machine / Blanche Ring (2) 1911
- Close To My Heart / Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (2) 1915
- My Little Dream Girl / James F. Harrison & James Reed (2) 1915
- Till We Meet Again / Nicholas Orlando’s Orchestra (2) 1919
- Over There / Peerless Quartet (2) 1917
- Mother Machree / Will Oakland (2) 1911
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