Telephones were found mainly in business offices. The first airplane in the British Empire was McCurdy's Silver Dart. This same year, the first Grey Cup was played and University of Toronto defeated Parkdale.
In the first decade of the 20th century, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created, the Northwest Passage was trasversed. and Enrico Caruso made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House and Florenz Ziegfled produced his first Follies.
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home
This is one of the most popular of all ragtime songs. It was first sung in 1902 in Town Topics, a musical by Johnny Queen. Hughie Cannon was the composer of "Bill Bailey." This song became a standby for any singer who wanted a lively opening number or a grande finale.
This hit was written to publicize the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis. Others say it was for the real Bill Bailey, whose wife apparently kicked him out for his fooling around.
The popularity of this song was renewed when Judy Garland sang it in her movie Meet Me in St. Louis.
Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider
This song was written by Eddie Leonard, the last of the great minstrels. He was on the verge of losing his job with Primrose and West's Minstrels in 1903 when he sang "ida" in place of the song he was assigned. Reaction by the crowd not only guaranteed his job but was the beginning of his stardom in minstrels in vaudeville.
I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
A great success for Joe. E. Howard for fifty years after he introduced it in 1909 in The Prince of Tonight. Harold Orlob wrote the song but Howard was given the credit for forty years. Much later, Orlob was also given credit as co-composer with Howard.
Composed and written by a barbershop quartet enthusiast, Harry Armstrong. This type of musical form was encouraged by the appearance of songs giving themselves to enthusiastic, ad libbing harmonizing.
John F. Kennedy, used it as his campaign song when he ran for mayor of Boston.
Under the Bamboo Tree
A ragtime song that came out in 1902, and adapted from two different sources - the Negro spiritual "Nobody Knows the Trouble I See" and "The Flatterer" - by a vaudeville team of Bob Cole and J. Rosamond Johnson.
While walking down the street one night, Johnson kept humming the lyrics to "Nobody Knows the Trouble I See" when Cole exclaimed that was what they needed for their act. Johnson protested, saying it was a spiritual song and it couldn't be done. The tune was changed somewhat and some catchy words were written. Johnson then composed a verse. The song was not a hit until Marie Cahill sang it in her musical "Sally In Our Alley.
Memories, Memories: 1910-1919
The First World War, which started in 1914, ending on the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month in 1918. The final Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28th, 1919. Despite the somberness and the agony of the day, the lighter side of life kept rising to the top.
Ragtime was the rage, bringing with it such lively named dances as the turkey trot and the grizzly bear. Dance bands led by Paul Whiteman, Vincent Lopez and Isham Jones began to be heard. Bobbed hair was a new fashion that was welcomed by women when the war ended. The hats of Queen Mary of Great Britain inspired the ladies turban.
Fashionable people discovered Ping-Pong, movies, which had been shown in cramped nickelodeons, were now acquiring theaters of their own. Charlie Chaplin began making two-reel comedies, Theda Bara was battling her black-ringed eyes, Mack Sennett introduced his bathing beauties and the first wave of great movies stars was arriving - Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, William S. Hart, Wallace Reid.
By 1919, jazz was taking over from ragtime. Prohibition had been decreed in the United States and women's skirts had already risen six inches above the ground. Women were also given the right to vote in federal elections.
For Me and My Gal
This song has remained one of the most popular of all songs for half a century. Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker, Belle Baker, Eddie Cantor and other favorites of the day all sang For Me and My Girl
Composer Meyer made it clear as to what girl he had in mind in writing this tune: He had the title inscribed on the tombstone of his wife.
This was one of the great cheerup songs of World War 1. There is no reference to the war in it, but it was the kind of song people were looking for in those bleak war days.
Lee Roberts, jotted down his smiling tune on the back of a cigarette package and sent it to a friend, J. Will Callahan, who wrote the lyric. They couldn't find a publisher, so published it themselves and within six months reaped the profits from the sale of 2,000,000 copies of sheet music.
Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
This ragtime song was composed by Lewis F. Muir, and portrayed the full flavor of life on the Mississippi River. Muir was a ragtime pianist who got his start playing in the honky-tonks of St. Louis during the Exposition in 1904.
"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" was actually the product of an unfavorable review of another of Muir's songs, "When Ragtime Rosy Rags the Rosary." L. Wolfe Gilbert, in his newspaper column, called it a sacrilege. "If you know much about music," Muir wrote to Gilbert in reply, "why don't you write a song with me? Maybe you'd like to see your name on the cover." Gilbert took up the challenge, basing his lyrics on his memories of Negroes unloading freight on the levee at Baton Rouge.
Al Jolson introduced the song at a Sunday evening concert at the Winter Gardens in 1912. Eddie Cantor and Belle Baker also helped to popularize its high-spirited tune and catchy lyrics.
Lewis F. Muir could only play in one key but he had a mechanism on his piano which enabled him to play in any key he wanted to.
My Melancholy Baby
This became, like "Three O'Clock in the Morning," a classic expression of an end of the evening feeling. When it was first popularized by Paul Whiteman's orchestra, it was played at a lively tempo. But later the mood-setting, atmospheric qualities of the song were brought out by singers who performed it with an intimate touch. Tommy Lyman, a singer who usually went to work at midnight and sang into the very small hours of the morning, helped to popularize this treatment of the song in the '30s and '40s.
These are but a few of the memories of our time.