Tune Tuesday: In The Good Old Summer Time 1903

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Haydn/Hayden/Edison Quartet Wikimedia Image One
Haydn Quartet/Hayden Quartet/Edison Quartet
1896 Publicity Photo
National Phonograph Co.

One hundred, twenty years ago, today, the #1 song in 1903 was In The Good Old Summer Time by the Haydn Quartet. In a previous post, I stated that Tsort has very few charts prior to 1920. Music popularity just wasn’t tracked as closely as it is, today. For music this old, I plug in a date on Playback FM and run with it.

Written by Ren Shields and composed by George “Honey Boy” Evans, it is a Tin Pan Alley song, originally published in 1902. Blanche Ring assisted in having the number added to the 1902 comedy musical The Defender. There is also a John Philip Sousa band version.

The Haydn Quartet was originally formed in 1896 as the Edison Quartet. They eventually changed their name to Haydn, an homage to Joseph Haydn and as a way to record for other companies besides Edison Records.

In The Good Old Summer Time was a very popular song for its time and John Scantlebury MacDonald, a replacement member of the Edison Quartet, went on to record the song, solo. It was the Haydn Quartet’s biggest commercial success while contracted with the Victor Talking Machine Company.

12 thoughts on “Tune Tuesday: In The Good Old Summer Time 1903

    UK #1s blog said:
    February 22, 2023 at 5:18 AM

    This was very popular in its day, and now… Makes you wonder if in 60-70 years stuff like the Beatles, Dylan, Elvis will be just as forgotten…

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      February 22, 2023 at 10:22 AM

      Modern record keeping would prevent that. Billboard & other charting industries around the world have in-depth records, now. Things are spotty at the turn of the 20th century but, there are some records.

        UK #1s blog said:
        February 24, 2023 at 2:03 AM

        It’s true that having charts definitely helped make music more ‘official’, and that there’s a clear line between before and after rock n roll… Still, it’s interesting to wonder how well the music we think of as canonical, and almost untouchable, will be remembered in centuries to come.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      February 22, 2023 at 10:24 AM

      That being said, there was a massive fire back in 2008…I think…that took out a lot of master material. That was a major loss of data.

    Badfinger (Max) said:
    February 22, 2023 at 9:18 AM

    When I saw the title…the first thing I thought of was the Mungo Jerry song lol…no wrong song! I do know this one though of course. I love that kind of voice they had back then…they were trained of course but I love the style.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      February 22, 2023 at 10:29 AM

      Recordings back then were a little sped up. A lot of the turn of the century music sounds like chipmunks to me…”I still want a hula hoop!” 😄

      A good four part harmony is wonderful to listen to.

        Badfinger (Max) said:
        February 22, 2023 at 11:08 AM

        He had a theater voice….or a vaudville type of voice also.

    doerfpub said:
    February 22, 2023 at 11:39 AM

    Well, this one is definitely out of my lane ha! Lucky for me bass technology came along before I started listening to my stereo (although looking back, waaaay to loud ha)

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      February 22, 2023 at 1:34 PM

      My paternal grandmother had a real Victrola that she had inherited from her mother-in-law. I vaguely remember her playing big band music on it. Those 78 RPM records are hard to find, now.

      So, you like booming bass?

        doerfpub said:
        February 24, 2023 at 1:22 PM

        I do. If I can’t feel it, it ain’t worth me listening. Marshall stacks tainted me as a young whippersnapper. For the record, I’m not talking about poorly tuned bass that rattles the rusted door panels – that craps just cracks me up.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          February 24, 2023 at 9:27 PM

          Ha! I just had a flashback to being really close to a bass speaker at a concert. I got chest compressions from that thing. And, speaking of, I’d like to be a bass player but…never learned.

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