Music Monday: Shine On, Harvest Moon 1908

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One hundred, fifteen years ago in May (not necessarily today), the song Shine On, Harvest Moon was at the top of the Billboard chart, such as it was back then, for eleven weeks. Sung by Ada Jones & Billy Murray, the song is credited to the married vaudeville team of Nora Bayes & Jack Norworth.

It was one of a series of moon-related Tin Pan Alley songs of the era. The song was debuted by Bayes and Norworth in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1908 to great acclaim. It became a pop standard and, continues to be performed and recorded in the 21st Century. During the vaudeville era, songs were often sold outright and the purchaser would be credited as the songwriter. John Kenrick credits the song’s writers as Edward Madden and Gus Edwards. However, David Ewen credits Dave Stamper, who contributed songs to 21 editions of the Ziegfeld Follies and was Bayes’ pianist from 1903 to 1908. Vaudeville comic Eddie Cantor also credited Stamper.

The song has had a long history with Hollywood movies. In 1932, animation great Dave Fleischer directed a short titled Shine On Harvest Moon. A 1938 Roy Rogers western was named after the song, as was a 1944 biographical film about Bayes and Norworth. The song has been featured in dozens of movies from 1933 to 1978. There was also a popular British 1980s comedy drama called Shine on Harvey Moon.

Wikipedia Summary Excerpts

I am not entirely sure why this Jones & Murray piece is listed as 1909, as Tsort lists it as 1908. There must be some lost data, somewhere. ~Vic

Film & Television
Other Recordings
Duo’s Long List Of Songs Performed

10 thoughts on “Music Monday: Shine On, Harvest Moon 1908

    UK #1s blog said:
    May 29, 2023 at 10:13 AM

    Fascinating! Their voices are an acquired taste…

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 29, 2023 at 10:37 AM

      Honestly, I think it is the recording equipment. It was 1908. We didn’t get 33 1/3 & 45s until much later. IIRC, a lot of this stuff was done on 78 rpms. It made everyone sound like chipmunks. Recording was a new thing. Most music back then was live on stage.

        UK #1s blog said:
        May 30, 2023 at 4:40 AM

        That’s a good point. The recording may well have sounded different to a live performance

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          May 30, 2023 at 8:34 PM

          I would imagine so.

    Dayphoto said:
    May 29, 2023 at 3:36 PM

    One of my most favorite of songs~

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 29, 2023 at 11:38 AM

      It’s a cute song.

    Badfinger (Max) said:
    May 31, 2023 at 11:53 AM

    I like this song….I also like the sound that the prodcution gave. It’s hard to replicate older sounds like this unless you have that equipment.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 31, 2023 at 12:57 PM

      78 rpm makes everyone sound “chipmunk-ish.” 😆

    doerfpub said:
    June 5, 2023 at 6:04 PM

    All I can really say is the person who developed bass isn’t heralded enough ha.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      June 5, 2023 at 8:20 PM

      Bass singing or a bass instrument?

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