Without television (much less CDs or internet), music in the early 20th century was mostly produced on sheet music or enjoyed with an old Victrola. The piano was the top choice of instruments and gathering around in the parlor for an evening of music was a highlight of an evening. This collection offers six songs, all published in the 1930s. Two of these were published by Theodore Presser Co. of 1712 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Today the same company is located in King of Prussia, PA. and was formerly located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Theodore Presser founded the company in 1833 in Lynchburg, VA. With success on his heels, he moved the publishing business the next year to Philadelphia. It can only be presumed that these two pieces were published at the original location for Presser in Philadelphia on Chestnut Street. They include:
Published in 1931 by widely known Theodore Presser Co. (then located in Philadelphia), “Hawaiian Nights” was written for the pianoforte by Frank H. Grey. In 1939 it was released as a film production by Universal Pictures.
“Menuet a l’Antique for the pianoforte by I. J. Paderewski was also published by Theodore Presser Co. at 1712 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. No date is published on this piece. The number in the top left corner (1962) is not a date, but a publication number. Interestingly, there is an applied 40-cent sticker over the original price. On the back prices are listed at 30-cents indicating the sticker was an increase, not a sale price.
“After You’ve Gone” was first released as a recording in 1918 and was still a hit in the 1930s. With lyrics and music by Creamer and Layton, this issue was published by Joe Davis, Inc. Music Publishers at 1619 Broadway in New York. Copyright 1931 to Joe Davis. Original copyright in 1916.
“Basin Street Blues” made famous in 1933 by jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra was written by Spencer Williams. Published that same year by Joe Davis, Inc. Music Publishers. 1619 Broadway, New York. Copyright 1933.
Victor Young was just 32 years old when the photo for this song was published in 1932 and the copyright was issued the same year to Mills Music of New York. Born in Chicago, Young was a well-known composer and musician and arranged music for film, radio and recordings. Words and music for “How’m I Doin?” were done by Lem Fowler & Don Redman.
"Bless This House” became a popular song in the 1930s. Lyrics by Helen Taylor with music written by (Mary) May H. Brahe, an Australian composer. Published by Boosey & Hawkes with a copyright of 1932, this song was later recorded by many famous singers including Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby.