Friday, July 5, 2013

Song, Music, and the Early Brass-Era Automobile in America

Music Galore
            Culturally, the automobile was featured prominently in popular music as early as 1899, when the first promotional song, The Studebaker March, was released.”43 A number of these early songs about automobiles had no words, but rather were composed in a manner that imitated automobile noises – fast, slow, jerky, and droning. “The Motor Car,” released in 1903, and “The Auto Race,” published in 1904, were of this variety. As automobiles became a fixture in American life, so were songs about them, for in 1905 some 29 songs appeared, 40 in 1906, and 53 in 1908. Romance was at the heart of this early genre of song (see material in chapter 5 for more on this topic), but so then was the Ford, in lyrics either about Henry or his car. Indeed, more than 60 songs about Ford were written between 1908 and 1940:

“Love in an Automobile.” 1899. By Alfred Dixon.
“My Automobile Girl.” 1900. Lyrics and music by R. J. Morris.
“My Auto Lady.” 1901. By George S. Atkins.
“Jes Come ARoun’ Wid an Automoible.” 1902. Lyrics by R. Melville Baker, music by Josephine Sherwood.
“When Isabella Green Went Automobiling.” 1902. By Harry Marshall.
“The Girl on the Automobile.” 1905. Lyrics by Sam Lewis, music by Joe Nathan.
“In My Merry Oldsmobile.” 1905. Lyrics by Vincent Bryan, music by Gus Edwards.

“On an Automobile Honeymoon.” 1905. Lyrics by William Jerome, music by Jean Schwartz.
“Take a Little Ride with Me.” 1906. Lyrics by Jack Drislane, music by Theodore Morse.
“The Gay Chauffeur.” 1907. By F. L. Valentine.
“The Ford.” 1908. By Jarry H. Zickel.

“I’d Rather have a Girlie Than an Automobile.” 1908. By William A. Dillon.
“The Motor Girl.” 1909. Lyrics by Charles J. Campbell, music by Julian Edwards.
“Motor King.” 1910. Lyrics by Jack Drislane, music by Henry Frantzen.
“Keep Away from the Fellow Who Owns an Automobile. 1912.” By Irving Berlin.
“He’d Have to Get Under – Get Out and Get Under.” 1913. Lyrics by Grant Clarke and Edgar Leslie, Music by Maurice Abrahams.
“The Packard and the Ford.” 1915. Lyrics by Harold R. Atteridge, music by Harry Carroll.
“On the Old Back Seat of the Henry Ford.” 1916. Lyrics by Will Dillon, music by Lawrence Dillon.

“Don’t Take Advantage.”  1919. Lyrics by Howard Rodgers, music by James V. Monaco.44

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