In the Good Old Summertime
DESCRIPTION: "There's a time in each year that we always hold dear, Good old summertime." The singer recalls the happy days, "In the good old summertime (x2), Strolling through the shady lanes with that baby mine." He describes life as a child in summer
AUTHOR: Words: Ren Shields / Music: George Evans
EARLIEST DATE: 1902 (sheet music by Howley, Haviland & Dresser)
KEYWORDS: nonballad courting
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 257, "In The Good Old Summertime" (1 text)
Geller-Famous, pp. 191-194, "In the Good Old Summertime" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuld-WFM, p. 300, "In the Good Old Summertime"
ADDITIONAL: Robert A. Fremont, editor, _Favorite Songs of the Nineties_, Dover Publications, 1973, pp. 157-160, "In the Good Old Summertime" (1 text, 1 tune, the 1902 sheet music)
Margaret Bradford Boni, editor, _Songs of the Gilded Age_, with piano arrangements by Norman Lloyd and illustrations by Lucille Corcos, Golden Press, 1960, pp. 116-118, "IN the Good Old Summertime" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [321 words]: This is another of those parlour songs whose chorus has entered tradition without reference to the verse. The result, however, seems popular enough to warrant inclusion here.
According to Thomas S. Hischak, The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia (with a Foreword by Gerald Bordman), Greenwood Press, 1995, p. 163, this "is the popular favorite that opened the door for other songs about the seasons of the year. The memorable... number was heard in vaudeville at the turn of the century, but didn't catch on until Blache Ring sang it in The Defender (1902). Music publishers were reluctant to print the song, arguing that performers could only appropriately sing it three months out of the year. But once it was published it sold over a million copies of sheet music and a flood of seasonal songs followed." It went on to appear in other musicals; a 1904 show "The Good Old Summertime" was built around it.
According to David A. Jasen, Tin Pan Alley: The Composers, the Songs, the Performers and their Times: The Golden Age of American Popular Music from 1886 to 1956, Primus, 1988, p, 61, this song is most associated with Blanche Ring (1877-1961), who had a part in its creation. "She and the two songwriters were having dinner at Coney Island. Evans looked around and said there was nothing like the good old summer time," and Shields picked up the phrase and wrote it down. When handed the lyrics, Evans practically hummed the tune on the spot." Ring's rendition proved so popular that the song had to be interpolated into the next several musical shows she took part in. Her singing helped create several other hits as well, including "I've Got Rings on My Fingers" and "Come, Josephine, in My Flying Machine."
"Come, Josephine" was not by Evans and Shields, but interestingly, they created what is said to have been the very first airship song, "Come Take a Trip in My Airship," in 1904 (Jasen, p. 65)- RBW
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