Top 100 Songs Of The 1890s

 

Do you know which song from this decade was the most popular? This is the first decade where music was being charted by independent sources. The tracking of the popularity of music was primarily done by the selling of sheet music. A sheet music sale was important in the ranking of the songs. During this period, only the top three positions were charted.

In the national headlines: The sinking of the Maine in Cuba made news which started the Spanish & American War in 1898. Teddy Roosevelt became famous with his “Rough Riders” and became a war hero. Grover Cleveland was elected president in 1892 for a second term which was not consecutive. He is the only president to accomplish this feat.  In 1893, there was an economic panic over the railroads that caused a bubble to burst and led to a depression the deepest until the great depression in the 30’s.

Meanwhile, people were buying sheet music of their favorite songs. Some of these songs are still being recorded today like: “After The Ball”, “The Band Played On”, The Sidewalks Of New York”, and “The Stars And Stripes Forever” just to name a few.

Sources Used

The following sources were used in this era for the ranking the top three selling songs:

  • Phonogram (Early 1890s industry periodical)
  • Phonoscope (Monthly listing of top records)
  • Sheet music sales
  • ASCAP and other lists of top period songs
  • Record label catalogs: Columbia, Edison, Berliner, & regional labels
  • Jim Walsh columns for Hobbies Magazine on pioneer recording artists

Some Interesting Facts about the Songs of This Decade

  • There were a total of 91 #1 songs in this era.
  • To make the top ten, the song had to be #1 for eight weeks.
  • To make the top 40, the song had to be #1 for five weeks.
  • The artist with the most songs charted is George J. Gaskin with 20. And he placed five songs in the top ten.
  • The years of 1892-95-98-99 all tied with 12 songs on the chart.
  • The record of longevity, with 15 weeks on the chart, is “Sweet Rosie O’ Grady” by George J. Gaskin in 1897.
  • The song “The Stars And Stripes Forever” by Sousa’s Band, is played every 4th of July.
  • The most recorded song from this decade is “The Rosary” in 1898, written by Ethelbert Nevins & Cameron Rogers.
  • The best-selling sheet music song from this decade is “After The Ball” in 1892, with 5 million copies sold.
  • The year of 1892, has the most #1 songs with 12.
  • In 1892, North American begins to produce cylinders for the home market.
  • In 1894, Columbia introduces a new spring motored phonograph which sells for $40. Soon, this will become a fixture in the American home.
  • In November of 1894, Billboard Begins publication as the authoritative trade weekly of the amusement industry.

Top 100 Songs From 1890-1899

The ranking of the songs was determined by the following criteria:

  • Highest peak position
  • Weeks at the peak position
  • Total weeks charted
  • Alphabetical by artist

The source used for determining the ranking of the songs was “Pop Memories 1890-1954” by Joel Whitburn.

Rank      Title/Artist / Peak Position / Peak Weeks () Year of Release

  1. My Old New Hampshire Home / George J. Gaskin #1 (10) 1898
  2. On The Banks Of The Wabash / George J. Gaskin #1 (10) 1897
  3. After The Ball / George J. Gaskin #1 (10) 1893
  4. The Laughing Song / George Washington Johnson #1 (10) 1891
  5. The Band Played On / Dan Quinn #1 (10) 1895
  6. Daisy Bell / Dan Quinn #1 (9) 1893
  7. The Sidewalks Of New York / Dan Quinn #1 (9) 1895
  8. Sweet Rosie O’ Grady / George J. Gaskin #1 (8) 1897
  9. The Stars And Stripes Forever  / Sousa’s Band #1 (8) 1897
  10. O Promise Me / George J. Gaskin #1 (8) 1893
  11. Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom Der E / Len Spencer #1 (8) 1892
  12. The Fatal Wedding / George J. Gaskin #1 (8) 1893
  13. I’d Leave My Happy Home For You / Arthur Collins #1 (7) 1899
  14. Curse Of The Dreamer / Dan Quinn #1 (7) 1899
  15. A Hot Time In The Old Town / Dan Quinn #1 (7) 1896
  16. Break The News To Mother / George J. Gaskin #1 (7) 1898
  17. Turkey In The Straw / Billy Golden #1 (7) 1891
  18. Say Au Revori, But Not Goodbye / Edward M. Favor #1 (7) 1894
  19. El Capitan March / Sousa’s Band #1 (7) 1895
  20. My Wild Irish Rose / Albert Campbell #1 (6) 1899
  21. Hello! Ma Baby / Len Spencer #1 (6) 1899
  22. She Was Bred In Old Kentucky #1 (6) 1898
  23. Semper Fidelis / U.S. Marine Band #1 (6) 1890
  24. Washington Post / U.S. Marine Band #1 (6) 1890
  25. The Mocking Bird / John Yorke Atlee #1 (6) 1891
  26. The Old Folks At Home / Len Spencer #1 (6) 1892
  27. The Picture Turned Toward The Wall / Manhansett Quartette #1 (6) 1892
  28. Michael Casey Taking The Census / Russell Hunting #1 (6) 1892
  29. And Her Golding Hair Was Hanging Down Her Back/Dan Quinn#1(6) 1894
  30. The Sunshine Of Paradise Alley / George J. Gaskin #1 (6) 1896
  31. Gypsy Love Song / William F. Hooley #1 (5) 1899
  32. My Mother  Was A Lady / Dan Quinn #1 (5) 1897
  33. Uncle Josh’s Arrival In New York / Cal Stewart #1 (5) 1898
  34. Drill, Ye Terriers, Drill / George J. Gaskin #1 (5) 1891
  35. The Whistling Coon / George Washington Johnson #1 (5) 1891
  36. Michael Casey At The Telephone / Russell Hunting #1 (5) 1892
  37. The Bowery / Dan Quinn #1 (5) 1893
  38. Sweet Marie / George J. Gaskin #1 (5) 1894
  39. The Liberty Bell / U.S. Marine Band #1 (5) 1894
  40. The Little Lost Child / Dan Quinn #1 (5) 1895
  41. Dat New Bully / Len Spencer #1 (5) 1895
  42. Little Alabama Coon / Len Spencer #1 (5) 1895
  43. In The Baggage Coach Ahead / Dan Quinn #1 (5) 1896
  44. She May Have Seen Better Days / George J. Gaskin #1 (5) 1896
  45. Hello, My Baby / Arthur Collins #1 (4) 1899
  46. My Gal Is A Highborn Lady / Len Spencer #1 (4) 1897
  47. Kiss Me Honey, Do / Arthur Collins #1 (4) 1899
  48. Oh, Mr. Johnson, Turn Me Loose / Len Spencer #1 (4) 1897
  49. I Guess I’ll Have To Telegraph My Baby / Arthur Collins #1 (4) 1899
  50. At A Georgia Camp Meeting / Dan Quinn #1 (4) 1898
  51. On The Banks Of The Wabash / Steve Porter #1 (4) 1898
  52. She Was Happy Till She Met You / Dan Quinn #1 (4) 1898
  53. She’s More To Be Pitied Than Censured / Steve Porter #1 (4) 1898
  54. My Best Girl’s A New Yorker / Edward M. Favor #1 (4) 1895
  55. There’ s A Little Star Shinning For You / Dan Quinn #1 (4) 1897
  56. The Thunderer / U.S. Marine Band #1 (4) 1890
  57. Pat Kelly As A Police Justice / Dan Kelly #1 (4) 1891
  58. Little Liza Loves You / Len Spencer #1 (4) 1891
  59. Michael Casey As A Physician / Russell Hunting #1 (4) 1891
  60. Daddy Woldn’t Buy Me A Bow-Bow / Dan Quinn #1 (4) 1892
  61. Love’s Old Sweet Song / Thomas Bott #1 (4) 1892
  62. Two Little Girls In Blue / J.W. Myers #1 (4) 1893
  63. My Pearl Is A Bowery Girl / Dan Quinn #1 (4) 1894
  64. Dem Golden Slippers / Silas Leachman #1 (4) 1894
  65. Yankee Doodle / Vess Ossman #1 (4) 1894
  66. The Sidewalks Of New York / J.W. Myers #1 (4) 1895
  67. Down In Poverty Row / George J. Gaskin #1 (4) 1896
  68. On The Benches In The Park / George J. Gaskin #1 (4) 1896
  69. My Wild Irish Rose / George J. Gaskin #1 (3) 1899
  70. A Hot Time In The Old Town / Len Spencer #1 (3) 1897
  71. I Don’t Like No Cheap Man / Len Spencer #1 (3) 1898
  72. I’m Old But I’m Awfully Tough / Cal Stewart #1 (3) 1898
  73. My Old Kentucky Home / Edison Male Quartette #1 (3) 1898
  74. Throw Him Down, McCloskey / Charles Marsh #1 (4) 1892
  75. Slide, Kelly, Slide / George J. Gaskin #1 (3) 1892
  76. The Song That Reached My Heart / Joe Nutus #1 (3) 1892
  77. Sally In Our Alley / Manhansette #1 (3) 1892
  78. My Country Tis Of Thee / Jules Levy #1 (3) 1893
  79. Momie, Come And Kiss Your Honey Boy / Len Spencer #1 (3) 1893
  80. Lindley, Does You Love Me? / Dan Quinn #1 (3) 1894
  81. We Were Sweethearts, Heil & I / George J. Gaskin #1 (3) 1894
  82. Casey As An Insurance Agent / Russell Hunting #1 (3) 1894
  83. Case At Denny Murphy’s Wake / Russell Hunting #1 (3) 1894
  84. Washington Post March / Sousa’s Band #1 (3) 1895
  85. Cocoanut Dance / Vess Ossman #1 (3) 1895
  86. A Hot Time On The Levee / Len Spencer #1 (3) 1896
  87. A Picture No Artist Can Paint / Steve Porter #1 (2) 1899
  88. When You Ain’t Got No More Money / Arthur Collins #1 (2) 1899
  89. The Pretty Red Rose / Will Denny #1 (2) 1892
  90. Near It / Len Spencer #1 (2) 1893
  91. I Guess I’ll Have To Telegraph My Baby / Len Spencer #1 (2) 1899
  92. A Hot Time In The Old Town / George J. Gaskin #2 (3) 1897
  93. She Was Bred In Old Kentucky / Steve Porter #2 (3) 1898
  94. The Sidewalks Of New York / George J. Gaskin #2 (3) 1895
  95. Casey At The Bat / Russell Hunting #2 (3) 1893
  96. Ragtime Medley / Vess Ossman #2 (3) 1897
  97. King Cotton March / Sousa’s Band #2 (3) 1895
  98. Carry Me Back To Old Virginny / Len Spencer #2 (3) 1893
  99. All Coons Look Alike To Me / Len Spencer #2 (3) 1896
  100. The Pictured Turned Toward The Wall / George J. Gaskin #2 (3) 1891

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 Posted by at 11:23 pm