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Chapter 13: Is Everybody Happy Now?

20s blues, jazz & vaudeville

These hits of the 20s are almost exactly a century old as I write, and yet they sound beamed from another planet. The jazz features no solos, and the blues sounds almost happy. Bizarre romps from Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor are clearly meant to be comedy, but the punch of the jokes is lost to history. Get on the right wavelength though, and you can still dance the Charleston to jaunty alien tunes like “Copenhagen.” Cleaning up the set is a signature American composition, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue.”
1. Ted Lewis

Is Everybody Happy Now?

2. Al Jolson

Toot, Toot, Tootsie! Goodbye

3. Bessie Smith

Alexander's Ragtime Band

4. Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra


5. Waring's Pennsylvanians

Button Up Your Overcoat*

6. Mamie Smith

Crazy Blues

7. Jack Hylton and His Orchestra

Happy Days Are Here Again

8. Joséphine Baker


9. Eddie Cantor

If You Knew Susie (Like I Know Susie)

10. George Gershwin

Rhapsody in Blue

*Not on Spotify