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Online Collections

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

sheet music


Written in 1909 for an early production of Broadway's Ziegfeld Follies, Ed Madden and Gus Edwards' "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" quickly became one of America's most memorable and popular songs. Recorded by such diverse artists as Al Jolson, "Fats" Waller, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, and Jane Powell, the song also attracted the interests of blues, R & B, and rock-and-roll singers such as Little Richard, Etta James, and Johnny Winter. Toward the latter half of the 20th century, the song was used commonly to evoke nostalgia for vaudeville and early Broadway theatrical productions. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced to the tune in their 1939 hit "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle," about the legendary ballroom dancing team from the turn of the century. Vaudeville renditions of the song appeared in "Babes on Broadway" (1941) with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, and Alice Faye's 1943 "Hello, Frisco, Hello." Most notably, the song appeared in the 1946 Academy Award-winning movie "The Jolson Story," a biopic about Broadway's first superstar, Al Jolson. In the '60s Lucille Ball used the song for her own vaudeville parody in her TV series "I Love Lucy."

OriginDetroit, MI | New York, NY
Object ID78.7637

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