16 Best Songs From 1932

Best Songs From 1932

1932 was a year of the great depression, the Olympics, and of course, great music. Bing Crosby had his usual hits, and artists like Mildred Bailey were also gracing us with their vocals. With that said, here are the best songs from 1932.

1. “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” By Bing Crosby

Song year: 1932

“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” by Bing Crosby is an iconic song that became the anthem of the Great Depression era. The powerful and moving lyrics were penned by Yip Harburg, with composer Jay Gorney creating the haunting melody which perfectly captured the mood of a nation grappling with mass unemployment; in 1932, unemployment rates had skyrocketed to an alarming 24.1%.

Bing Crosby's soulful rendition struck a particular chord with listeners who were struggling to make ends meet during these trying times. His heartfelt interpretation evoked feelings of empathy and camaraderie as people all around America resonated with its poignant message.

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime By Bing Crosby

2. “Night & Day” By Fred Astaire & Leo Reisman

Song year: 1932

“Night & Day,” a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences, was first introduced by the legendary Fred Astaire on November 29, 1932. The enchanting melody and alluring lyrics were brought to life through a remarkable collaboration between Astaire and Leo Reisman and His Orchestra.

The unforgettable tune gained even further recognition when it became part of the celebrated 1934 musical film “The Gay Divorce.” With its magnetic charm, “Night & Day” continued to inspire various renditions by renowned artists over the years – including Chicago's captivating take in their 1995 album “Night & Day: Big Band.”

3. “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” By Rudy Vallee & His Connecticut Yankees

Song year: 1932

The iconic American song “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” gained immense popularity during the Great Depression and remained a powerful reminder of those harsh times. Recorded in 1932 by Rudy Vallee & his Connecticut Yankees, the song eloquently captured the struggles faced by ordinary Americans.

Rudy Vallee's rendition with his Connecticut Yankees lent a haunting charm to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”. Known for their innovative musical style and unique blend of instruments, Vallee's performance evokes deep emotions among listeners even today.

4. “All of Me” By Louis Armstrong

Song year: 1932

Louis Armstrong's rendition of “All of Me” is considered one of the best interpretations of this standard song. It was written by Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks in 1931 and recorded by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra on January 27, 1932.

The song introduced “swing” into popular music when it was released in February 1932. With its syncopated rhythms and improvisational qualities, swing quickly became a defining characteristic of jazz music.

“All Of Me” is considered to be one of the most famous compositions by composers Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons.

5. “Dinah” By Bing Crosby & The Mills Brothers

Song year: 1932

In 1932, Bing Crosby and The Mills Brothers recorded a rendition of the popular song “Dinah” with Studio Orchestra. This version of “Dinah” is often considered one of the best collaborations between Crosby and The Mills Brothers.

Interestingly, this recording was one of only three sides released by Crosby in 1932, making it a rare and valuable addition to any music collection.

Overall, “Dinah” remains a classic example of American popular music from the early 20th century.

6. “Please” By Bing Crosby

Song year: 1932

“Please” by Bing Crosby is a soulful ballad that was released with Anson Weeks and His Orchestra in October 1932. This song became an instant hit, topping the US Billboard charts for sixteen weeks in the same year.

Bing Crosby had several other famous songs during the 1930s and “Please” became one of his signature tunes.

Overall, “Please” is among the top-rated songs from 1932, having remained on top sources' charts for years. It also made it into various compilations over the years, including being included in an album titled “Bing Crosby -1926-1932”.

Please By Bing Crosby

7. “In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town” By Ted Lewis & His Orchestra

Song year: 1932

“In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town” by Ted Lewis & his Orchestra is a song that embodies the nostalgia and sentimentality of American popular music during the golden age of music.

When Lewis covered the song with his orchestra in 1932, it became an instant hit. The distinctive sound of his clarinet solos helped to make “In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town” one of the most memorable songs from that era.

The song's popularity can be attributed to its ability to evoke emotions through vivid storytelling. It tells the story of a man who has lost everything but still finds comfort and beauty in his shabby abode.

8. “It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)” By Duke Ellington

Song year: 1932

One of the most famous jazz compositions in history is “It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)” by Duke Ellington. This musical masterpiece was recorded with the Famous Orchestra in 1932 and became an instant sensation.

The song's success was largely due to its swing rhythm, which gave it a unique and infectious beat that compelled people to dance.

Ivie Anderson played a significant role in making this song famous as she was the singer who first recorded the song with Duke Ellington. Her powerful vocals complemented perfectly with music composition, leaving an indelible mark on every listener's heart.

The legacy of “It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)” continues today as musicians still cover versions of this iconic tune experimentally around various styles without losing its recognition factor, giving pleasure to millions worldwide continuously for almost nine decades after it was initially released!

9. “Lullaby of the Leaves” By George Olsen

Song year: 1932

“Lullaby of the Leaves” is a charming tune recorded by George Olsen and his orchestra in 1932. The song's soothing melody features Olsen's vocals, which were complemented by lush arrangements from his band.

Interestingly, this song also made a comeback in the jazz world in the '50s when it was covered by various musicians, including saxophonist Stan Getz and pianist Art Tatum.

Overall, “Lullaby of the Leaves” remains timeless even after almost nine decades since its release.

Lullaby of the Leaves By George Olsen

10. “Paradise” By Guy Lombardo

Song year: 1932

This vintage melody is a timeless classic that features nostalgic elements from the big band era, making it a must-have on any retro playlist.

“Paradise” was just one of many popular songs that Guy Lombardo had in 1932. The famous bandleader also produced other hits like “My Extraordinary Gal” and “Lawd, You Made The Night Too Long.” Lombardo's smooth crooning style and his orchestra's excellent arrangements made him an influential figure in the golden age of music.

11. “All of Me” By Mildred Bailey Featuring Paul Whiteman

Song year: 1932

One of the most popular recordings by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra in 1932 was “All of Me,” a timeless jazz standard that has endured for nearly a century. Written by Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks, “All of Me” features an infectious melody with lyrics that convey the joy and passion of new love.

Mildred Bailey lent her vocal talents to Whiteman's recording of “All of Me” on January 29, 1932. Her sultry voice perfectly complements the lush soundscape created by Whiteman's orchestra, making this version one of the best-known renditions of the song.

Despite being almost a century old, “All of Me” remains relevant today as it continues to be interpreted and covered by contemporary artists across genres.

12. “We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye” By Guy Lombardo

Song year: 1932

One of the standout tracks from 1932 is “We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye” by Guy Lombardo. The song was written by Lombardo himself and featured vocals by Carmen Lombardo, his younger brother.

The melancholic tune, with its sentimental lyrics about lost love, perfectly captures the mood of the early 1930s when many were struggling through the Great Depression. But despite its sad subject matter, “We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye” remains a classic example of big band music from this golden age of jazz standards.

As well as being a firm fan favorite at live shows for years to come, it also went on to become one of five major hits for the Canadian bandleader alongside “Charmaine,” “It Looks Like Rain in Cherry Blossom Lane,” “Boo-Hoo,” and “Red Sails in Sunset.”

It's no surprise then that over eight decades later; it's still featured on albums like “16 Most Requested Songs” by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, which showcases his dominance during this period.

13. “River, Stay ‘Way From My Door” By Kate Smith

Song year: 1932

One of the most successful songs from 1932 was “River, Stay ‘Way from My Door” by Kate Smith with Guy Lombardo and “His Royal Canadians.” This song, written by Harry Woods and Mort Dixon, became a best-seller in January of that year, showcasing Smith's unique vocal style.

The melancholic ballad is known for its emotional lyrics about heartbreak and rejection.

Kate Smith's impressive career spanned several decades and included numerous hit songs. She was widely regarded as one of the greatest American singers of her time, using her powerful voice to convey emotion in each performance she gave.

“River, Stay ‘Way from My Door” showcased her talent brilliantly as it resonated with listeners across America who were struggling through difficult times.

River, Stay 'Way From My Door By Kate Smith

14. “Too Many Tears” By Guy Lombardo

Song year: 1932

“Too Many Tears” is a sentimental ballad originally performed by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians in 1932. It tells the tale of heartbreak and lingering pain caused by lost love, which resonated with many listeners during the Great Depression era.

As one of Guy Lombardo's most popular tracks, “Too Many Tears” has been featured on numerous compilation albums, including his “16 Most Requested Songs.” Its nostalgic appeal has made it a favorite among fans of Big Band music and crooners from the early 20th century.

Lombardo's rendition of “Too Many Tears” showcases his vocal talent and his ability to capture emotion through music.

15. “Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)” By Bing Crosby

Song year: 1932

One of the most recognizable tunes from 1932 is “Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)” by Bing Crosby. The song was first introduced as Crosby's theme song for his radio show, where it became an instant hit and remained one of his trademark songs to date.

In November 1931, Bing Crosby recorded “Where the Blue of the Night” with an orchestra. The recording showcased his smooth vocal style and highlighted his ability to easily bring out intricate melodies.

16. “I've Got the World on a String” By Cab Calloway & His Cotton Club Orchestra

Song year: 1932

“I've Got the World On a String” is one of Cab Calloway's most popular songs, featuring his energetic performance and unique style. The song was written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and recorded by Cab Calloway & his Cotton Club Orchestra in 1932.

Calloway's version of “I've Got the World On a String” has been covered by many other artists over the years, including Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow.

As a bandleader, Cab Calloway helped define popular music early in the 20th century. He was known for his exciting performances that combined jazz and swing elements with dance moves that would make audiences jump out of their seats.

I've Got the World on a String By Cab Calloway & His Cotton Club Orchestra

Key Takeaways

  • “Night & Day” by Fred Astaire and Leo Reisman, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” by Bing Crosby, and “All of Me” by Louis Armstrong are among the timeless classics that topped music charts in 1932.
  • Swing music defined the era, with memorable compositions like “It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)” by Duke Ellington contributing to its enduring popularity.
  • Iconic musicians, including Rudy Vallee, Ted Lewis & his Orchestra, George Olsen, and his orchestra, also produced hits that continue to captivate audiences long after they were first recorded.
  • Nostalgia continues to fuel appreciation for these classic songs almost nine decades after their introduction; popular covers have created new connections between these tunes and contemporary audiences over the years.

Top Songs From 1932, Final Thoughts

The music of 1932 was filled with iconic and memorable songs that have lasted through the generations. From Bing Crosby's heartfelt rendition of “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” to Cab Calloway & his Cotton Club Orchestra's lively “I've Got the World On a String,” these classic songs continue to capture our hearts and fill us with nostalgia.

Whether you're a fan of swing music or melancholic ballads, there is something for everyone in this list of the best songs from 1932.

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