17 Best Songs from 1938

In this blog post, we'll take you on a nostalgic journey through the best songs from 1938. Look out for renowned performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Artie Shaw, Bing Crosby, and many more.

“Begin the Beguine” By Artie Shaw

Song year: 1938

Artie Shaw's rendition of “Begin the Beguine” quickly became a sensation in 1938, reaching Number 3 in the charts and solidifying its place as one of the best songs from that year.

Composed by Cole Porter in 1935, this captivating jazz tune features lively big band arrangements and phenomenal swing music elements that instantly capture listeners' attention.

The song was recorded for RCA Bluebird and went on to become one of the best-selling records of 1938, demonstrating its impact on both popular music and the jazz scene.

“Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” By the Andrews Sisters

Song year: 1938

The Andrews Sisters, one of the most popular and influential vocal groups during the swing music era, took the American music scene by storm with their 1938 hit “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.” This catchy tune is an Anglicized version of a Yiddish theater song and quickly put the Andrews Sisters on the map.

Interestingly, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” was not The Andrews Sisters' first shot at success; their initial single, released in 1937, failed to make much of an impression. However, after reworking it into its well-known English adaptation with lyrics by Sammy Cahn and Saul Chaplin (who later gained musical fame as the song idea composer for Hollywood hits), they soared to international stardom virtually overnight.

Even though “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” may have been just one highlight from a year filled with memorable tunes – such as Bing Crosby's “I've Got A Pocketful Of Dreams,” Fred Astaire's “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” or Ella Fitzgerald's iconic “A-Tisket A-Tasket” – there’s no denying that this signature piece solidified The Andrews Sisters' place in musical history.

“A-Tisket A-Tasket” By Ella Fitzgerald

Song year: 1938

Ella Fitzgerald's breakthrough hit, “A-Tisket A-Tasket,” in collaboration with the Chick Webb Orchestra, took the music scene by storm back in 1938. Co-written by Fitzgerald and Al Feldman, this infectious tune was based on a nursery rhyme recorded in America since the late nineteenth century.

This musical gem struck a chord within popular culture at the time, quickly becoming an iconic representation of Jazz music and showcasing Fitzgerald's incredible vocal prowess.

The song not only became widely celebrated during its time but has also managed to withstand the test of time as other artists continued to record their renditions throughout the years.

“A-Tisket A-Tasket” is an excellent example of collaborative songwriting done right – blending pop-culture hooks with deeper musical roots from nursery rhymes while showcasing unmatched talent through engaging performances.

“Thanks for the Memory” By Bob Hope & Shirley Ross

Song year: 1938

“Thanks For the Memory” is a classic song from the film “The Big Broadcast of 1938,” sung as a duet by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross.

The song features lyrics that evoke nostalgia for memories shared between two people who are about to part ways. Hope and Ross' voices blend perfectly on this track, making it a memorable duet that showcases their vocal abilities.

It's worth noting that both Bob Hope and Shirley Ross were also famous actors during their time in Hollywood. They appeared together in several films other than The Big Broadcast of 1938, where they performed dynamic musical numbers apart from acting scenes.

“Wabash Cannonball” By Roy Acuff

Song year: 1938

This classic tune is based on an earlier song, “The Great Rock Island Route,” in 1882 by J.A.

Despite being released originally in 1938, Roy Acuff's version of “Wabash Cannonball” chartered years later in 1964, showing how timeless this classic is. Today, it remains widely known as representing Americana culture and country music history.

As one of the greatest examples of railroad-themed songs that defined generations past, “Wabash Cannonball” continues to capture audiences with its spirited sound and nostalgic lyrics resonating with folk music enthusiasts worldwide.

“Change Partners” By Fred Astaire

Song year: 1938

“Change Partners” is a memorable song recorded by Fred Astaire with Ray Noble and His Orchestra in 1938. Written by Irving Berlin, this song became popular and was nominated for the Best Song award at the 1938 Academy Awards, winning Best Art Direction instead.

The song was featured in the film “Carefree,” which starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In this romantic comedy, they dance their way through various scenes while charming audiences with their chemistry on screen.

With over 100 similar songs identified to “Change Partners,” it remains one of the most notable songs in Fred Astaire's extensive repertoire as a talented singer and dancer.

Change Partners By Fred Astaire

“Don't Be That Way” By Benny Goodman

Song year: 1938

“Don't Be That Way” by Benny Goodman is one of the most iconic swing songs of its time, dominating the United States in 1938. This single was written by Benny Goodman himself, along with Mitchell Parish and Edgar Sampson.

The song gained even more recognition after it was performed at The Benny Goodman Orchestra's famous Carnegie Hall concert in 1938. This event marked a turning point for jazz and introduced it to mainstream audiences.

Performing alongside his orchestra, Benny brought together some of the greatest musicians of his time and allowed for innovative musical collaborations to take place within the industry.

“I Can't Get Started” By Bunny Berigan

Song year: 1938

Bunny Berigan, a prominent jazz trumpeter with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, stands out for his memorable rendition of “I Can't Get Started.” The song itself holds a special place in the world of music as a popular standard.

Written by Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin, it tells the story of a lover struggling to find the words to express his feelings.

Berigan first used “I Can't Get Started” as his theme song when he started his band in 1937. A year later, on November 19th, 1938, he famously performed with the CBS Saturday Night Swing Club using that same tune.

His performance was met with great acclaim from both fans and critics alike. He brought an infectious energy to the piece that made everyone want to dance along.

Despite being recorded over eighty years ago today, “I Can't Get Started” remains relevant even now-mentioned in numerous films such as Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Woody Allen's Radio Days-and has been covered by countless artists over time because Bunny had shown us just how transformative Jazz can be when played well.

“I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams” By Bing Crosby

Song year: 1938

“I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams” is an upbeat and cheerful song by Bing Crosby, released in 1938. It quickly became one of the most popular hits that year, featuring catchy lyrics and a lively melody that captured the hearts of many Americans during the Great Depression era.

Aside from its popularity on radio stations nationwide, “I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams” gained further recognition when it was featured in the classic Hollywood film Captain Courageous starring Spencer Tracy.

Since its initial release over 80 years ago, “I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams” has been covered by artists such as Barbara Lea, Jackie Paris, and even Bing Crosby's son, Gary Crosby.

I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams By Bing Crosby

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