'30s Music

by WeAintFoundShin | created - 05 Nov 2014 | updated - 07 Nov 2014 | Public

1. Maurice Chevalier

Soundtrack | The Love Parade

Maurice Chevalier's first working job was as an acrobat, until a serious accident ended that career. He turned his talents to singing and acting, and made several short films in France. During World War I he enlisted in the French army. He was wounded in battle, captured and placed in a POW camp by...

You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me (1930), Isn't It Romantic? (1932), Mimi (1932)

2. Ginger Rogers

Actress | The Major and the Minor

Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped ...

Embraceable You (1930)

3. Duke Ellington

Composer | Anatomy of a Murder

Composer ("It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing", "Sophisticated Lady", "Mood Indigo", "Solitude", "In a Mellotone", "Satin Doll"), pianist and conductor, holder of an honorary music degree from Wilberforce University and an LHD from Milton College, Duke Ellington led his own orchestra ...

Mood Indigo (1930), It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) (1932), Cocktails For Two (1934)

4. Cab Calloway

Soundtrack | The Blues Brothers

Bandleader, songwriter ("Minnie the Moocher", "Are You Hep to That Jive?"), composer, singer, actor and author, educated at Crane College. While studying law, he sang with the band The Alabamians, and took over the group in 1928. He led The Missourians orchestra, then organized and led his own ...

Minnie the Moocher (1931), I Love To Sing-a (1936)

5. Ozzie Nelson

Actor | The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

This preeminent sitcom dad of the 50s had already started things off studying law when he decided to put together a dance band in the 20s on the sly. The band was so successful that he never looked back -- his love for entertaining completely took over. The New Jersey-born performer made a living ...

Dream a Little Dream of Me (1931)

6. Bing Crosby

Actor | White Christmas

Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in ...

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (1932), Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? (1933), Try a Little Tenderness (1933), Love In Bloom (1934), Silent Night, Holy Night (1935), Blue Hawaii (1937)

7. Fred Astaire

Actor | The Towering Inferno

Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Johanna (Geilus) and Fritz Austerlitz, a brewer. Fred entered show business at age 5. He was successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. ...

Night and Day (1932), Cheek To Cheek (1935), Top Hat, White Tie and Tails (1935), The Way You Look Tonight (1936), They Can't Take That Away From Me (1937)

8. Kitty Kelly

Actress | Bachelor Apartment

Kitty Kelly was born on April 27, 1902 in New York City, New York, USA as Sue O'Neil. She was an actress, known for Bachelor Apartment (1931), Behind Office Doors (1931) and Ladies of the Jury (1932). She died on June 29, 1968 in Hollywood, California, USA.

I Got Rhythm (1932)

9. Val Rosing

In 1938, Rosing moved to America at the urging of Louis B. Mayer, who renamed Val as Gilbert Russell.

Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Bogeyman (1932)

10. Ethel Waters

Actress | Cabin in the Sky

The child of a teenage rape victim, Ethel Waters grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time. "No one raised me, " she recollected, "I just ran wild." She excelled not only at looking after herself, but also at singing and ...

Heat Wave (1933)

11. Cole Porter

Soundtrack | At Long Last Love

Cole Porter was born June 9, 1891, at Peru, Indiana, the son of pharmacist Samuel Fenwick Porter and Kate Cole. Cole was raised on a 750-acre fruit ranch. Kate Cole married Samuel Porter in 1884 and had two children, Louis and Rachel, who both died in infancy. Porter's grandfather, J.G. Cole, was a...

Anything Goes (1934), I Get a Kick Out of You (1934), Begin the Beguine (1935), I've Got You Under My Skin (1936)

12. Carl Brisson

Actor | Murder at the Vanities

Carl Brisson was born on December 24, 1893 in Copenhagen, Denmark as Carl Frederik Ejnar Pedersen. He was an actor, known for Murder at the Vanities (1934), The Ring (1927) and The Manxman (1929). He was married to Cleo Willard Brisson. He died on September 26, 1958 in Copenhagen.

Cocktails For Two (1934)

13. Dick Powell

Actor | Murder, My Sweet

Few actors ever managed a complete image transition as thoroughly as did Dick Powell: in his case, from the boyish, wavy-haired crooner in musicals to rugged crime fighters in films noir. Powell grew up in the town of Little Rock, Arkansas, one of three brothers (one of them, Howard, ended up as ...

I Only Have Eyes for You (1934), You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby (1938)

14. Paul Whiteman

Actor | Strike Up the Band

Paul Whiteman began his musical career as a viola player for the San Francisco Symphony. He enlisted in the Navy during World War I, and his musical abilities resulted in the Navy putting him in charge of his own band. After the war he moved to New York in 1920, where he recorded his first hit, ...

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (1934)

15. Benny Goodman

Soundtrack | Allied

The King of Swing! Famed clarinetist, composer ("Stompin' at the Savoy") and conductor, educated at the Lewis Institute in Chicago and a student of Schillinger and Schoepp. He was a clarinetist with the orchestras of Bix Beiderbecke, Jules Herbuveaux, Arnold Johnson and Ben Pollack, and also played...

Moon Glow (1934)

16. Shirley Temple

Actress | Captain January

Shirley Temple was easily the most popular and famous child star of all time. She got her start in the movies at the age of three and soon progressed to super stardom. Shirley could do it all: act, sing and dance and all at the age of five! Fans loved her as she was bright, bouncy and cheerful in ...

On the Good Ship Lollipop (1934), Animal Crackers in My Soup (1935)

17. Richard Himber

Soundtrack | Radio Days

Bandleader, songwriter ("It Isn't Fair"), composer, author, conductor and magician. After his college education and private music study, he conducted the orchestral accompaniment to Sophie Tucker's stage performances, and also conducted in vaudeville and revues. Eventually he led his own dance ...

Winter Wonderland (1934)

18. Leo Reisman

Soundtrack | Idlewild

Society dance band leader of the 1920's and 30's, who started as a 12-year old teenager playing the violin with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He put together his own band in 1919 and began a prolific recording career with Columbia two years later. Reisman was able to secure residency at the ...

The Continental (1934)

19. Ray Noble

Soundtrack | Spider-Man 2

Ray Noble was born on December 17, 1903 in Brighton, Sussex, England as Stanley Raymond Noble. He died on April 3, 1978 in Camden, London, England.

Midnight, the Stars and You (1934), Cherokee (Indian Love Song) (1938)

20. Billie Holiday

Soundtrack | Minority Report

Billie Holiday was a true artist of her day and rose as a social phenomenon in the 1950s. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time. Today, Holiday is remembered for her masterpieces, ...

What a Little Moonlight Can Do (1935)

21. Connee Boswell

Actress | Senior Prom

Singer, songwriter, composer, arranger and actress, Connee Boswell studied with Otto Finck. With her sisters Vet Boswell and Martha Boswell she formed The Boswell Sisters, appearing on records, radio, in theaters and films, but later continuing her career as a single. In World War II she ...

Blue Moon (1935)

22. Gene Autry

Soundtrack | The Gene Autry Show

After high school Gene Autry worked as a laborer for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad in Oklahoma. Next he was a telegrapher. In 1928 he began singing on a local radio station, and three years later he had his own show and was making his first recordings. Three years after that he made his ...

Tumbling Tumbleweeds (1935)

23. The Carter Family

Soundtrack | The Johnny Cash Show

Janette Carter, the last surviving child of the Carter Family, died January 22, 2006, at the age of 82. She had Parkinson's disease and other illnesses. She was the daughter of A.P. and Sara Carter, who formed a vocal trio along with A.P.s sister-in-law Mother Maybelle Carter. They were discovered ...

Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By) (1935)

24. Glenn Miller

Soundtrack | The Shape of Water

Alton Glenn Miller was born on March 1, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa; the son of Lewis Elmer and Mattie Lou Cavender Miller. He started his music studies when his father gave him a mandolin. He soon traded the mandolin for an old horn. In 1916 he switched to trombone. In 1923, he enrolled in the ...

Tomorrow's Another Day (1935)

25. Tommy Dorsey

Soundtrack | The Human Stain

Tommy Dorsey was born on November 19, 1905 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, USA as Thomas Francis Dorsey. He was married to Jane Karl New, Patricia Dane and Mildred A Kraft. He died on November 26, 1956 in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (1935), In the Still of the Night (1937), Hawaiian War Chant (1938)

26. Louis Prima

Actor | The Jungle Book

Born in New Orleans' French Quarter, Louis Prima longed to play jazz. When he was a child, he studied the violin. His older brother Leon took up trumpet while Louis was still quite young, and he soon followed in his brother's footsteps. He played in clubs like "The Famous Door" in the 1930s, and by...

Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) (1936)

27. Tommy Bond

Actor | Superman

Forever etched in our minds as the bully with the protruding lip who gave beloved Alfalfa plenty of angst in the "Our Gang" serial shorts, actor Tommy Bond was actually a gentle, benign soul off the set. Born Thomas Ross Bond on September 16, 1926, in Dallas, Texas, he was discovered by a Hal Roach...

I Love To Sing-a (1936)

28. Adriana Caselotti

Self | Disneyland

Adriana was born into an operatic family - her father Guido, an immigrant from Italy, taught music in New York City, her mother Maria (from Naples) sang at the Royal Opera, and a sister Louise was a noted opera singer and voice teacher. She was 18 when Walt Disney personally chose her for the voice...

Some Day My Prince Will Come, Whistle While You Work, With A Smile And A Song (1937)

29. Frank Churchill

Composer | Dumbo

Academy Award-winning composer and songwriter ("Whistle While You Work", "Some Day My Prince Will Come"), and pianist, educated at the University of California. He was a pianist in film theatres, and then came to Hollywood under contract to Walt Disney. Joining ASCAP in 1938, his chief musical ...

Heigh-Ho (1937)

30. Bob Hope

Actor | The Ghost Breakers

Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents...

Thanks for the Memory (1938)

31. Louis Armstrong

Actor | High Society

Louis Armstrong grew up poor in a single-parent household. He was 13 when he celebrated the New Year by running out on the street and firing a pistol that belonged to the current man in his mother's life. At the Colored Waifs Home for Boys, he learned to play the bugle and the clarinet and joined ...

Jeepers Creepers (1938), When the Saints Go Marching In (1939)

32. Ella Fitzgerald

Soundtrack | When Harry Met Sally...

On Saturday, June 15th, 1996, an era in jazz singing came to an end, with the death of Ella Fitzgerald at her home in California. She was the last of four great female jazz singers (including Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae) who defined one of the most prolific eras in jazz vocal ...

A-Tisket, A-Tasket (1938)

33. Bob Wills

Soundtrack | The Right Stuff

Bob Wills, fiddler and band leader of Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys, was an influential developer of the western swing music style in the late 1930s through the 1940s. Recorded extensively for Columbia, Decca, MGM and others. Hit recordings included "San Antonio Rose, " "Faded Love, " and "Steel ...

San Antonio Rose (1938)

34. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

Over the Rainbow (1939)

35. Glenn Miller

Soundtrack | The Shape of Water

Alton Glenn Miller was born on March 1, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa; the son of Lewis Elmer and Mattie Lou Cavender Miller. He started his music studies when his father gave him a mandolin. He soon traded the mandolin for an old horn. In 1916 he switched to trombone. In 1923, he enrolled in the ...

In the Mood (1939), Moonlight Serenade (1939)

If I Didn't Care (1939)

37. Billie Holiday

Soundtrack | Minority Report

Billie Holiday was a true artist of her day and rose as a social phenomenon in the 1950s. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time. Today, Holiday is remembered for her masterpieces, ...

Strange Fruit (1939)

38. Kate Smith

Soundtrack | The Good Girl

She was dubbed "The Songbird of the South" and would be forever etched in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans as a true American symbol of World War II, especially after giving voice to Irving Berlin's classic song "God Bless America." Her inspiring rendition went on to sell millions of ...

God Bless America (1939)



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