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sinatraalbumcover1 The Great American Songbook
by osten

About The Great American Songbook

People often refer to The Great American Songbook as if it’s a physical book with a list of songs. But there’s no such thing. It’s just a construction that you can find quite a few versions of.

People always debate which songs should earn a place in the “book.”

The list below – and the Spotify playlist tied to it – includes the songs that most agree should be in there.

In total, there are 275 tracks and 14 hours of music.

The Great American Songbook is said to represent the best, most influential composers from the 20th century and their songs.

Surprisingly, though, there are no songs from the latter part of the century. When rock’n’roll was born, the book closed for some reason.

Instead, the focus is Broadway musicals, Hollywood films and theater stages. Big names among the composers are Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Rodgers/Hammerstein and George/Ira Gershwin and we hear the songs performed by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billie Holliday, Judy Garland, Ray Charles, Bessie Smith and many others.

If you would be cynical, you could say that this is music you only play when you have dinner guests that don’t care about music or if you’re gay.

Even though the Great American Songbook works perfect in both situations above, other people should give this a listen too.

The Great American Songbook is not only a piece of American history and music heritage, it’s also packed with great, great songs.

So drop your guard.

Deep down inside you love this, don’t you?

The Great American Songbook (Playlist)

Composer: Harold Arlen

Over the Rainbow
It's Only a Paper Moon
Stormy Weather
I've Got the World on a String
I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues
Let's Fall in Love
Blues in the Night
That Old Black Magic
One for My Baby
Come Rain or Come Shine
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
The Man that Got Away

Composer: Irving Berlin

Alexander's Ragtime Band
When I Lost You
How Deep Is the Ocean
God Bless America
White Christmas
A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody
Blue Skies
Cheek to Cheek
Puttin' on the Ritz
Let's Face the Music and Dance
There's No Business like Show Business
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Composer: Nacio Herb Brown

All I Do Is Dream of You
Broadway Melody
Pagan Love Song
Singin' in the Rain
You Stepped Out of a Dream
You Were Meant for Me
Good Morning

Composer: Hoagy Carmichael

Georgia on My Mind
Lazy River
The Nearness of You

Composer: Walter Donaldson

My Baby Just Cares For Me
My Blue Heaven
Love Me or Leave Me
Carolina in the Morning
My Mammy
What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry?
Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Makin' Whoopee
You're Driving Me Crazy
Little White Lies

Composer: Vernon Duke

April in Paris
Autumn in New York
I Can't Get Started
Taking a Chance on Love

Composer: Duke Ellington

In a Sentimental Mood
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
Satin Doll
Mood Indigo
Sophisticated Lady
Take the 'A' Train
I'm Beginning to See the Light

Composer: Sammy Fain

I'll Be Seeing You
That Old Feeling
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
April Love
Tender is the Night

Composer: George and Ira Gershwin

Someone to Watch over Me
'S Wonderful
A Foggy Day
But Not For Me
Embraceable You
I Got Rhythm
Fascinating Rhythm
The Man I Love
They Can't Take That Away from Me
Love Is Here to Stay
Strike Up the Band

Composer: Ray Henderson

Bye Bye Blackbird
I'm Sitting on Top of the World
The Birth of the Blues
The Thrill Is Gone
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Sonny Boy
You're the Cream in My Coffee

Composer: Herman Hupfeld

As Time Goes By
Let's Put Out the Lights (and Go to Sleep)

Composer: Bart Howard

Fly Me to the Moon

Composer: Isham Jones

It Had to Be You
I'll See You in My Dreams

Composer: Jerome Kern

A Fine Romance
Pick Yourself Up
The Way You Look Tonight
Long Ago (and Far Away)
All the Things You Are
The Folks Who Live On the Hill
Ol' Man River
The Song Is You
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Composer: Frank Loesser

If I Were a Bell
On A Slow Boat to China
Standing on the Corner
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Luck Be a Lady

Composer: Jimmy McHugh

I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby
I'm in the Mood for Love
Don't Blame Me
On the Sunny Side of the Street
Exactly Like You
It's a Most Unusual Day

Composer: Johnny Mercer

On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe
In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of the Evening
Moon River
Days of Wine and Roses
Something's Gotta Give
I Wanna Be Around
Midnight Sun
Day In, Day Out
I Remember You

Composer: Cole Porter

Night and Day
I've Got You under My Skin
Begin the Beguine
Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love
What Is This Thing Called Love?
Too Darn Hot
Love for Sale
You're the Top
Just One of Those Things
All of You
I Get a Kick Out of You
Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye
In the Still of the Night
It's De-Lovely
My Heart Belongs to Daddy
I Concentrate on You
You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
So in Love
Anything Goes
You Do Something to Me

Composer: Rodgers and Hart

Slaughter On 10th Avenue (ballet)
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
With A Song in My Heart
Falling In Love with Love
My Romance
Have You Met Miss Jones?
My Funny Valentine
Blue Moon
Blue Room
I Could Write a Book
It's Easy To Remember
It Never Entered My Mind
The Lady Is a Tramp
Little Girl Blue
My Heart Stood Still
Spring Is Here
A Ship without a Sail
Thou Swell
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
I Didn't Know What Time It Was
Isn't It Romantic?
Where or When
Glad to Be Unhappy
You Took Advantage of Me
This Can't Be Love
Mountain Greenery

Composer: Rodgers and Hammerstein

You'll Never Walk Alone
Hello, Young Lovers
Younger Than Springtime
Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'
People Will Say We're in Love
It Might as Well Be Spring
If I Loved You
Happy Talk
Some Enchanted Evening
The Surrey with the Fringe on Top
Shall We Dance?
My Favorite Things
Something Wonderful
Climb Every Mountain
I Enjoy Being a Girl
The Sound Of Music
A Wonderful Guy

Composer: Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar

Who's Sorry Now?
Thinking of You
I Wanna Be Loved by You
Three Little Words
A Kiss to Build a Dream On

Composer: Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz

Dancing in the Dark
You and the Night and the Music
I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan
Alone Together
Haunted Heart
That's Entertainment!

Composer: Jule Styne

Time after Time
Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry
I Fall In Love Too Easily
Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Don't Rain on My Parade
Just In Time
Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)

Composer: Jimmy Van Heusen

All the Way
Swinging on a Star
Darn That Dream
Polka Dots and Moonbeams
But Beautiful
Come Fly with Me
Like Someone in Love
Call Me Irresponsible
I Thought About You
Here's That Rainy Day
It Could Happen To You
Love Is the Tender Trap
Ain't That a Kick in the Head

Composer: Harry Warren

At Last
There Will Never Be Another You
An Affair to Remember
I Had the Craziest Dream
The More I See You
Forty-Second Street
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Lullaby of Broadway
You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me
I Only Have Eyes for You
This Is Always
Jeepers Creepers
You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
September in the Rain
Lulu's Back In Town
You're My Everything
Chattanooga Choo Choo
This Heart of Mine
You'll Never Know
My Dream Is Yours
I Wish I Knew
Serenade in Blue
(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo
That's Amore

Composer: Richard Whiting

Till We Meet Again
The Japanese Sandman
Ain't We Got Fun
Hooray for Hollywood
Beyond the Blue Horizon
On the Good Ship Lollipop
Too Marvelous for Words

Composer: Jack Yellen

Ain't She Sweet
Happy Days Are Here Again
Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)
Glad Rag Doll
Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp of Savannah)
Louisville Lou (That Vampin' Lady)
My Yiddishe Momme
Composer: Vincent Youmans

Tea for Two
Time on My Hands
More Than You Know
(The) Carioca
Sometimes I'm Happy
Without A Song
I Want to Be Happy

Composer: Victor Young

I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You
Stella by Starlight
Love Letters
My Foolish Heart
When I Fall in Love
Around the World

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