What was the #1 jazz song of 1920?

Answered by Tom Adger

The #1 jazz song of 1920 is a bit difficult to determine, as there were many popular jazz songs during that time. However, one song that can be considered as a contender for the top spot is “Crazy Blues” by Mamie Smith. Released in 1920, this song is often credited as the first blues recording by an African-American artist. It became a huge success and sold over a million copies, making it a significant milestone in the history of jazz and popular music.

“Crazy Blues” was groundbreaking in many ways. It showcased Mamie Smith’s powerful and emotive vocals, backed by a jazz-infused band. The song’s lyrics touched on themes of love, heartbreak, and the struggles of African-American life, which resonated with many listeners at the time. It captured the essence of the blues, a genre that would go on to greatly influence jazz music.

The success of “Crazy Blues” paved the way for other African-American artists to record and release their own jazz and blues songs. It also opened doors for more diverse and inclusive representation in the music industry, as Smith’s success proved that there was a market for music by and for African-Americans.

It is worth noting that the popularity of jazz music in the 1920s extended beyond individual songs. The entire genre was experiencing a surge in popularity, with jazz clubs and speakeasies becoming hotspots for music and dancing. Jazz bands, like Louis Armstrong’s, were in high demand, and they helped popularize many jazz standards that are still enjoyed today.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact #1 jazz song of 1920, “Crazy Blues” by Mamie Smith is a strong contender. Its success marked a significant milestone in the history of jazz and paved the way for the genre’s continued popularity throughout the decade.