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Most-Recorded Tunes of the 1930s

This list ranks the top 10 most-recorded tunes during the 1930s. By carefully comparing the 355 individual tune recordings dated as from the 1930s which appear on the indexed recordings, I identified a total of 265 musically distinct tunes. The top ten of those tunes are listed below, in order of how many albums they appear on. When tunes have the same number of recordings, tunes having the oldest recordings appear first. Note that reuses of a particular cut in other anthologies are counted, which is fair, since the popularity of a recording is a good indicator both of the popularity of the tune and of the likelihood that musicians will learn the tune from that recording.

Of related interest:
RankNumber of
Recordings
Explanation
Rhythm
Title (and link to tune details)
14Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Ah SurelyAh Surely
24Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Lass of CarracastleLass of Carracastle
34Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Hunter's PurseHunter's Purse
43Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Kiss the Maid behind the BarrelKiss the Maid behind the Barrel
53Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Scotch MaryScotch Mary
63Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Colonel FraserColonel Fraser
73Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Flogging ReelFlogging Reel
83Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Bonnie KateBonnie Kate
93Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Bunch of KeysBunch of Keys
103Reel
Transcription of first 2 bars of Lord Gordon'sLord Gordon's