Music of the Times

Sam Avery loved music.  In his writings Sam makes many references to the musical creativity of the men he served with, the popular tunes of the day and how he enjoyed listening to the graphophone at home.

As First Sergeant with the 103rd Infantry in France, Sam also served as the Drum Major for the Regimental Band and greatly enjoyed marching on parade while swinging the “big stick” or baton. Later while writing from the trenches, Sam also humorously refers to incoming German artillery and machine gun fire as “playing the music” either softly or loudly depending on its intensity.

Here are some original recordings of popular music from 1916-1919 which Sam would have enjoyed.


Murray Johnson, “Pack Up Your Troubles”


Billy Murray, “Over There”
American Quartet, “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh”
Arthur Fields, “Where Do We Go From Here”
Billy Murray, “When I Get Back to the USA”
John McCormack, “Keep The Home Fires Burning”
Peerless Quartet, “I Don’t Know Where I’m Going”
Peerless Quartet, “Liberty Bell”


American Quartet, “You’re A Grand Old Flag”
Arthur Fields, “Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning”
Arthur Fields, “You Can’t Beat Us”
Harry Fay, “How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down On The Farm”
Henry Burr, “Hello Central”
Peerless Quartet, “America, Here’s My Boy”
Peerless Quartet, “I’m Gonna Pin My Medal”
Peerless Quartet, “We’ll Do Our Share”


American Quartet, “Goodbye Broadway, Hello France”
John McCormack, “Roses Of Picardy”
Tom Clare, “What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?”

Published on June 14, 2008 at 10:55 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So cool to hear these songs. We sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag” in elementary school. : )

    I love this period of music. I did a lot of my novel writing and editing to XM radio’s 40’s channel, which also includes music from the 20’s and 30’s. I just love the sound of the crooners, Swing and Big Band.

    I also love the record-player sound of some of the songs above. Reminds me of my own childhood.

    The music also reminds me of The Little Rascals. : )


  2. My grandfather, Gaitano Alberto Sassi, was a bugler in Co.B of the 103rd. My mother recalls him singing “They’re Gonna Murder The Bugler” to her when she was young. I have one of his bugles with a woolen sleeve sewn onto it.

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