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April 1996

Music Sheet Cover

Music Sheet: "April Showers" / Words by B. G. DeSylva / Music by Louis Silvers
Date: 1921    ID: 72.157.11

The music sheet collection at The Henry Ford includes songs and instrumentals that serve as a reflection of popular fads, fashions, and events as well as cultural and sociological trends.

Al Jolson (1886-1950) may be best remembered for his performance in the first full-length talking picture The Jazz Singer (released October 6, 1927 by Warner Bros.) and his signature line "You ain't heard nothin' yet," but Jolson was a vaudeville and Broadway performer for many years before his film success. There had been many experiments in synchronizing sound to the motion picture prior to 1927, but it was The Jazz Singer and Jolson's follow-up The Singing Fool in 1928, that really launched the talking picture and Jolson's career. Lyricist Buddy DeSylva (1895-1950) would become a member of one of America's most famous songwriting teams with lyricist Lew Brown and composer Ray Henderson. Together they created a string of classics including "The Birth of the Blues," "Varsity Drag," "The Best Things in Life Are Free," and "Button Up Your Overcoat." But in 1921, DeSylva teamed with composer Louis Silvers for the Broadway musical "Bombo." "April Showers" was one of the many hits for Jolson from that show.

Though April Showers may come your way,
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So if it's raining, have no regrets
Because it isn't raining rain you know,
(It's raining violets,)
And where you see clouds upon the hills,
You soon will see crowds of daffodils,
So keep on looking for a blue bird
And listening for his song,
Whenever April showers come along.

The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village music sheet collection dates from the late eighteenth century to the present, with the bulk of the collection falling between the years of 1860-1920. If you would like to know more about the music sheet collection, please contact the Research Center.


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