Musical Sounds of World War Two


Hi, my name is John. I'm a Depression Baby; I grew up in the 1930s and 1940s. For my contemporaries and me the defining event in that period of our lives was World War Two.A war in which some twelve million American men and women would serve.Of those 12 million, about 300,000 died on the battlefield. An additional 106,000 died of other causes, and 670,000 suffered non-fatal wounds.

We remember that December 1941 Sunday when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asking Congress the next day for a declaration of war.Life quickly changed for us. Our older brothers and fathers either volunteered or were drafted into the various military services and sent off to war. Those workers who remained saw their job hours which a short time earlier had often been 10-15 per week because of the Depression, quadruple. Movie stars like Clark Gable, Jimmy Steward, Robert Montgomery and Victor Mature among others left their careers, joined the military and went off to war. One notable exception, who I will not name, stayed in Hollywood although he was medically fit. He became extremely wealthy making war movies and by the time he died, was the epitome of masculinity and of patriotism, undeservedly in my opinion.

Most young men we saw were in uniforms. The major means of long distance travel at that time were trains. They were filled not with civilian passengers on vacation but rather troops being moved from one coast to the other, their military equipment loaded onto the following flatcars. As the war went on, older and older men were drafted, the cutoff age being 44. Letters that we received from members of our families in the military had been opened and often had large sections blacked out by military censors. As the war went on we also began to see more and more little banners hanging in windows with Gold Stars on them indicating that a member of the household serving in the military had been killed.

Just before the war ended President Roosevelt, who had been the only president we young people had known in our lifetime, died. On the day Roosevelt died, I remember walking back home from school after it was closed and students dismissed, and seeing nearly all the adults walking around with tears streaming down their faces. The war ended a few months later as President Truman first announced Victory in Europe Day in May and then Victory over Japan Day in August 1945. We celebrated and life slowly began to return to normal. Five years later I enlisted and went off to another war in which more Americans were to die, this time in Korea. But as the bartender, Moustache, in the hilarious 1963 Jack Lemmon and Shirley McLaine movie Irma la Douce was always saying, that is another story.


Much of the music we heard on our radios was related to the war. We heard patriotic songs.We heard novelty songs. We also heard many songs that reflected the sad loneliness of wives, sweethearts and their husbands and boyfriends separated by the war.

I have put some of the patriotic , novelty and melancholy songs from World War Two on this page for those who like me are old enough to remember it to reminisce. For those born after the war to learn a little about how we felt and also how the music of that era sounded. I will try to post new songs every few weeks(I have several hundred songs). The songs are for personal listening only, the original artists and recording companies retain their copyrights. Please, if you like to hear more of this kind of music buy CDs or old records from dealers.

A minor afterthought, music of the 60s and 70s is called Golden Oldies. Perhaps I should call this music of my youth of a period some 30 years earlier, Music for Old Geezers and start a Old Geezers' Music Ring.

The music can only be downloaded. To do this, place the cursor of your mouse on the underlined song title, then right click on your mouse and finally click on either save target or save link as.

In order to play the following music, you must have a Real Audio player version 3 or above. If you do not have it click here to get it realplayer

For those Johnnys and Johnnettes who Did Not Come Marching Home at the end of the War and who are buried in cemeteries in Europe, Asia,the PunchBowl in Honolulu and in the mainland US a tribute by Aaron Copeland's Fanfare For the Comman Man

Bombing of Pearl Harbor

FDRoosevelt's Day of Infamy Speech

HSTruman's Victory in Europe Day Speech

HSTruman's Victory over Japan Day Speech

Artie Shaw-I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time

Art Kassel- Bell Bottomed Trousers

Betty Grable- Cuddle Up A Little Closer

Bing Crosby- Bless Them All

Eddie Cantor- I'm Gonna Sit Right Down

Frank Sinatra- I'll Never Smile Again

Glenn Miller- Homesick That's All

Glenn Miller- There Are Yanks Coming

Henry Busse- Shoofly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy

Judy Garland- Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Martha Raye- Accentuate The Positive

Piped Pipers- Milkman Keep Those Bottles Quiet

Sophia Tucker- Some of These Days

The pictures of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman are their official portraits. The picture of the US Marines raising the flag is the world famous picture taken on Mt.Surabachi on the Island of Iwo Jima in the middle of the bloody battle for that island during the waning days of World War. During that battle 6,800 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 18,000 wounded. Twenty-six Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded, twelve posthumously.

I would like to thank a new friend that I have met on the Internet, Lipstick, for encouraging me to create this page. I met her after I visited her own webpage to listen to the music she has posted. We chat from time to time on ICQ and exchange music files. She is a wonderful human being with a heart of gold.

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