Songwriters Friends

The American Quartet, highly successful vocal group with 12 number 1 hits during the 1910’s and ’20’s, was formed in 1909 and recorded together for over 15 years.

Its original lineup consisted of tenor Billy Murray (the featured soloist), tenor John John Bieling, baritone Steve Porter and bass William F. Hooley. Journalist Jim Walsh wrote in the 1970 February issue of Hobbies magazine that "For several years [Murray] had been singing frequently on Victor records with the assistance of the Haydn Quartet, but now it was decided there was a need for a foursome in which he would star. So John Bieling and Hooley were borrowed from the Haydn Quartet (in which, however, they continued to sing) and Porter was brought in from the Peerless, where he had been singing baritone." Bieling left in 1914 and was replaced by John Young. When Hooley died in late 1918, he was succeeded by Donald Chalmers. In 1920, a revamped American Quartet featured Murray, Albert Campbell, John Meyer and Frank Croxton.

While the individual members, particularly Murray, enjoyed solo success, the quartet is responsible for some of the most successful recordings of its day including the #1 hit songs ‘Casey Jones’ (1910), ‘Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon’ (1910 with Ada Jones), ‘Come Josephine in My Flying Machine’ (1911 with Ada Jones), ‘Oh, You Beautiful Doll’ (1911), ‘Moonlight Bay’ (1912), ‘Everybody Two-Step’ (1912), ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’ (1914), ‘It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary’ (1914), ‘Chinatown, My Chinatown’ (1915), ‘Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!’ (1917), ‘Over There’ (1917) and ‘Good-Bye Broadway, Hello France’ (1917).

In total, American Quartet had over 65 top ten hits from 1910 through 1924 and is listed as #16 on the list of most #1 singles from 1890-1954.

The group disbanded in 1925.


American Quartet
Andrews Sisters
Louis Armstrong (Satchmo)
Fred Astaire
Chet Atkins
Gene Austin (Voice of the Southland)
Gene Autry
Nora Bayes
Brook Benton
Ben Bernie
Connee Boswell
Fanny Brice
Henry Burr
Cab Calloway
Glen Campbell
Albert Campbell
Carter Family (First Family of Country Music)
Enrico Caruso
Ray Charles
Patsy Cline
Larry Clinton
Rosemary Clooney
Nat Cole (King)
Arthur Collins
Perry Como
Bing Crosby
Bob Crosby
Frank Crumit
Vic Damone
Sammy Davis Jr.
Doris Day
Tommy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
Cliff Edwards
Ruth Etting
Shep Fields
Eddie Fisher
Ella Fitzgerald
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Connie Francis
Aretha Franklin (Queen of Soul)
Lefty Frizzell
Jan Garber
Judy Garland
George J. Gaskin (The Silver Voice Irish Tenor)
Marvin Gaye
Benny Goodman (King of Swing)
Glen Gray
Byron G. Harlan
Marion Harris
Charles Harrison
Haydn Quartet
Dick Haymes
Horace Heidt
Woody Herman
Billie Holiday (Lady Day)
Whitney Houston
Eddy Howard
Ink Spots
Harry James
Lewis James
Al Jolson
Ada Jones
George Jones
Sammy Kaye
Hal Kemp
Wayne King (Waltz King)
Pee Wee King
Kay Kyser
Frankie Laine
Brenda Lee
Ted Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis (The Killer)
Guy Lombardo
Vincent Lopez
Harry MacDonough
Freddy Martin
Dean Martin
Johnny Mathis
John McCormack
Glenn Miller
Mills Brothers
Vaughn Monroe
Russ Morgan
Billy Murray (The Denver Nightingale)
J.W. Myers
Ozzie Nelson
Olivia Newton-John
George Olsen
Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Vess L. Ossman (The King of the Banjo)
Buck Owens
Patti Page
Minnie Pearl
Peerless Quartet
Peter, Paul & Mary
Elvis Presley (The King)
Ray Price
Prince's Orchestra
Dan Quinn
Leo Reisman
Paul Robeson
Roy Rogers
Linda Ronstadt
Diana Ross
Ben Selvin
Artie Shaw
Nat Shilkret
Dinah Shore
Frank Sinatra
Bessie Smith (Empress of the Blues)
Sousa's Band
Len Spencer
Dusty Springfield
Jo Stafford
Frank Stanley
Kay Starr
Cal Stewart
Barbra Streisand
The 4 Seasons
The 5th Dimension
The Byrds
The Carter Family
The Commodores
The Drifters
The Everly Brothers
The Four Tops
The Impressions
The Miracles
The Platters
The Righteous Brothers
The Spinners
The Supremes
The Temptations
Ernest Tubb (Texas Troubadour)
Sophie Tucker
Van & Schenck
Walter Van Brunt
Sarah Vaughan
Fred Waring
Dionne Warwick
Ted Weems
Kitty Wells
Paul Whiteman
Margaret Whiting
Bert Williams
Andy Williams
Teddy Wilson
Tammy Wynette