‘Jersey Walk,’ Johnny Marvin

Singer and ukulele player Johnny Marvin.

Singer and ukulele player Johnny Marvin.

Johnny Marvin was a ukulele player and singer who was very popular in the 1920s. He sang “Jersey Walk” — which is apparently something you do in a swanky seaside resort — in the Broadway play “Honeymoon Lane” in 1926, and recorded the version of it that you can hear below.

Marvin, who was born in the Oklahoma Territory in 1897 (Oklahoma didn’t become a state until 1907), got his start on the vaudeville circuit. He didn’t stay popular as a crooner for long, though he had a lot of success in radio and Hollywood in the 1930s, as a songwriter and producer, and often worked with Gene Autry.

Marvin died in 1944 after contracting Dengue fever while entertaining the troops in World War II.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


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