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Hi! Thanks for the info; it's always about money, right? I was not criticizing you, just supplementing. And, yes, I believe Jerome Kern wrote the musical "Showboat," circa 1927 also which of course included "Ol' Man River," done in the movie by the great William Warfield. Am pretty sure your extensive book collection is accurate Ashi, but like all history they capture the particular viewpoint of the writer's at that time with their own agenda, usually based on publicity/marketing or something else. That's why we have so many subjective awards and shows. But popularity with more folks (usually based on sales) produce's different recognition. For example, the song "Ghost Rider's in the Sky" was popular in the 40s done by the Sons of the Pioneer's in what I call "chuck wagon harmony'" - laughing! Then in 1949 Vaughan Monroe made it I think the most popular sales-wise with the pop version done in a studio. The Johnny Cash version, circa 1965 was popular based on the colorful video version even though it was probably not one of his strongest songs. Of course, Frankie Laine and scores of other's covered it including the change in lyrics/verses from the original. So, it all depends on several factors how "popular" a song is in any particular time period.
You mentioned Frankie Laine. This is my favorite song of his, # 2 in 1953: