|The Andrews Sisters|
The Andrews' record was released a few days after Christmas 1938. By New Year's Eve it was playing over and over again on every radio station in New York City. It started when "The Milkman's Matinee" on WNEW picked it up and played it on the all-night show. Soon there were near riots at the record stores. Crowds would line up and the song would be played out into the street from loudspeakers. Traffic would back up for blocks. By the end of January, "Bei Mir Bist du Schon" had sold more than 350,000 copies.
"Bei Mir Bist du Schon" fever spread across the land. "It's wowing the country," reported one New Jersey paper. "They're singing it in Camden, Wilkes-Barre, Hamilton, Ohio, and Kenosha, Wis. The cowboys of the West are warbling the undulating melody and so are the hillbillies of the South, the lumberjacks of the Northwest, the fruit packers of California, the salmon canners of Alaska." And it was huge hit in Yorkville: "The Nazi bierstuben patrons yodel it religiously, under the impression that it's a Goebbels-approved German chanty."