George Gershwin and Irving Caesar were lunching at Dinty Moore’s restaurant trying to come up with a surefire hit. “Hindustan” was popular at the time and Caesar suggested marrying the one-step rhythms of that song to another locale. The team continued discussing the song while riding on the upper level of a double-decker bus to Gershwin’s apartment. By the time they reached the piano, the song had been sketched out.
Al Jolson, vocal, music by George Gershwin, lyric by Irving Caesar