Billy Murray was the most successful recording artist of the acoustic era of recording that stretched from before the turn of the 20th century to the mid-'20s. He possessed a penetrating tenor voice, a strong sense of phrasing and enunciation, and a comic style that overcame the sonic limitations of early recording. The first singer ever to make a living solely from recording, he is ranked by chart researcher Joel Whitburn as the top recording artist of the first decade of the 20th century, and journalist Jim Walsh estimated that he was also the biggest record-seller of the period 1910-1920. He was the primary interpreter of the songs of George M. Cohan, recording the hit versions of "Yankee Doodle Boy," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "The Grand Old Rag" (aka "You're a Grand Old Flag"), and "Harrigan." Despite his success as a recording artist, Murray was not as famous as some other singers of the day because he stuck mainly to the recording studio and did not appear extensively on-stage.