Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)

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"Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)"
Song by Louis Prima
Released1936
GenreJazz, Swing, Big band
LanguageEnglish
LabelBrunswick, Brunswick 7628
WriterLouis Prima
ComposerLouis Prima
Cover versions
 
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"Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)"
Song by Louis Prima
Released1936
GenreJazz, Swing, Big band
LanguageEnglish
LabelBrunswick, Brunswick 7628
WriterLouis Prima
ComposerLouis Prima
Cover versions

"Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)" is a 1936 song, written by Louis Prima and first recorded by him with the New Orleans Gang and released in March 1936 as a 78 as Brunswick 7628 (with "It's Been So Long" as the B side). It is strongly identified with the big band and swing eras. It was covered by Fletcher Henderson and most famously Benny Goodman. Originally entitled "Sing Bing Sing", in reference to Bing Crosby, it was soon retitled for use in wider contexts. The song has since been covered by numerous artists. The original version of the song by Louis Prima includes lyrics, but, due to the better-known Benny Goodman version being instrumental (and including many musical flourishes in its arrangement), many assume the song was written as such.

Contents

Benny Goodman recording

On July 6, 1937, "Sing, Sing, Sing" was recorded in Hollywood with Benny Goodman on clarinet; Harry James, Ziggy Elman, and Chris Griffin on trumpets; Red Ballard and Murray McEachern on trombones; Hymie Schertzer and George Koenig on alto saxophones; Art Rollini and Vido Musso on tenor saxophone; Jess Stacy on piano; Allan Reuss on guitar; Harry Goodman on bass; and Gene Krupa on drums. The song was arranged by Jimmy Mundy. Unlike most big band arrangements of that era, limited in length to three minutes so that they could be recorded on one side of a standard 10-inch 78-rpm record, Goodman band version was an extended work. The 1937 recording lasted 8 min 43 seconds, and took both sides of a 12-inch 78. At its longest, a live recording (with impromptu solos) was recorded and took 12 min 30 sec. Mundy's arrangement incorporated "Christopher Columbus", a piece written by Chu Berry for the Fletcher Henderson band, as well as Prima's work.

Benny Goodman is quoted as saying, "'Sing, Sing, Sing' (which we started doing back at the Palomar on our second trip there in 1936) was a big thing, and no one-nighter was complete without it".[1] Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall jazz concert was different from the commercial release and from subsequent performances with the Goodman band. The personnel of the Goodman band for the Carnegie Hall concert were the same as in the 1937 recording session, except Vernon Brown replaced Murray McEachern on trombone, and Babe Russin replaced Vido Musso on tenor sax.

Goodman's solo is more introspective in the Carnegie performance,[citation needed] with a wider range of dynamics and colors, with Krupa playing a pulsating tom-tom accompaniment accented on the third beat of the measure behind BG for the first half of the solo, while Jess Stacy inserts minor-chord punctuations. Goodman's solo evolves to a driving 'four' feel before quietly giving way to Stacy's famous solo. Stacy's solo is exceptional, a four-chorus, chromatic impressionistic masterpiece distinct from everything that preceded it. That solo has been widely analyzed by pianists both jazz and classical. Stacy was quoted as saying he was glad he did not know Goodman was going to let him solo, because then he would have gotten nervous and "screwed it up."[2]

Other recordings

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See also

References

  1. ^ Shapiro, Nat, and Hentoff, Nat. Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: The Story of Jazz As Told by the Men Who Made It. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1966. (Access Page 320 from Google Books.)
  2. ^ Whitney Balliett, "Back from Valhalla", American Musicians II, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aDbbGIyPCOEC&pg=PA165

External links