"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.
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". 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, 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."
- In the 1936 movie After the Thin Man: at the unexpected New Year party given at the Charles' residence
- in the 1937 film Hollywood Hotel (film) at about 1:24 into the film.
- In the 1955 biopic The Benny Goodman Story. The song is played at the climax of the film, a recreation of Goodman's triumphant Carnegie Hall concert. Many of the era's premier musicians appear.
- In the 1979 film "All That Jazz", the song is performed by Roy Scheider.
- In the 1980 movie They All Laughed, directed by Peter Bogdanovich
- In the 1981 movie American Pop (1981), directed by Ralph Bakshi
- In the 1986 movie Power (1986), featuring recurring images of the central character, played by Richard Gere, playing the drums
- In the 1988 Jim Abrahams movie Big Business
- In the 1988 Anthony Hickox movie Waxwork
- In the 1989 movie New York Stories, in the Woody Allen segment "Oedipus Wrecks" when Seldon's mother (played by Mae Questel) turns up at his office.
- In the 1990 Penny Marshall movie Awakenings
- In the 1993 movie Swing Kids (new recording for the film)
- In the 1993 Woody Allen movie Manhattan Murder Mystery
- In the 1994 Jim Carrey movie The Mask
- In the 1995 Martin Scorsese movie Casino.
- In the 1997 television film "Tower of Terror (film)"
- In the 1997 Woody Allen movie Deconstructing Harry during Harry Block's (Woody Allen) visit to hell.
- In the 1999 movie Girl on the Bridge, directed by Patrice Leconte.
- In the 2000 Ed Harris movie Pollock
- In the 2001 Jim Carrey movie The Majestic
- In the 2002 submarine ghost movie Below
- In the 2002 Martin Scorsese movie Gangs of New York: used anachronistically
- In the 2002 Aldo, Giovanni & Giacomo movie La Leggenda di Al, John e Jack
- In the 2003 Stephen Fry movie Bright Young Things
- In the 2004 Japanese film Swing Girls by Shinobu Yaguchi
- In the 2008 movie Leatherheads
- In the 2009 movie Me and Orson Welles
- In the 2009 movie Bart Got a Room in the opening scene, played by Nelson Roque and the Hollywood Hills High School Band; and during the ending credits, a modern version with electric guitar, played by Jack Antonoff with Jon Shiffman & Steel Train
- In the official trailer for the 2011 movie The Artist. The track "Peppy And George" from the movie's soundtrack is an homage to the song.
- Chto Gde Kogda (1975–present), one of the longest-running TV shows in the Soviet Union/Russia
- Cinescape, a Peruvian TV program about movies
- 2007 television movie Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front
- 1993 commercial for the Nabisco Chips Ahoy! cookies
- 1993 sitcom "Daddy Dearest" as the theme song.
- The Simpsons episodes "Lady Bouvier's Lover" (1994), "Make Room for Lisa" (1999), "Simpsons Christmas Stories" (2005), "Coming to Homerica" (2009) and "Flaming Moe" (2011).
- Ken Burns' 1994 documentary Baseball, episode "The Sixth Inning"
- 1997 made-for-TV movie Tower of Terror
- Everybody Loves Raymond episode "Dancing with Debra" (1999, season 3)
- 3rd Rock from the Sun episode "Shall We Dick"
- Gilmore Girls episode "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?"
- Batman: The Animated Series used in various episodes in which Bruce Wayne was at parties.
- The Sopranos episode "Remember When"
- Malcolm in the Middle episode "Dewey's Special Class"
- Agatha Christie's Poirot episode The Mystery of the Blue Train
- A 2007 episodeDoctors of
- Carnivàle episode "The Road to Damascus"
- Fame episode "Come One, Come All" (1982)
- M*A*S*H episode "Showtime" (1973)
- Chips Ahoy commercials (1990s-2000s)
- The O.C. episode The Gamble (2003, season 1)
- Glee episode "Mash-Up (2009, season 1)
- ''Step by Step episode "The Case of the Missing Diary" (1994, season 3)
- America's Best Dance Crew episode "Champions for Charity", Quest Crew
- 2011 GE commercial for clean energy.
- The Golden Girls episode "One For the Money".
- One Tree Hill episode "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)" (2008)
- BBC Christmas TV 2012 "It's Showtime" idents and promos
- ITV series 'Mr Selfridge' as the theme tune.
- In 2009 part of the melody was used in "Box of Secrets", a song by Zarif.
- Chicago recorded their own version of the song with The Gipsy Kings on ther 1995 album Night and Day: Big Band.
- Used in Dallas, TX based band Course of Empire's song Infested, from the 1993 album of the same name.
- Part of the song is mentioned in Michael Bublé's rendition of the "Spider-Man" theme on Bublé's album Babalu.
- Los Straitjackets covered this song on their 1999 album The Velvet Touch of Los Straitjackets
- A cover of the song is to be found on Flat Duo Jets' 1990 self-titled album.
- A slight variation and expansion of the instrumental version of this song is used as the instrumental backing of the Royal Crown Revue track, "Barflies At The Beach."
- Champion ice-dancers Torvill and Dean used "Sing, Sing, Sing" to accompany their winning routine in 1981.
- In México was used for TV ads from the beer foster.