Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

Written and first recorded by Duke Ellington & His Kentucky Club Orchestra (1926).
Hit version by Duke Ellington & The Washingtonians (US #10 1927).
Covered by Steely Dan (1974).

From the wiki: “‘East St Louis Toodle-Oo’ is a composition written by Duke Ellington and Bubber Miley and recorded several times by Ellington for various labels from 1926-1930 under various titles. The original recording features a growling plunger-muted trumpet part played by co-composer Miley, one of the first jazz trumpeters to utilize the style. This style was carried on by later Ellington trumpeters Cootie Williams, and Ray Nance.

“Ellington first recorded ‘Toodle-Oo’ in November 1926 for Vocalion Records. He recorded the composition twice more in early 1927 for Brunswick Records. Ellington recorded the song a third time that year, in March, for Columbia Records under the name ‘The Washingtonians’. It was this recording that became the first charting single for Ellington, in 1927.

“‘East St. Louis Toodle-Oo’ would be the only instrumental ever recorded by Steely Dan. So, what’s the connection between Steely Dan and Ellington? The song is mentioned in William S. Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch, the book from where Steely Dan found its name.”

Steely Dan, “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo” (1974):

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