Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Dipsy Doodle

First recorded by Tommy Dorsey feat. Edythe Wright (#1 1937).
Other hit versions by Russ Morgan and His Orchestra (US #2 1937), Johnny Maddox & the Rhythmasters (US #15 1953).
Also recorded by Larry Clinton & His Orchestra feat. Bea Wain (1937), Ella Fitzgerald & the Chick Webb Orchestra (1937), Bill Haley & His Comets (1957).

“Larry Clinton was an arranger for the Dorsey Brothers big band at the he came up with ‘Dipsy Doodle’, hanging out at the Onyx Club, a jazz club on 52nd Street in New York City, where the back of the menus were printed with blank music scores. One evening Clinton wrote the melody on a menu. It wasn’t until baseball season rolled around that he came up with the lyrics.

“He was a baseball fanatic and Clinton got the idea [for lyrics] from New York Giants left-handed pitcher Carl Hubbell. Hubbell had a screwball pitch that had been dubbed ‘dipsy doo’ for the crazy way it dipped over the plate and befuddled the batters.

“Clinton originally wrote ‘Dipsy Doodle’ for Tommy Dorsey [whose 1937 recording featuring vocalist Edythe Wright topped the Hit Parade ahead of the Russ Moran Orchestra cover version]. Dorsey then made Clinton so well known that Clinton was able to start a band of his own with the financial backing of Dorsey. Then Clinton’s own band further popularized ‘Dipsy Doodle’ by using it as its theme song.

“Clinton later became known for his adaptations of classical melodies and created hits by borrowing from Debussy (‘My Reverie’), and Tchaikovsky (‘Our Love’). One of his lasting popular arrangements was ‘Deep Purple‘, a 1933 song written by Peter DeRose and first made popular in 1939 by Clinton with vocalist Bea Wain (and later popularly revived by Nino Tempo and April Stevens in 1963).”

Hit Songs, 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era, by Don Tyler


The Dipsy Doodle’s the thing to beware
The Dipsy Doodle will get in your hair
And if it gets you, it couldn’t be worse
The things you say will come out in reverse
Like “You love I and me love you”
That’s the way the Dipsy Doodle works.
Whenever you think you’re crazy
You’re just a victim of the Dipsy Doodle
Ah, but it’s not your mind that’s hazy
It’s your tongue that’s at fault, not your noodle.


Russ Morgan and His Orchestra, “Dipsy Doodle” (1937):

Larry Clinton & His Orchestra feat. Bea Wain, “Dipsy Doodle” (1937):

Ella Fitzgerald & the Chick Webb Orchestra, “Dipsy Doodle” (1937):

Johnny Maddox & the Rhythmasters, “Dipsy Doodle” (1953):

Bill Haley & His Comets, “Dipsy Doodle” (1957):

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