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 & His 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 using various band names. 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 in 1927, in March, for Columbia Records under the name ‘Duke Ellington & His Washingtonians’. It would be this recording that became Ellington’s very first charting single.

“A 1974 cover of ‘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? ‘East St. Louis Toodle-Oo’ is one of the recurring theme songs mentioned throughout William S. Burroughs’ 1959 seminal work, The Naked Lunch, the novel from where Steely Dan found its name.”

Duke Ellington & His Washingtonians, “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo” (1927):

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

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