Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Cootie Williams

‘Round Midnight

First recorded (as “‘Round About Midnight”) by Cootie Williams & His Orchestra (1944).
Also recorded by Dizzy Gillespie (1946), Jackie Paris (1949), Sarah Vaughn (1963).
Popular versions by Thelonious Monk (1947|1957), Miles Davis (1956).

From the wiki: “By the time Thelonious Monk recorded ”Round Midnight’ as a band leader, in 1947, his composition was already well-known around jazz circles and was considered a classic. It has since gone on to become the most-recorded Jazz standard composed by a jazz performer, appearing on more than 1000 recordings. It is thought that Monk originally composed ”Round Midnight” sometime in 1940 or 1941. Historian Harry Colomby, however, claims that Monk could even have written an earlier version of the song around 1936 (at the age of 19) with the title ‘Grand Finale’.

“Cootie Williams began his professional career at age 14 on the trumpet with the Young Family band, a group who included saxophonist Lester Young. Williams later rose to prominence as a member of Duke Ellington’s orchestra, with whom he performed from 1929 to 1940. In 1940 he joined Benny Goodman’s orchestra, a highly publicized move that caused quite a stir at the time; then, in 1941, Williams formed the first of his own orchestras.

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