First released by The Charleston Chasers (1929).
Hit versions by Leo Reisman & His Orchestra (US #2 1929), Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five (US #7 1929), Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (US #8 1929), Fats Waller (US #17 1929 |1943), The Teddy Wilson Quartet (US #6 1937), Dinah Washington (R&B #6 1948), Johnnie Ray (UK #17 1956), Tommy Bruce & the Bruisers (UK #3 1960), Hank Williams, Jr. (C&W #1 1986).
Also recorded by King Cole Trio & Anita O’Day (1945), Bill Haley & His Comets (1957), Sam Cooke (1958), Leon Redbone (1975).
From the wiki: “With lyrics by Andy Razaf and score by Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller and Harry Brooks, ‘An’t Misbehavin” was created specifically as a theme song for the Razaf/Waller/Brooks Broadway musical comedy Connie’s Hot Chocolates. In a 1941 interview with Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, of The Jack Benny Show fame, Fats said the song was written while ‘lodging’ in alimony prison, and that is why he was not ‘misbehavin’.’
“The song was first performed at the premiere of Connie’s Hot Chocolates at Connie’s Inn in Harlem as an opening number by Margaret Simms and Paul Bass, and repeated later in the musical by Russell Wooding’s Hallelujah Singers. Connie’s Hot Chocolates transferred to the Hudson Theatre on Broadway in June 1929, where it was renamed to Hot Chocolates and where Louis Armstrong took over as orchestra director. The script also required Armstrong to play ‘Ain’t Misbehavin” in a trumpet solo, and although this was initially slated to only be a reprise of the opening song, Armstrong’s performance was so well received that the trumpeter was asked to climb out of the orchestra pit and play the piece on stage.
First recorded by Johnny Hartman (1951).
Hit versions by The Bell Sisters (US #10 1952), Eddie Wilcox Orchestra feat. Sunny Gale (US #13/R&B #2 1952), Dinah Washington (R&B #3 1952), Bobby Wayne (US #6 1952), Kay Starr (US #1 1952), Susan Raye (C&W #10 1972).
From the wiki: “‘Wheel of Fortune’ was written by Bennie Benjamin and George David Weiss, and was originally recorded in 1951 by Johnny Hartman. The song was also used as the theme to the television series Wheel of Fortune.
“Several different covers of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ were released and charted in 1952. Although recorded in Dec. 1951, the Bell Sisters’ cover did not chart until 1952. The Eddie Wilcox/Sunny Gale recording first charted in Feb. 1952. Dinah Washington, and Bobby Wayne, also released charting covers in 1952. But it was Kay Starr who topped Billboard Best Seller chart with her recording of ‘Wheel of Fortune’, which spent a total of 22-weeks on the Hit Parade.
“Country singer Susan Raye (‘L.A. International Airport’) returned the song to the charts with her 1972 cover.”
First recorded by Frances Langford (US #6 1937).
Other hit versions by Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye (US #1 1950), Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (US #2 1950), Ray Anthony & His Orchestra (US #4 1950), Bing Crosby (US #8 1950), Dinah Washington (R&B #10 1951), The Platters (US #8/R&B #15/UK #11 1960).
From the wiki: “‘Harbor Lights’ was written by Hugh Williams (pseudonym for Will Grosz) with lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy, and first recorded by Frances Langford (with Sam Koki & His Islanders) in 1937.
“The most-popular version – historically – was recorded in 1950 by Swing & Sway with Sammy Kaye, lasting 25 weeks on the Billboard chart and peaking at #1. Other charting covers in 1950 were recorded by The Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Ray Anthony & His Orchestra, and Bing Crosby. Dinah Washington charted R&B Top 10 in 1951,
“The Platters returned ‘Harbor Lights’ to the US Top 40 a decade later in 1960, peaking in the Top 10 at #8 while also charting overseas on the UK Singles chart.”
Written and first recorded by The Buddy Johnson Orchestra with Ella Johnson (1946).
Hit versions by Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten & His Trio (US #20/R&B #3 1947), Lenny Welch (US #4/MOR #3 1963).
Also recorded by Dinah Washington (1947), The Harptones (1953).
From the wiki: “‘Since I Fell for You’ is Blues ballad composed by Buddy Johnson in 1945 and first popularized by his sister, Ella Johnson, with The Buddy Johnson Orchestra. It has since gone on to become a Jazz and Pop standard, becoming a particular favorite of vocalists. Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten & His Trio recorded it in 1947, charting in the R&B Top 5. Dinah Washington also covered ‘Since I Don’t Have You’ in 1947 with no chart impact, Eartha Kitt in 1950, Julie London in 1964, Shirley Horn in 1987, and Etta Jones in 1998. It was the 1963 Lenny Welch cover that reached reached #4 on Billboard Hot 100, far and away his biggest career hit.
Written and first recorded by Hank Williams (C&W #1 1951).
Other hit versions by Dinah Washington (R&B #3 1951), Tony Bennett (US #1 1951).
From the wiki: “Hank Williams wrote ‘Cold Cold Heart’ after visiting his wife, Audrey, in the hospital where she was recovering from an illegal abortion. The flowers he brought her were thrown back in his face. ‘You sorry son of a bitch,’ she is claimed to have said. ‘It was you that caused me to suffer this.’ Hank went home and said his wife had a ‘cold, cold heart.’ Audrey shut him out of her life, and filed for divorce on January 10, 1952. The melody to ‘Cold, Cold Heart’ was taken from ‘You’ll Still Be In My Heart’ (1945), by T. Texas Tyler (who also wrote ‘My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It’). The copyright case was settled out-of-court, after Hank’s passing, in 1955. Dinah Washington and Tony Bennett both recorded adaptations of ‘Cold, Cold Heart’ in 1951, helping Country music out of its rural isolation with additional success on both the R&B and Pop charts.”
First recorded by Janet Brace (US #23 1953).
Other hit versions by Dinah Washington (R&B #4 1954), The DeCastro Sisters (US#2/UK #20 1954), Jo Stafford (US #15 1955), George Maharis (US #25 1962), Al Jarreau (US #70/R&B #51 1982).
Also recorded by Amy Winehouse (2003).
From the wiki: “‘Teach Me Tonight’ was written by Gene De Paul, the lyrics by Sammy Cahn, and first recorded in 1953 by Janet Brace. Dinah Washington recorded the first cover in 1954, charting into the R&B Top 5.
“The DeCastro Sisters, a Cuban trio, recorded it with Skip Martin’s orchestra and had the biggest hit with the song, peaking at #2 on the Hit Parade.
Originally recorded (in Spanish as “Cuando vuelva a tu lado”) by Maria Grever (1934).
First recorded in English (as “What a Diff’rence a Day Made”) by Jimmie Ague (1934).
Also recorded by Freddy Martin & His Orchestra (1934).
Hit versions by The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (US #5 1934), Andy Russell (US #15 1944), Dinah Washington (US #8/R&B #1 1959), Esther Phillips (US #20/R&B #10/DISCO #2/UK #6 1975), Bobby Lewis (C&W #81 1977).
From the wiki: “‘What a Diff’rence a Day Made’ is a popular song originally written in Spanish by María Grever, a Mexican songwriter, in 1934 and originallly titled ‘Cuando vuelva a tu lado’ (‘When I Return to Your Side’). The English lyrics were written by Stanley Adams.
“The earliest English-language renditions of the song were recorded in 1934 by Jimmie Ague, and also by Freddy Martin & His Orchestra the same year. The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra charted first with the song, in 1934, featuring vocals by Bob Crosby. Andy Russell, a Mexican-American singer, recorded a bilingual version of the song in 1944 that reached #15 on the Hit Parade chart.
“Dinah Washington’s 1959 Billboard Top-20 (and #1 R&B) recording earned her the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance. Esther Phillips reached into the UK Top 10 with her disco-fied recording.”
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