Day By Day

Friday, December 05, 2008

Evolution of a Standard

Woody Allen and his Jazzmen present a strange version of one of my old favorites "After You've Gone Away". I like it, in spite of [or perhaps because of] the absurd vibrato.

Whoever posted this on YouTube mislabled it as "Dippermouth Blues" [an old Louis Armstrong Dixieland number]. Here's what the real Dippermouth Blues sounds like. Looking for it I ran across this, an even earlier version of the song [way back when it was called the "Sugarfoot Stomp"] performed by Bert Firman and his Band in 1927.

Googling around a bit I learned that Dippermouth Blues had originally been written by Joe "King" Oliver.

Here's Ken Burns' bit on Oliver and his influence on Satchmo.

Discursive stuff over -- back to the subject.

And what about the original song, "After You've Gone Away"? It was composed back in 1918 by Turner Layton who also composed "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" [1922]. If you don't remember "Way Down Yonder" here's Satchmo's version.

There..., I knew you would remember it. I sure do -- it was one of my favorite pieces when I was a kid.

Finally, back to where I began. It seems everyone and his/her brother has recorded "After You've Gone Away".

Here's how it sounded back as originally written. The singer is Marion Harris.

Here's what Bing Crosby did with the song. And here is Judy Garland doing it. I couldn't find the Frank Sinatra version, but he did it too. And here's Sophie Tucker. The song is still being recorded. Here is Brit singer Jamie Cullen's version, recorded in 2007.

Here's my favorite version. Freddy Taylor singing with Django Reinhardt.

Looooooooove that Gypsy Jazz.

And this is for Diane [Sissy Sue] -- Chet Atkins and Suzy Bogguss do it.

And finally, what most people consider to be the definitive version, by Bessie Smith.

Now wasn't that nice? Of course it was! This is why I absolutely love YouTube. All of music history is there, just waiting for you to discover it.