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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Darktown Strutters' Ball

By Shelton Brooks
1917

Another infectious and marvelous old tune that may not perfectly jibe with our modern politically correct sensibilities, but should never be forgotten. Introduced by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, it was one of the earliest traditional jazz songs to become a standard. It's believed to have been inspired by the 1915 Pacific-Panama Expo in San Francisco. I have a personal fondness for it, as my great-aunt (born 1920) used to sing it to me when I was a small child as I danced around her living room. This jumping dance composition will always be a favorite of mine.

Lyrics:

I'll be down to get you in a taxi, Honey,
You better be ready about half past eight,
Now dearie, don't be late,
I want to be there when the band starts playing.

Remember when we get there, Honey,
The two-steps, I'm goin' to have 'em all,
Goin' to dance out both my shoes,
When they play the "Jelly Roll Blues,"
Tomorrow night at the Darktown Strutters' Ball.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Dean Martin
Jimmy Dorsey
Fats Waller
Lou Monte

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