The song of the day for Tuesday, July 4, 2017 is “Don’t Cry Baby.”
About This Song
“Don’t Cry Baby” was written in 1929 by James P. Johnson, Saul Bernie and Stella Unger. Jimmy Johnson was a composer and pianist who, along with Jelly Roll Morton, came into prominence in the era between ragtime and the stride piano techniques in early jazz. Saul Bernie and Stella Unger were both composers who were active in the 1920s. It was first sung by Bessie Smith in 1929. Erskine Hawkins recorded it in 1943; this version reached #1 on the Harlem Hit Parade in 1943 and #15 on the popular charts. Etta James recorded it in 1961 as well.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Don’t Cry Baby” on October 1, 1950. This time, his arranger was Norman Leyden; the recording was produced by Mitch Miller. This early recording has always fascinated me. It’s a great song and you can feel the young Bennett stretching out just a bit for this blues song.
“Don’t Cry Baby,” as well as all the singles collected on The Columbia Singles, Vol. 1, is available from iTunes.