The song of the day for Tuesday, July 22, 2014 is “Ain’t Misbehaving.”
About This Song
“Ain’t Misbehaving” was written in 1929 by Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks, with lyrics by Andy Razaf. Waller recorded the original version, released by the Victor label on August 2, 1929. This recording received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1984; the song was named as one of the 365 Songs of the (20th) Century, as selected by the Recording Industry Association of America.
There were six other versions recorded in 1929, including those by Ruth Etting, Louis Armstrong and Leo Reisman and His Orchestra. The song has remained vastly popular over the years, with recordings by the greats of jazz: Anita O’Day, Billie Holiday, Eartha Kitt, Ella Fitzgerald, Kay Starr, Sidney Bechet and many, many more. The song found new popularity in 1978 with the musical revue of the same name with a book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr. Your author had the great fortune to see the production with the original cast and it was one of the most exciting and happiest evenings I have ever spent in a theatre.
About This Version
Today’s version is from Bennett’s live appearance at the Sahara in Las Vegas in 1964, recently released on the album Live At The Sahara: From This Moment On, recorded in April, 1964. In that same time frame, he recorded the song with the Ralph Sharon Trio for the album When Lights Are Low.
Both versions feature a slower tempo than one usually hears today. I like this tempo a lot and has a much different feel than the song does when sung at the much faster tempo, such as from the 1978 Ain’t Misbehaving. It’s a great song at about any tempo and today’s version is a joy.
“Ain’t Misbehaving,” as well as the album Live At The Sahara: From This Moment On, is available from iTunes.