The song of the day for Thursday, December 18, 2014 is “Don’t Cry Baby.”
About This Song
“Don’t Cry Baby” was written by James P. Johnson, Saul Bernie and Stella Unger in 1929. Johnson was a composer and pianist who, along with Jelly Roll Morton, came into prominence in the era between ragtime and the stride piano 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” in October, 1950, just six months after he signed with Columbia. It was arranged by Norman Leyden. This song is rather a departure from much of his early work and is one of my favorites from that first year at Columbia. He recorded the song again in 2001 for Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues.
“Don’t Cry Baby,” as well as the other songs collected on The Columbia Singles, Volume 1, is available from iTunes.