The song of the day for Monday, October 30, 2017 is “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”
About This Song
“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” was written in 1931 by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Irving Mills. This song was one of the first songs to use the word “swing” in the title and this song certainly defined what it meant to swing. Ellington recorded the song with Ivie Anderson on vocals and it was an immediate hit. It has been widely recorded since it was written and the song is a lot of fun to play and to listen to. Significant recordings include those by Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Gigi Gryce, Tony Bennett and Thelonious Monk.
About This Version
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga recorded today’s song in 2014 for their album Cheek to Cheek. It was arranged by Marion Evans and features Joe Lovano on tenor sax and George Rabbi on trumpet.
“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” as well as Cheek to Cheek, is available from iTunes.
I’m a big fan of this song and have few other favourite versions.
First up is Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington from The Great Summit, recorded in 1961. It’s rare chance to hear the verse of the song, which is really nice.
And here’s the recording that started it all: The Duke Ellington Orchestra, with Ivie Anderson, from 1932:
Don’t forget to swing!