The song of the day for Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 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 1930 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 listen to. Significant recordings include those by Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Gigi Gryce, Tony Bennett, and Thelonious Monk.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” in May 1999 for Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool. Ralph Burns did the arrangement. Clayton Cameron was exceptional on the drums for this recording.
“It Don’t Mean A Thing,” as well as Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool is available on Apple Music.
We’ve got two additional recordings of “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” that you might enjoy.
Ivie Anderson on vocals on Ellington’s 1932 recording:
Next is Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington’s recording from The Great Reunion, recorded in 1963. Armstrong sings the verse, which is wonderful and almost never heard: