The song of the day for Monday, July 31, 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 1931, 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 Bennet recorded “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” in May 1999 for his album dedicated to Ellington: Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool. It was arranged by Ralph Burns, who first with Bennett 40 years earlier for Hometown, My Town, in 1959.
“It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” as well as Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool is available on Apple Music.
Here’s the 1931 version with the amazing Ivie Anderson on vocals: