The song of the day for Monday, September 1, 2015 is “St. James Infirmary Blues.”
About This Song
Today’s song, “St. James Infirmary Blues,” is based on an 18th century English folk song called “The Unfortunate Rake.” The St. James Infirmary is thought to be derived from St. James Hospital in London, a religious foundation for treatment of leprosy.
In more modern times, it was first recorded in 1927 by Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra, but the Louis Armstrong recording in 1928 made the song popular for jazz and blues musicians. It has also been recorded by King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Bobby Blue Bland, Cab Calloway, and Lou Rawls.
About This Version
Today’s version of “St. James Infirmary Blues” was recorded in 1946 while Tony Bennett was serving in the Army in Germany at the close of World War II. He recorded this song with the The 314th Army Special Services Band Of The European Theater using the stage name Joe Bari.
“St. James Infirmary Blues,” as well as all the songs on Rarities, Outtakes and Other Delights, Vol. 1, is available from iTunes.