The song of the day for Wednesday, August 23, 2017 is “Don’t Cry Baby.”
About This Song
Today’s song, “Don’t Cry Baby,” was written in 1929 by James P. Johnson, Saul Bernie and Stella Unger. Johnson was a composer and pianist who, along with Jelly Roll Morton, came into prominence in the era between ragtime and the stride piano techniques 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 has recorded “Don’t Cry Baby” twice: in 1950 and again in 2001. I’ve featured the 2001 recording several times, so I thought I’d present his 1950 version, which was arranged by Norman Leyden. It’s a really nice recording of this song and is fun to hear Bennett exercising his blues chops.
“Don’t Cry Baby,” as well as all of the singles collected on The Columbia Singles, Vol. 1, is available from iTunes.