[Dixielandjazz] Darktown Strutters Ball

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 14 14:29:00 PST 2005

List Mates:

Here's what the Canadians have to say about this tune. The composer, Shelton
Brooks was born in Ontario Canada. Offensive to blacks? Maybe, maybe not,
after all Ella Fitzgerald recorded it and I don't think see was offended at
the time.

Sometimes people 80 years after the fact, become offended because they
believe that the song was originally intended as offensive. "That's Why They
Call Me Shine", original 1910 version is a perfect example. Written by
blacks, specifically for performances in the the black theater circuit yet
today erroneously referred to as "offensive".

Actually Darktown is an Italian Song, as you might recall the hit version
sung in Italian? Proves, yet again, that Italians invented jazz. :-) VBG

The song was also the subject of much debate about ODJB as Bill Haesler will
attest.(That famous record said to be recorded by ODJB for Columbia on Jan
30, 1917, but later debunked by the discographers who believe that Eddie
Edwards memory about it 20 years later was faulty)

Actually Darktown is an Italian Song. You might recall the hit version sung
in Italian? Proves, yet again, that Italians invented jazz. :-) VBG

Steve Barbone

'Darktown Strutters' Ball'
'Darktown Strutters' Ball.' One of the earliest traditional jazz songs to
become a standard. The words and music, by Shelton Brooks, were inspired by
a ball at the 1915 Pacific-Panama Exposition in San Francisco. The music, in
arrangements for band and for orchestra, was first published 18 Jan 1917 by
Will Rossiter, Chicago. The version recorded 30 Jan 1917 by the Original
Dixieland Jazz Band may be the earliest commercially made jazz record.
'Darktown Strutters' Ball' was subsequently recorded by many pop and jazz
artists, including the Six Brown Brothers (1917), the Brunswick Military
Band (Brunswick 5170, 1918), Miff Mole's Molers (1928), Trump Davidson
(1937), Jimmy Dorsey (1938), and Benny Goodman (1945). The song has also
been recorded by musicians as varied as Ella Fitzgerald, the Lawrence Welk
Orchestra, and the Beach Boys. It was selected in 1963 by ASCAP for its
All-Time Hit Parade. It has often been featured in film soundtracks.
'Darktown Strutters' Ball' has been arranged for barbershop ensemble, piano
solo, brass quintet, and choir.

Author Betty Nygaard King
SOURCE: The Canadian Encyclopedia © 2005 Historica Foundation of Canada 

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