Black and Blue

A note about the featured image. Louis Armstrong was the first to record this week’s song, but Oscar Peterson did not record it. I used the picture because of my Louis-Oscar love. Besides, it’s a stunning image.

The full title of this week’s song is (What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue. It was written in 1929 by Fats Waller, Harry Brooks, and Andy Razar for the Broadway musical Hot Chocolates.

Black and Blue is a rare “race song” from the jovial Waller. It still packs a punch to this day.

We begin with an instrumental version from the tunesmith.

Louis Armstrong was the first to record Black and Blue. I prefer the 1955 version from Satch Plays Fats. It’s one of the great man’s finest albums. It will show up as tomorrow’s Saturday Classic.

Ethel Waters cut an early and memorable version of this week’s song.

Dinah Washington also recorded a Fats Waller album.

Kermit Ruffins is the closest thing contemporary New Orleans has to Satchmo.

What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without a Jazz instrumental version of the week’s song? This time, a passionate version from Sidney Bechet who left his native New Orleans and moved to Paris to escape racism.

That’s it for this week. Pour yourself a belt and drink to everyone’s health. We need all the help we can get during the 4th Wave of the pandemic. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.