On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Things remain grim so another happy song is in order. There are worse things than dancing away your sorrows: “Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street.”

On The Sunny Side Of The Street was written in 1930 by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields for the Broadway musical Lew Leslie’s International Revue. It’s a memorable tune from a long forgotten show.

We begin with Louis Armstrong. On The Sunny Side Of The Street was long a staple of his live shows. This version comes from his time as a big band leader.

My favorite version comes from Frank Sinatra and Billy May:

I’m going to continue with some relatively modern interpretations of the McHugh-Fields classic.

Maria Muldaur makes her Friday Cocktail Hour debut:

Cyndi Lauper. Say no more, She talks enough for all of us.

Finally, another New Orleans trumpeter, Nicholas Payton, recorded On The Sunny Side Of The Street for an album that paid homage to Satchmo. Dianne Reeves contributes some characteristically sultry vocals.

What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without a jazz Instrumental version of the week’s song? This time, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonnys Stitt and Rollins followed by Oscar Peterson.

Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?

That’s it for this week. Terry Teachout, who wrote a great biographies of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, died yesterday at the age of 65. Raise a glass in his honor. It’s what Louis, Frank, Peggy, and Bing would want. Never argue with them.

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