I’m already there. Dr A and I are visiting family in Richmond, so I wanted to have a relevant song in place. The Virginia in question is a woman; in my book that still counts by analogy at least. Oh well, what the hell.
I’m Coming Virginia was written in 1926 by Donald Heywood and Will Marion Cook. It’s been recorded 175+ times, mostly in the 20th Century by trad jazz types.
We begin with the singer who first recorded this week’s tune and is most identified with it, Ethel Waters.
Trombonist-singer Jack Teagarden cut an early version of I’m Coming Virginia. He’s best remembered for his post-war work with Louis Armstrong.
Jimmy Rushing was called Mr. Five by Five because he was short and squat. He was also an excellent singer who was a particular favorite of Count Basie.
Next, the late great Tony Bennett:
Finally, a small group version with Barbara Lea:
What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without instrumental versions of the week’s tune? This time, Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Carter, and Art Tatum.
That’s it for this week. Let’s drink to the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.