maynardcat, Oct. 7, 2010
The Varsity Drag introduction is an error. The Black Bottom replaced "The Charleston" as the next most popular dance of the 1920's. Released June 28, 1926. Written by Buddy De Sylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson. In 1925, DeSylva became one third of the songwriting team with lyricist Lew Brown and composer Ray Henderson. De Sylva, Brown and Henderson became one of the top Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the era. Black bottom dancing was for the young and energetic. This song and style of dancing were popular in the1920's. The dancers performing, and the orchestra are from 1956, Rod Alexander Gemze de Lappe and The Dance Jubilee Troupe. Billy Pierce (14 June 1890 – 11 April 1933) was an African American choreographer, dancer and dance studio owner who has been credited with the invention of the Black Bottom dance that became a national craze in the mid-1920s.
This is Part III of a three part pancocojams series on the Black Bottom, the title of a number of African American originated Jazz dances and songs that were very popular beginning aroun 1926.
This post presents lyrics to three 1920s versions of the Black Bottom song. YouTube videos are shown with two of these song lyrics.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to the composers and choreographers of Black Bottom songs and dances. Thanks to all those who are are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
THREE "BLACK BOTTOM" SONGS
Version #1: 'Original Black Bottom Dance - Percy Bradford (1919)
Hop down front and then you Doodle back,
Mooch to your left and then you Mooch to the right
Hands on your hips and do the Mess Around,
Break a Leg until you're near the ground
Now that's the Old Black Bottom Dance.
Now listen folks, open your ears,
This rhythm you will hear-
Charleston was on the afterbeat-
Old Black Bottom'll make you shake your feet,
Believe me it's a wow.
Now learn this dance somehow
Started in Georgia and it went to France
it's got everybody in a trance
It's a wing, that Old Black Bottom Dance.
This is the song that is sung in the first video that is embedded in this post.
Perry Bradford (February 14, 1893 - April 20, 1970) was an African American composer, songwriter, and vaudeville performer. Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Bradford for information about Perry Bradford.
(Written by Ray Henderson, Buddy De Sylva, and Lew Brown, 1926)
"Hop Down front and then you doodle (Slide) back,
Mooch to your left and then you mooch to your right,
Hands on your hips and do the mess around,
Break a Leg (Wobble) until you're near the ground,
now that the old Black Bottom dance."..
(There is a little more, but copyrights ya-know...go buy it!).
Online source: https://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3blkbtm.htm
Ray Henderson, Buddy De Sylva, and Lew Brown were White American songwriters.
This song was featured in the George White Scandals. Here's information from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_White%27s_Scandals about that Broadway show:
"George White's Scandals were a long-running string of Broadway revues produced by George White that ran from 1919–1939, modeled after the Ziegfeld Follies. The "Scandals" launched the careers of many entertainers, including W. C. Fields, the Three Stooges, Ray Bolger, Helen Morgan, Ethel Merman, Ann Miller, Eleanor Powell, Bert Lahr and Rudy Vallée…. Much of George Gershwin's early work appeared in the 1920–24 editions of Scandals. The Black Bottom, danced by Ziegfeld Follies star Ann Pennington and Tom Patricola, touched off a national dance craze."...
Version #3: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom | Official Music
Abdelkodouss Belhaimer, Dec. 20, 2020
Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman), and the white management determined to control the legendary “Mother of the Blues.” Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe.
Starring Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Glynn
Turman, Dusan Brown and Taylour Paige. Coming to Netflix December 18.
Here's the lyrics to "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom":
(written by Ma Rainey, 1927)
Now, you heard the rest
Ah boys, I'm gonna show you the best
Ma Rainey's gonna show you her black bottom
Way down south in Alabamy
I got a friend they call dancin' Sammy
Who's crazy about all the latest dancin'
Black Bottom Stomp and the [?] prancin'
The other night at a swell affair
Soon as the boys found out that I was there
They said, "Come on, Ma, let's go to the cabaret"
When I got there you oughta hear me say
Want to see the dance you call the black bottom
I wanna learn that dance
Want to see the dance you call your big black bottom
That puts you in a trance
All the boys in the neighborhood
They say your black bottom is really good
Come on and show me your black bottom
I wanna learn that dance
I want to see the dance you call the black bottom
I wanna learn that dance
Come on and show the dance you call your big black bottom
It puts you in a trance
Early last morning 'bout the break of day
Grandpa told my grandmother, heard him say
"Get over here and you show the old man your black bottom
I want to learn that dance"