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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Three "Black Bottom" Songs (with two YouTube videos Of this early 20th century Jazz song/dance)



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.
**** Edited by Azizi Powell

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. 

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/11/streetswingcom-excerpt-about-1919-1920s.html for Part I of this pancocojams series. Part I presents an excerpt of a streetswing.com post about the "Black Bottom". My editorial note about the meaning of the title and lyrics "black bottom" is also included in that post.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/11/five-film-clips-of-black-bottom-jazz.html for Part II of this pancocojams series. Part II showcases five film clips of dancers performing the Black Bottom. Selected comments from the YouTube discussion threads of four of those film clips are also included in that post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and educational purposes.

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.
  
Online source: https://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3blkbtm.htm
-snip-
This is the song that is sung in the first video that is embedded in this post.
-snip-
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.

****
Version #2 Black Bottom
(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
-snip-
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.[1] 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.
-snip-
Here's the lyrics to "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom":
(written by Ma Rainey, 1927)

[Intro]
Now, you heard the rest
Ah boys, I'm gonna show you the best
Ma Rainey's gonna show you her black bottom

[Verse]
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

[Chorus]
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

[Chorus]
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"
[Chorus]

Now I'm gonna show y'all my black bottom
They pay to see that dance
Wait until you see me do my big black bottom
It puts you in a trance
Ah, do it Ma, do it, honey
Look out now Ma, you gettin' kinda rough there
You better be yourself now, careful now
Not too strong, not too strong, Ma
I done showed y'all my black bottom
You ought to learn that dance


Online source: https://genius.com/Ma-rainey-ma-raineys-black-bottom-lyrics
-snip-
Here's some information about Ma Rainey
"Gertrude "Ma" Rainey (née Pridgett; April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939)[1][2][3] was an influential American blues singer and early blues recording artist.[4] Dubbed the "Mother of the Blues", she bridged earlier vaudeville and the authentic expression of southern blues, influencing a generation of blues singers.[5]

Gertrude Pridgett began performing as a teenager and became known as "Ma" Rainey after her marriage to Will "Pa" Rainey in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own group, Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. Her first recording was made in 1923. In the following five years, she made over 100 recordings, including "Bo-Weevil Blues" (1923), "Moonshine Blues" (1923), "See See Rider Blues" (1924), "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (1927), and "Soon This Morning" (1927).[6]"...

****
Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Rainey%27s_Black_Bottom for information about the August Wilson play "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom".

****
This concludes Part III of this three part pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Streetswing.com Excerpt About The 1919 -1920s "Black Bottom" Songs & Dances

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I 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 an excerpt from a streetswing.com post about the "Black Bottom". My editorial note about the meaning of the title and lyrics "black bottom" is also included in that post.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/11/five-film-clips-of-black-bottom-jazz.html for Part II of this pancocojams series. Part II showcases five film clips of dancers performing the Black Bottom. Selected comments from the YouTube discussion threads of four of those film clips are also included in that post.

Part III of this pancocojams series presents lyrics to three 1920s versions of the Black Bottom song. YouTube videos are shown with two of these song lyrics. Dance instructions that accompanied a 1920 Black Bottom record are also included in that post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composers and choreographers of  Black Bottom songs and dances. Thanks to streetswing.com and all who are quoted in this post.

**** 
STREETSWING EXCERPT
From https://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3blkbtm.htm [no author/s and publishing date given]i
"The Black Bottom (aka Swanee Bottom) was originally from New Orleans, later worked its way to Georgia and finally New York. Some say the Black Bottom was introduced by blues singer "Alberta Hunter" (which is probably true as many songs/ dances were "stolen" and reproduced by someone else). However, it has been reported that the Black Bottom was derived from an earlier and similar dance called the "Echo."

The dance was done all over the South before Bradford wrote his song in 1919. The dance is said to be a copy of a bossy cow's hind legs mirred in mud (12-14-1926 - Danville Bee Newspaper) other newspapers state that Mrs. Esther Gagnet from Texas states that the dance came from Sumaria (2/18/1927 Lancaster Daily Eagle Newspaper) and other newspapers say it is of the Mississippi Negroe trying to dance in the sticky mud (2/12/1927 - Davenport Democrat and Leader).

Perry Bradford's sheet music had the music as well as the dance instructions printed on them. Bradford says that he first saw the Dance done in Jacksonville, (??) and decided to write a song about it in 1907 called the 'Jacksonville Rounders Dance' which used the term "Black Bottom" to describe the dance, but the song was not popular because "Rounder" meant "Pimp" (for the Pimp Walk) and no one wanted to dance to it, so he re-wrote the song and titled it the 'Original Black Bottom Dance' in 1919 which he introduced in Nashville Tennessee.

The stage Play "Dinah" in 1924 introduced the Black Bottom to the public and almost overnight became as popular as the Charleston. Ann Pennington and Tom Patricola did a famous rendition of the black bottom in the George White Scandals of 1926 which he bought from the earlier show Dinah. White hired Desylva, Henderson and Brown to write the song for the show, however it was based on the Charleston dance rhythm and the songs lyrics were vague for the dance, however it did become popular but Bradford's song was the base for all to come and even Jelly Roll Morton wrote a song called  'Black Bottom Stomp.'  There was a town called 'Black Bottom' in Detroit, Michigan from 1900 to 1960 (it's supposed birth place, Marshall Stearns [1964] says Atlanta, but more has been found since 1964).

The Black bottom was basically a solo challenge dance. Predominately danced on the "Off Beat" and was the prototype for the modern Tap dance phrasing. The Dance featured the slapping of the backside while hopping forward and backward, stamping the feet and gyrations of the torso and pelvis/Hips like the Grind, while occasionally making arm movements to music with an occasional 'Heel-Toe Scoop' which was very erotic in those days. The dance eventually got refined and entered the ballroom with ballroom couples doing the dance.

In 1926 the "Black Bottom" became the rage and replaced the Charleston all together with the exception of it being done in the Breakaway, with the Lindy Hop eventually replacing the Black Bottom all together. The Black Bottom was also done at the Apollo theater in 1927 with the George White Scandals. The Roseland Ballroom (New York) hosted a Black Bottom endurance (marathon) contest in 1927. Some original pattern names for this dance are "The Flick, The Side Shuffle, The Walk." The Dance called the Five Step is said to be a variation of the Black Bottom Dance around 1928.

In 1942 dancer and actress Ginger Rogers does a very good Black Bottom in the R.K.O. film Roxie Hart which was the original film version of the 2002 movie 'Chicago that featured Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. The 2002 Chicago film has no Black Bottom but Roxie Hart does and it is not just a brief screenshot of her doing it but a full routine ... it is very good. If your interested in the Black Bottom dance it is a good film to get.

The Five Step, Varsity Drag and the Lowdown tried to replace the Black Bottom, but only the Low Down (a sensuous shiver and a flutter of the hips) actually made a real attempt. The Lowdown and Five Step were actually just variations of the Black Bottom.

[...]

Black Bottom Music Titles

1919 - Original Black Bottom Dance   Birmingham Black Bottom [mp3] (Charlie Johnson)

1926 - Black Bottom - Black and Blue Bottom [mp3] (1927) - [Venuti]

1926 - Original Black Bottom Dance - a new dance sensation -Black Bottom [mp3] (1926) (Berigan) (Layton) (Melly)

1926 - Original Black Bottom of the Swanee River (UK)  Black Bottom - (Hamp)

1926 - Don't Take That Black Bottom Away- Black Bottom Blues [mp3] - (Heywood, Coleman)

1926 - George Whites Scandals - Black Bottom Hop [mp3] - (Trixie Smith)

1927 - Deep River  -Black Bottom Stomp [mp3] (1919) -[Morton]

Irish Black Bottom - Black Bottom Strut [mp3]

♪  Blue- Black Bottom [mp3] (1927 - Waller)

♪  Blue -Black Bottom Blues [mp3]

♪  Dinah, Take your Black Bottom Outside

Black Bottom Music at Amazon

Do the Black bottom with me [mp3] (1927) - Briggs

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom [CD] (CD)  -Don't Go Down in Black Bottom [mp3]

Black Bottom [CD] - Robert Ward (CD)- Don't Take that Black Bottom Away [mp3] (7 aces, Bell Hops) Sam Coslow

Black Bottom Stomp [CD] -Down in Black Bottom [mp3] - (Blackwell)

Down in Black Bottom [CD] - Joe Evans (CD) - Dusty Bottom ? (Possible)

Enigma Soundtrack [CD]

Everybody Stamp (1927)

Irish Black Bottom [CD] - Georgia Black Bottom [mp3] - (Crackers)

The History of Radio Box Set [CD] (1920-1951)  - I Like That Thing (Called Black Bottom) [mp3]

♪ Irish Black Bottom [mp3 | Ellington, Ella, others]

♪  'Ma' Rainey's Black Bottom [mp3]

♪  Old Folks Shuffle ... Black Bottom Foxtrot (1926)

♪  Original Black Bottom Dance [mp3] (1919)

♪  Original Black Bottom of the Swanee River (1926)

♪  Plantation Days

♪ Shake It Black Bottom [mp3] (Clarence Williams)

♪ Take Your Black Bottom Dance Outside [mp3] (Martin)

[...]

Basic Step: (9/1927 Dance Magazine):

This, as with all other dances, is a mixture of Jazz steps. The Basic step, however, is one dependent entirely on rhythm. This step is 2 long stamps, first right, then left, followed by 4 short ones; they are done off the regular beat of the music. Accompanying this, the index finger on both hands is pointing up, and the eyes are rolling. Any other steps may be done to
lengthen the dance.

Black Bottom Lyric's: (George White Scandals - 1927):
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!).

By the way , this sheet music song says it came from Georgia?

Perry Braford's Lyrics:

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." 

-snip-
This is the end of that streetswing.com post. Please click that link to read the entire post. 

****
PANCOCOJAMS EDITORIAL NOTE
The streetswing.com article on the "Black Bottom" indicates that "
The dance is said to be a copy of a bossy cow's hind legs mirred in mud (12-14-1926 - Danville Bee Newspaper) other newspapers state that Mrs. Esther Gagnet from Texas states that the dance came from Sumaria (2/18/1927 Lancaster Daily Eagle Newspaper) and other newspapers say it is of the Mississippi Negroe trying to dance in the sticky mud (2/12/1927 - Davenport Democrat and Leader)."
-end of quote-

The theory that the title, lyrics, and at least some of the movements for the Black Bottom" refers to a cow, or a person being stuck in mud or trying to dance in the sticky mud has been repeated in some YouTube video summaries of that dance, and in a few comments in several discussion threads for those videos or other videos of that dance.

However, I wonder if that explanation is the REAL meaning of "Black Bottom" in the context of those dances and songs. There's no way of actually knowing now, but I wonder if the cow (or a person) being stuck in the black mud at the bottom of some place was a non-taboo cover story for a much more risque meaning.

My theory that "black bottom" refers to the "bottoms" ("buttocks", "butts", "behinds", "asses") of the Black people who made up those dances and were the first to perform those dances.

I base this theory on these points:
1. The fact that we are-after all- talking about 1919 and the 1920s when people were much less open to references to butts than they are in 2021.
  
3.  The streetswing.com quote that "
The [Black Bottom] Dance featured the slapping of the backside while hopping forward and backward, stamping the feet and gyrations of the torso and pelvis/Hips like the Grind, while occasionally making arm movements to music with an occasional 'Heel-Toe Scoop' which was very erotic in those days.

3. The film clips and later performances of the Black Bottom that show that dancers holding their butt while they do this dance.

An alternate theory is that The Black Bottom dance refers to the Black Bottom district in Detroit, Michigan. 

And the Wikipedia page for the Black Bottom in Detroit Michigan indicates that "Although the name "Black Bottom" is often erroneously believed to be a reference to the African-American community that developed in the twentieth century, the neighborhood was actually named by early French colonial settlers for the dark, fertile topsoil found in the area (known as river bottomlands).[3] During World War I, Black Bottom was home to many Eastern European Jewish immigrants, but with the Great Migration and influx of southern African Americans, it became one of Detroit's most lively black neighborhoods.[4] As the Black Bottom grew, it soon became known as a lively and bustling area filled with jazz bars and nightclubs. [4] From the 1930s to the 1950s, residents in Black Bottom made significant contributions to American music, including Blues, Big Band, and Jazz."
-end of quote-

So perhaps a person from the South traveled to the Black Bottom in Detroit, Michigan and returned to the South and told others about that area. That person-or others who heard about that Black Bottom area could have eventually come up with the idea for this dance/song, having changed the name of the dance (as mentioned in that streetswing.com article) from "the Echo" and from "the Swanee Bottom".

Both of those theories could co-exist at the same time. And either or both of them make more sense to me than the cow (or person) stuck in the stickly mud theory.

 ****
This concludes Part I of this three part pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams. 

Visitor comments are welcome.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

"The Roots Of Boogie Woogie Music" (pianomagazine.com article with a 1944 film clip of Meade 'Lux' Lewis performing his composition entitled "Boogie Woogie")




Steve. April 13, 2017
BOOGIE WOOGIE: Meade Lux Lewis (p), acc. by unknown Orchestra. Dir: Josef Berne. MEADE "LUX" LEWIS One of the giants of the boogie woogie piano style, Meade Anderson Lewis was born in Chicago in 1905, and his simple nickname was derived from the grander "Duke Of Luxembourg"; a name with which he was teased as a child. He recorded his famous "Honky Tonk Train Blues" for the legendary Paramount label in 1927, reprising it eight years later when he was rewarded with a hit. By the late 1930s, following Hammond's successful "From Spirituals To Swing" concerts, Lewis was teamed with kindred spirits Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson as the Boogie Woogie Trio (often accompanying blues shouter Joe Turner). In 1944, Soundies released some blistering boogie woogie performances by Lux, two of which featured the voice of Turner - though not the face, as his role on screen was unfathomably usurped by comedian Dudley Dickerson. Lewis' long recording career lasted until 1961, and the man they called "Lux" died in a car crash in Minneapolis three years later.

**** Edited by Azizi Powell This pancocojams post showcases a YouTube film clip of Meade Lux Lewis performing his composition entitled "Boogie Woogie" This pancocojams post also presents almost a complete reprint of a 2020 pianomagazine.com article about Boogie Woogie music.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, educational, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes. All copyrights remain with their owners. Thanks to Meade Lux Lewis and all the musicians, actors, and actresses who are featured in that film clip. Thanks to all past and present Boogie Woogie pianists. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube. **** ARTICLE ABOUT BOOGIE WOOGIE MUSIC From https://www.pianistmagazine.com/blogs/the-roots-of-boogie-woogie/ "The roots of Boogie-Woogie" 15 October 2020, no author credited "Gez Kahan hits his stride as he traces the history of boogie-woogie from its Texas origins to its swing era heyday and asks the difficult question: is boogie-woogie jazz?

Thanks to Jools Holland and others who are determined to keep the tradition alive, most people have a pretty good idea of what boogie-woogie sounds like – an ostinato bass line with a clattering right handand (usually) a blues-based chord sequence. But where did it come from? How is it related to stride piano and the blues? And can you class all three as jazz or are they separate branches? These are very deep (one might almost say muddy) waters, Watson. We’d best tread carefully.

For starters, many of the early practitioners died young and their stories died with them. Their contemporaries gave several accounts of how and where boogie-woogie originated, but because the interviews took place much later and a good story always grows in the telling, they aren’t necessarily reliable. You have to start somewhere though, and Marshall, Texas, makes a good case for being where it began – good enough for its city commission to have enacted an official declaration in 2010, naming itself the birthplace of boogie-woogie.

Marshall was a rail hub, and there’s definitely the sound of the steam train in boogie-woogie’s insistent rhythms, its repetitious and percussive treble figures and the flattened fifth and third ‘blue’ notes that seem to mimic the whistle’s diminished triad. Some scholars have also examined regional differences in bass patterns and suggested that the more intricate the bass line, the further you’d travelled along the tracks from Marshall. As the railways evolved, that argument goes, so did boogie-woogie. And let’s not forget that ‘bogie’ is a railway term.

But it might be a stretch too far to assume that the train-like sound (and associated etymology) were the founding fathers of, as distinct from a heavy influence on, early boogie-woogie. What is certain isthat the genre came from the African-American community, and there are rhythmic elements that hark back to the traditional music of West Africa.

The name itself may well have come over with the slaves: ‘boog’ or ‘booga’ means to beat (a drum) in some of the region’s languages, while in others ‘bogi’ means to dance. And perhaps the most compelling theory is that it comes from the Bantu phrase ‘mbuki mvuki’ – get up and dance as if to shake your clothes off.

The best guess for boogie-woogie’s genesis as a piano style is 1870-ish, shortly after the end of the American Civil War. Prior to that, slaves would have had little access to expensive instruments, save a brief opportunity to play the church piano after services. Emancipation, in 1865, may not have made their working lives much easier, especially for those labouring in the lumber camps in Texas’s Piney Woods and building the railroads that connected them to the towns and cities, but at least they could set up their own entertainment centres known as barrelhouses. Along with the barrels of booze, these generally had a beaten-up upright piano in the corner. Out back, there was usually a ‘sporting house’, as red-light establishments were called.

The music they played was improvisatory in nature – a series of right-hand ‘riffs’ or ‘licks’ strung together over a left-hand backing that had to combine bass, chords and rhythm. The slower style was ‘Barrelhouse’, while the up-tempo version was ‘Fast Western’ or ‘Fast Texas’, the term boogie-woogie not coming into common use until much later.

Some also referred to it as ‘Dudlow Joe’, which sounds as though it may be named after a long-forgotten player. And there would have been many such.

Though the blues guitarist Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter said his style had been influenced by boogie-woogie piano players in 1899, we don’t know their names. The first recordings with recognisable boogie-woogie elements didn’t appear until nearly 20 years after that. It being, at the time, an aural tradition, sheet music was late on the scene too, but once there, it helped crystallise improvisations into defined pieces.

By that time, boogie-woogie was already on the move, spread by the railroad. George Thomas, originally from Texas, was in New Orleans by 1910 where he wrote ‘New Orleans Hop Scop Blues’ (published in 1916), which has some claim to being the first 12-bar blues to feature a boogie-woogie bass.

Even more important was ‘The Fives’, co-written by George Thomas with his brother Hersal in 1921 and published the following year.

Almost all the different boogie-woogie elements are there, and it became a standard set-closer among performers during the 1920s. And by then the Thomas brothers had followed the tide of southern popular music and migrated to Chicago, taking boogie-woogie with them.

Boogie-woogie really hit its stride (no pun intended) over the next couple of decades. The first known recording of a true boogie-woogie piano solo is probably Jimmy Blythe’s ‘Chicago Stomps’ in 1924, while the first hit record in the style was ‘Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie’ by Clarence ‘Pinetop’ Smith. Smith had moved to Chicago in 1928 and recorded the song in late December that year. And it was (almost) a song, with Smith delivering instructions over the music to dancers (including telling ‘the girl with the red dress on’ to ‘shake that thing’ a full 30 years before Ray Charles’s ‘What’d I Say’).

He would have made a follow-up in March 1929 had he not been shot dead in a dance-hall altercation, possibly accidentally, the day before the session. ‘I saw Pinetop spit blood’ was the rather insensitive headline in Down Beat magazine.

For a while, Smith had lived in the same rooming house as Albert Ammons and Meade ‘Lux’ Lewis, two other pianists destined to become major names in boogie-woogie. It was Lewis, with ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’, who gave the style its next big hit, while Ammons had his big hit in 1936 with ‘Boogie Woogie Stomp’. The tide was becoming a flood.

Tommy Dorsey had a huge hit with a big band version of ‘Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie’ in 1938, while Ammons and Lewis, along with Pete Johnson, a boogie-woogie pianist from Kansas City, appeared in the From Spirituals to Swing concerts at Carnegie Hall in 1938 and 1939. Those concerts featured Johnson, with his ‘shouter’, Big Joe Turner performing ‘Roll ‘Em Pete’, which is arguably where boogie-woogie sowed the seeds of rock’n’roll.

The first hit piano record in the style of boogie-woogie was arguably ‘Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie’ by Clarence ‘Pinetop’ Smith.

Before then, though, boogie-woogie became a staple of the big band repertoire. Will Bradley’s band had a hit with the Don Raye composition ‘Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar’ in 1939, as did Glenn Miller, Woody Herman and the Andrews Sisters the next year. Bradley followed that with ‘Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat’, also by Raye, which formed the basis of an eponymous cartoon in 1941. Unfortunately, the cartoon itself stereotyped African-Americans so offensively that it was withdrawn from distribution in 1949. Less controversial was the Andrews Sisters’ recording of another Don Raye number, ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’, which is positively genteel.

In just 20 years, boogie-woogie had gone from black bordellos and rent-house parties to the concert hall and the radio sets of white suburbia. It went further than that, moving into different genres such as country (‘Cow-Cow Boogie’ for instance), rockabilly and, of course, rock’n’roll. The sound is omnipresent in Jerry Lee Lewis’s upbeat numbers and a component of Little Richard’s piano playing, but stylistically it’s just as great an influence on guitar-based recordings by the likes of Chuck Berry.

The highbrow world wasn’t immune, either. Conlon Nancarrow’s Boogie-Woogie Suite studies for player piano take the form to its illogical conclusion (watch on YouTube for a laugh, but don’t attempt playing it unless you’re a multi-limbed machine), while Morton Gould’s 1943 composition Boogie Woogie Etude can claim as much ‘classical’ legitimacy as Gershwin.

Ultimately, however, politeness is not what it’s about.

Boogie-woogie works best in its original, rough and ready, vibrant, exciting and exuberant format. Roll ’Em Jools!

This article appeared inside issue 75 of PianistDownload the issue here for just £2.99.
-snip- This article is almost a complete reprint, except it doesn't include photos, drawings and their captions that are found througout the article. The bold font in this reprint is found in the original article.

Here's some information about Jools Holland who is mentioned in this article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jools_Holland "Julian Miles Holland, OBE, DL (born 24 January 1958) is an English pianist, bandleader, singer, composer and television presenter. …

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Monday, November 22, 2021

The Records "Hollywood Swinging", "Fly Girl", "Rock The Boat", And "Rock Steady" With An Example Of A Children's Cheer That Was Inspired By One Of These Records



koolandthegangshow, Jul 23, 2013

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Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases several popular records and one version text (word only) example of  an African American originated foot stomping cheer or another typle of children's cheer that each record inspired.

Information about each of these showcases records is also included in this post along with a link to that record's lyrics.  

Links to additional examples of these children's cheers are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all the recording artists and composers of the songs that are featured in this post. Thanks also to all the unknown composers of these featured foot stomping cheers. Also, thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.  

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PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN ORIGIN OF THESE CHEERS
There have been LOTS of versions of these children's cheers and they have been found  throughout the United States. Versions of cheers with the same title may have very different words.

These cheers may still be chanted by children (and other people) of any race or ethnicity. However, I believe that it's important to acknowledge that although the composers of these cheers aren't known, it's very likely that these cheer composers were African American.

I base this statement on the following points:
1. The source records are from African American music groups and the music forms for these cheers are African American originated music forms.

2. Almost all of the early examples of these cheers come from African Americans (as documented by a 1978 vinyl record (Mother Hippletoe), books, online blog sources, YouTube videos, my face to face collection etc.

3. The early examples of these cheers usually have call & response textual (word) structure, and/or include African American Vernacular English words. Also, the early examples of these cheers were performed with foot stomping, hand clapping, body patting choreographed and synchronized routines that have their sources in Africa and African Diaspora cultures.

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS, INFORMATION, & CHEER EXAMPLES 

These examples are given in no particular order.

HOLLYWOOD SWINGING RECORD/SONG

[Video embedded above]

Information about that song and lyrics for that song:
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Swinging 
"Hollywood Swinging" is a 1974 song by R&B/funk band Kool & the Gang from their album Wild and Peaceful. It was written by Robert "Kool" Bell, Ronald Bell, George M. Brown, Robert "Spike" Mickens, Claydes Charles Smith, Dennis R. Thomas and Rick A. Westfield.

"Hollywood Swinging" was the group's first number one R&B single, reaching that position in June 1974. The single was a successful crossover hit, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart as well.[3]

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From https://genius.com/Kool-and-the-gang-hollywood-swinging-lyrics
"Hollywood Swinging" appears on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game soundtrack, on the radio station Bounce FM radio station. The song appears in the films “Be Cool” (2005) and “Roll Bounce” (2005). The song also appeared on the television shows Lizzie McGuire and Criminal Minds. Also appeared on the Bringing Back the Funk, Brian Culbertson’s 2008 album. Played at Quicken Loans Arena during halftime at Cleveland Cavaliers home games. It also was covered in Sinbad’s comedy special, Where U Been? Realeased in 1974 and is the genre of funk."
-snip-
That website includes the complete lyrics as well as that information.
 
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AN EXAMPLE OF A "HOLLYWOOD SWINGING" CHEER

HOLLYWOOD ROCK SWINGING 
Hollywood rock swinging.
Hollywood rock swinging.
My name is Aniesha
I'm number one
My reputation is having fun
So if you see me just step aside
"Cause mighty Aniesha don't take no jive.

Hollywood rock swinging.
Hollywood rock swinging.
My name is katrina
I'm number two
My reputation is me and you
So if you see me just step on back
'Cause mighty Katrina don't take no slack.

Hollywood rock swinging.
Hollywood rock swinging.
My name is Natasha
I'm number twelve
My reputation is ringing that bell
So if you see my just step aside
"Cause mighty Aniesha don't take no jive
-Apples On A Stick: The Folklore Of Black Children by Barbara Michels and Bettye White (1983; p. 14);
-snip-
That book's preface indicates that the source of all of the examples in that book were Black children from Houston, Texas.
-snip-
No performance directions are given in this book for any example. However, I've categorized it as a cheer in part because of that example's textual structure, and in part because an example of a cheer (with mostly different words) entitled "Hollywood Now Swinging/Dynomite" was included in the cheer section of the 1978 Mother Hippletoe vinyl album. I also recall seeing young Black girls perform"Hollywood Swinging" foot stomping cheers in various Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhoods in the mid 1980s. That said, by some time in the 1990s in Pittsburgh, that cheer became a partner hand clap game, and memories of its performance as a foot stomping cheer faded.

Click 
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/05/examples-of-hollywood-goes-swingin.html for a 2016 pancocojams post entitled "Examples Of "Hollywood Goes Swingin" Cheers & Rhymes (1976 - 2000s)"

Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/09/foot-stomping-cheers-alphabetical-list_6.html "Foot Stomping Cheers Alphabetical List (H - J)" for text (word only) examples of Hollywood Swinging cheers.

Based on its group/consecutive soloists textual structure, "Hollywood Swinging" cheers are a subset of children's cheers that I refer to as "foot stomping cheers."  

"Group/consecutive soloists" is a form of call and response. In these cheers, the group voice is heard first, and a person has a soloist part. When the cheer ends with that soloist, it immediately begins again with the group voice and the next soloist. That person has an equal amount of time as the soloist. This pattern continues until every person in the group has one turn as tje soloist for that cheer. Depending on the cheer, each soloist may chant the same words (except her name/nickname and other personal information such as her astrological sun sign) or that soloist may chant mostly different words that fit the beat and theme of the cheer.  

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"FLY GIRL" RECORD

A Fly Girl - The Boogie Boys (1985)




djbuddyloverootsrap, Apr 25, 2011

The Boogie Boys were an American old school hip-hop group from Harlem, New York. They scored one big hit in 1985 with "A Fly Girl", from the album "City Life", that peaked at number six on the R&B charts. William 'Boogie Knight' Stroman, Joe 'Romeo J.D.' Malloy, and Rudy 'Lil Rahiem' Sheriff comprised the group. But things went downhill after that promising start, and by 1988 Sheriff had left the group, and they soon disbanded.... -snip- Click
https://genius.com/Boogie-boys-a-fly-girl-lyrics for the lyrics for this song

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A "FLY GIRL" CHEER

FLY GIRL
Group: Fly girl one.
Fly girl two
Pump it up, Teresa,
Just like you do (or, “Show me what you do”)
Soloist #1: “Oh” (or “Well”) My name is Teresa
Group: What?
Soloist #1: And I’m a fly girl.
Group: What?
Soloist #1: It takes a lot of men
To rock my world.
‘Cause I can fly like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee.
And that’s why they call me
SEXY.

Repeat the cheer from the beginning with the next soloist. Replace the former soloist’s name or nickname with the name or nickname of the new soloist. Continue until every one has had one turn as soloist.
-T.M.P., memories of the mid 1980s in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; recorded on a casette tape by Azizi Powell in 1992
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/09/foot-stomping-cheers-alphabetical-list_40.html for additional examples of this foot stomping cheer.

Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-fly-fly-girl-fly-guy-mean-in.html 
for the pancocojams post entitled "What "Fly", "Fly Girl" & "Fly Guy" Mean In African American Slang"

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"ROCK THE BOAT" RECORD

Hues Corporation - Rock The Boat • TopPop




TopPop, Nov. 6, 2015

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE "ROCK THE BOAT" RECORD 
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_the_Boat_(The_Hues_Corporation_song)
'"Rock the Boat" is a song by American trio The Hues Corporation, written by Wally Holmes. "Rock the Boat" was first featured on their 1973 debut studio album Freedom for the Stallion (a different edit version, which was the single, later appeared on certain editions of the band's 1974 second album Rockin' Soul).[1] ....

Initially, "Rock the Boat" appeared as though it would also flop, as months went by without any radio airplay or sales activity. Not until the song became a disco favorite in New York did Top 40 radio finally pick up on the song, leading the record to finally enter the Hot 100 and zip up the chart to number one the week of July 6, 1974, in only its seventh week on the chart (and fourth week in the Top 40). The record also reached the top ten in the United Kingdom. "Rock the Boat" is considered one of the earliest disco songs. Some authorities proclaim it to be the first disco song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while others give that distinction to "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra, a chart-topper from earlier in 1974. The song became a gold record. It is a heavy airplay favorite on oldie and adult contemporary stations today."...
-snip-
Click https://genius.com/The-hues-corporation-rock-the-boat-lyrics for lyrics for and information about this song .

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A "ROCK THE BOAT" CHEER

ROCK THE BOAT. DON'T TIP IT OVER
Rock the boat. Don't tip it over.
Rock the boat. Don't tip it over.
Hey, Aniya. "Hey what?"
Hey, Aniya. "Hey what?"
Can you rock the boat? "No way."
Can you rock the boat?! "Ok."
She slides. She slides. She do The Butterfly.
She dips. She dips. She shakes her little hips!

-ti55, Mar 16, 2008, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9QuTsAtQPY
-snip-
This is my transcription of the video whose link is given above.  This cheer is composed using the traditional foot stomping cheer structure. The "rock the boat/don't tip it over" line is a clear indication that this cheer was heavily influenced by The Hues Corporations' 1974 record "Rock The Boat".
for a pancocojams post about this cheer.

Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/09/foot-stomping-cheers-alphabetical-list_22.html  
"
Foot Stomping Cheers Alphabetical List (P- Z)"for additional word only versions of this cheer.
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There have been other popular R&B/Funk songs entitled "Rock The Boat". Some of those records could also have inspired versions of children's cheers that are entitled "Rock The Boat".

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"ROCK STEADY" RECORD

The Whispers - Rock Steady (Official Music Video)





Unidiscmusic, Feb. 11, 2011

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Information about this song
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Steady_(The_Whispers_song)
From 
" "Rock Steady" is a single released by American group the Whispers, from their 18th studio album Just Gets Better with Time (1987). It was produced by the production duo Antonio "L.A." Reid & Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

It was released on June 13, 1987,[2] and to date has been their highest charting single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number seven in late August, and was their second and final number one on the Hot Black Singles Chart.[3]"...
-snip-
Click https://genius.com/The-whispers-rock-steady-lyrics  for lyrics for this song.

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AN EXAMPLE OF A "ROCK STEADY" CHEER 

ROCK STEADY
Lead girl- Hey Tigers are you ready
Entire squad: Well get down and rock steady
Well Tigers are ready.
Well get down and rock steady.
Well Tigers are ready.
Well get down and rock steady.
[Do a body patting and foot stomping routine with a sideways body wave movement]

[Same Lead girl] –Rock steady! Ready. Okay.
[Entire squad]
We,
we
are
ready
To
rock rock rock rock
Steady eddy eddy

Rock, rock steady
Your team ain't even ready
To rock rock rock rock
Steady eddy eddy eddy
Rock steady
Your team ain't even ready
To rock rock rock rock
Steady eddy eddy eddy
Rock.
-posted by dailytigers, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPswNBnwvLQ&ab_channel=daileytigerPublished on Nov 17, 2012
-snip-
While "Rock Steady" is usually performed with foot stomping and hand clap movements, it doesn't have the group/alternating soloist textual structure. Therefore I don't consider it a foot stomping cheer (as that term is used in this collection.)

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/rock-steady-childrens-cheers-examples.html for the 2013 pancocojams post "Rock Steady" Children's Cheers (Examples & Comments).

It's very likely that Aretha Franklin's 1972 R&B song "Rock Steady" was inspired by the name of  the Jamaican "Rocksteady" music genre. However, the tune, beat, and lyrics of that R&B song are different from Jamaican "Rocksteady" music. Furthermore, I believe that the name of The Whispers' 1987 R&B song "Rock Steady" was probably inspired by Aretha Franklin's earlier song. And I believe that most of the lyrics for the "Rock Steady" military cadences have their source in The Whispers' song entitled "Rock Steady".


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