Dinah (song)

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Dinah is a pop song written by Harry Akst (music) and Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics) and released in 1924. Countless cover versions have made it a popular jazz standard .

Ethel Waters (between 1938 and 1948)
(detail from a photo by William P. Gottlieb )

History of origin

Harry Akst had written a number of songs for the show at New York's Plantation Club with the Lewis / Young songwriting team , including Dinah . Eddie Cantor starred in the Florence Ziegfeld musical Kid Boots , which premiered on Broadway in New York on December 31, 1923 . The music for this show was by Harry Tierney and Joe McCarthy; During the performances, the song Dinah by Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young and Harry was finally included in the finale, sung by Eddie Cantor. The song became the show's hit title. Around this time, Ethel Waters, the successor to Florence Mills, had an engagement in the Plantation Club and thus established her singing career, one of her first hits was the pop song Dinah , which she presented in the revue Kid Boots . Waters later sang the song in the revues Africana (1927) and Blackbirds of 1930 .

Song structure

Melodically and harmonically, the song written in G major or A flat major (in the form AA'BA ) is relatively simple; in the A section of the chorus, only five notes outline the range of an octave .

First recordings

The first musicians to record the song from 1925 included Ethel Waters (Columbia), Eddie Cantor, Louis Armstrong , Cliff Edwards ( Pathé ), Clarence Williams (Okeh) and Fletcher Henderson (Vocalion), Jean Goldkette (Victor), Lucille Hegamin (cameo), in Berlin Efim Schachmeister , Bernard Etté , Julian Fuhs and the Truso Dance Orchestra. In the US charts came the versions of Ethel Waters (1926, # 2), The Revelers (1926, # 4), Cliff Edwards (1926, # 5), Fletcher Henderson (1926, # 13) and Ted Lewis and His Orchestra (1930, # 13).

Later cover versions

In 1932 Bing Crosby and The Mills Brothers came with Dinah to the top of the US charts; The versions by The Mills Brothers (1932), The Boswell Sisters (1935, # 3), Fats Waller (19366, # 7) and Sam Donahue and His Orchestra (1946, # 9) were also successful in the charts. Dinah Shore made the song with several recordings her signature tune. The discographer Tom Lord lists a total of 669 (as of 2015) cover versions in the field of jazz ; the recordings by Louis Armstrong , Bing Crosby, Django Reinhardt , Benny Goodman , Pee Wee Russell , Thelonious Monk , Jimmy Rushing and Doc Cheatham / Nicholas Payton (1997) should be highlighted .

The song also found use in several feature films: Bing Crosby sang it in Big Broadcast (1932), Jeannette Macdonald in Rose Marie (1936), George Raft and Janet Blair on Broadway (1942) and Eddie Cantor, George Murphy, Constance Moore and Joan Davis in Show Business (1944).

Notes and individual references

  1. a b c d e f Marvin E. Paymer, Don E. Post: Sentimental Journey: Intimate Portraits of America's Great Popular Songs . 1999, p. 73
  2. a b c song portrait at Jazzstandards.com
  3. a b Tom Lord: Jazz discography (online)