Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar
|"Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar"|
Sheet music for "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar"
|Single by Will Bradley and His Orchestra featuring Ray McKinley|
|B-side||"Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar Pt. 2"|
|Format||10" 78 rpm record|
|Recorded||May 21, 1940|
|Label||Columbia (Cat. no. 35530)|
|Writer(s)||Don Raye, Hughie Prince, Eleanore Sheehy|
"Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" is a song written in 1940 by Don Raye, with credit given to Ray McKinley. It follows the American boogie-woogie tradition of syncopated piano music. The song was first recorded in 1940 by the Will Bradley orchestra, featuring Ray McKinley and pianist Freddie Slack. The recording placed in Billboard 's "Leading Music Box Records of 1941" at number ten.
The title adopts 1940s hipster slang coined by Raye's friend, Ray McKinley, a drummer and lead singer in the Jimmy Dorsey band in the 1930s. McKinley kicked off certain uptempo songs by asking pianist Freddie Slack – nicknamed "Daddy" – to give him a boogie beat, or "eight to the bar". For that reason Raye gave partial songwriting credit to McKinley. (The song was formally published under McKinley's wife's name, Eleanore Sheehy, because McKinley was under a songwriting contract with another publisher.) The nickname "Daddy Slack" was also used in the 1941 recording by "Pig Foot Pete" with Don Raye singing in Slack's band.
- Versions of this song have been hits for the Andrews Sisters. Their later hit, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", which praises a fictional trumpet player, resembles this hit. Both songs were written by Don Raye and Hughie Prince.
- Glenn Miller and His Orchestra in 1940 on RCA Victor Bluebird.
- Woody Herman in 1940 on Decca.
- Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen on their album Lost in the Ozone.
- Ella Fitzgerald recorded this song with arrangements by Russell Garcia on her Verve release Get Happy! (1959).