List of pre-1920 jazz standards

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A jazz band playing: A drummer on the left behind a drum set, a trombonist next to him facing right. A cornetist standing behind the trombonist facing left, and a clarinetist sitting on a chair in the front. A pianist sitting on the far left, facing right.
The earliest jazz recordings were made by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in 1917. Their composition "Tiger Rag" has become a popular jazz standard.

Jazz standards are musical compositions that are widely known, performed and recorded by jazz artists as part of the genre's musical repertoire. This list includes compositions written before 1920 that are considered standards by at least one major fake book publication or reference work. Some of the tunes listed were instant hits and quickly became well-known standards, while others were popularized later. The time of the most influential recordings of a song, where appropriate, is indicated on the list.

From its conception at the change of the twentieth century, jazz was music intended for dancing. This influenced the choice of material played by early jazz groups: King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, New Orleans Rhythm Kings and others included a large number of Tin Pan Alley popular songs in their repertoire, and record companies often used their power to dictate which songs were to be recorded by their artists. Certain songs were pushed by recording executives and therefore quickly achieved standard status; this started with the first jazz recordings in 1917, when the Original Dixieland Jass Band recorded "Darktown Strutters' Ball" and "Indiana".[1] Originally simply called "jazz", the music of early jazz bands is today often referred to as "Dixieland" or "New Orleans jazz", to distinguish it from more recent subgenres.[2]

The origins of jazz are in the musical traditions of early twentieth century New Orleans, including brass band music, the blues, ragtime and spirituals,[3] and some of the most popular early standards come from these influences. Ragtime songs "Twelfth Street Rag" and "Tiger Rag" have became popular numbers for jazz artists, as have blues tunes "St. Louis Blues" and "St. James Infirmary". Tin Pan Alley songwriters contributed several songs to the jazz standard repertoire, including "Indiana" and "After You've Gone". Others, such as "Some of These Days" and "Darktown Strutters' Ball", were introduced by vaudeville performers. The most often recorded standards of this period are W. C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues", Turner Layton and Henry Creamer's "After You've Gone" and James Hanley and Ballard MacDonald's "Indiana".[4]

Traditional (author unknown)[edit]

Short-haired African American man wearing a black suit and tie and holding a trumpet, standing facing the camera and smiling.
Songwriter and bandleader W. C. Handy was the first to transcribe and publish blues songs.[5] His compositions "The Memphis Blues" (1912), "St. Louis Blues" (1914) and "Beale Street Blues" (1916) have become popular jazz standards.
  • "Careless Love". Traditional song of unknown origin, copyrighted by W. C. Handy in 1921.[6] Handy published his version with modified lyrics titled "Loveless Love". Spencer Williams is sometimes credited as the co-writer.[7][8] Jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden is known to have been playing the song in the early 1900s.[9] Cornetist Chris Kelly's playing on the song in the 1920s is said to have "moved men to tears and women to tear off their clothes".[10][11]
  • "Frankie and Johnny".[12] Traditional ballad from the 19th century. It became well known in St. Louis in the 1880s, but the song may have been originally written as early as 1840.[13] Structurally the song is an early version of the twelve-bar blues form.[13] The lyrics may have been inspired by an actual murder case in St. Louis in 1899.[14] Hughie Cannon was the first to publish the song in 1904, with the name "He Done Me Wrong", subtitled "Death of Bill Bailey".[15] There are many variations of the title, including "Frankie and Johnny Were Lovers", "Frankie and Albert" and "Frankie".
  • "Just a Closer Walk with Thee".[16] Traditional gospel song commonly played in jazz funerals. The song originated in the 19th century as a folk song,[17] and became popular during the 1930s and 1940s. The first known recording is from 1941 by the Selah Jubilee Singers.[18] The song influenced the style of Thomas A. Dorsey, the "father of gospel music".[17]
  • "St. James Infirmary".[19][20] Traditional song originating from a 19th-century British folk song titled "The Unfortunate Rake".[21] It was made famous by Louis Armstrong in his 1928 recording. Irving Mills copyrighted the song in 1929 under the pseudonym "Joe Primrose".[21] The song was also published by a rival company as "Gambler's Blues (St. James Infirmary Blues)", which resulted in Mills suing the firm for the use of the title "St. James Infirmary".[22] Several early versions of the song became hits; Joe "King" Oliver's rendition rose to the top ten in 1930 and Cab Calloway's recording in 1931.[21] Jack Teagarden is the musician most associated with the song; the first of Teagarden's many recordings of it is from 1930.[21]
  • "When the Saints Go Marching In". Traditional gospel hymn possibly originating in 19th century New Orleans as a funeral march.[23] The song was popularized in 1938 by Louis Armstrong, who recorded the song over 40 times during his career.[24] The song is often called "The Saints".[24] It is requested notoriously often in performances of Dixieland bands, and sometimes requests for it even have a higher price than normal requests.[24]

1900–1909[edit]

  • 1901 – "High Society". Composition by Porter Steele. Originally written as a march and published as a rag, the song soon became one of the most popular tunes of the early New Orleans jazz repertoire.[25] A counterpoint to the melody was arranged by Robert Recker for the piccolo in 1901 and made famous by clarinetist Alphonse Picou.[26] The complex countermelody was often used in auditions for brass band clarinet players.[25][27] King Oliver's Jazz Band popularized the tune in 1923, and other influential recordings were made by Abe Lyman and His Orchestra in 1932 and by Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans Jazzmen in 1939.[28]
  • 1902 – "Bill Bailey". Ragtime song written by Hughie Cannon. It continued the story of an earlier coon song, "Ain't Dat a Shame" by Walter Wilson and John Queen.[29] The song was introduced by Queen in vaudeville and first recorded by Arthur Collins in 1902.[30] Its popularity inspired a host of "Bill Bailey" songs, including Cannon's own "He Done Me Wrong", which used a variation of the melody from "Frankie and Johnny".[15][30] Originally titled "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?", the song is also known as "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey".[31]

1910–1914[edit]

W. C. Handy's "The Memphis Blues". Recorded by Victor Military Band, July 15, 1914.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

1915–1917[edit]

Sheet music cover showing a white house in a forest by a lake. The forest is orange and brown, and the sky is dark blue. On the other side of the lake, the moon is rising. The word "Indiana" is written at the top of the poster. Underneath it, there is a text "Words by Ballard MacDonald, music by James F. Hanley".
Hanley and MacDonald's "Indiana" (1917) is one of the most popular pre-1920s standards.

1918–1919[edit]

Blue and white picture of a smiling dark-haired woman, facing the camera and looking to the right. She wears a dark brimmed hat and a fur coat. Her right hand is holding the fur coat and there's a ring in her little finger. The text "Sophie Tucker" is written on the picture with small white letters.
Vaudeville performer Sophie Tucker popularized the jazz standards "Some of These Days", "I Ain't Got Nobody" and "After You've Gone".

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tyle, Chris. "Jazz History". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  2. ^ Kernfeld 1995, p. 2
  3. ^ Hardie 2002, p. 27
  4. ^ Tyle, Chris. "Jazz History: The Standards (Early Period)". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  5. ^ Herzhaft et al. 1997, p. 79
  6. ^ Fuld 2000, pp. 162–163
  7. ^ "Careless Love". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  8. ^ a b Giddins 2000, p. 46
  9. ^ Kirchner 2005, p. 67
  10. ^ Martin & Waters 2005, p. 51
  11. ^ Carr et al. 2004, pp. 432–433
  12. ^ "Frankie and Johnny". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  13. ^ a b Powell 2000, p. 53
  14. ^ Owsley & Terry 2006, p. 2
  15. ^ a b Fuld 2000, p. 234
  16. ^ "Just a Closer Walk With Thee". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  17. ^ a b Collins 1999, p. 142
  18. ^ Dixon 1997, p. 786
  19. ^ The Real Book, Volume II, p. 338
  20. ^ a b c Listed in The Real Jazz Book
  21. ^ a b c d Burlingame, Sandra. "St. James Infirmary". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  22. ^ Harwood 2008, pp. 127–129
  23. ^ Studwell 1997, pp. 42–43
  24. ^ a b c Burlingame, Sandra. "When the Saints Go Marching In". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  25. ^ a b Evans 2008, p. 301
  26. ^ Hodeir & Pautrot 2006, p. 301
  27. ^ Shuster 2006, p. 26
  28. ^ Jasen 2002, p. 75
  29. ^ Knapp 2005, p. 75
  30. ^ a b Jasen 2003, p. 94
  31. ^ "Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  32. ^ "Chinatown, My Chinatown". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  33. ^ a b c Moon 2005, p. 100
  34. ^ Jasen 2002, p. 36
  35. ^ "Some of These Days". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  36. ^ a b Wilder & Maher 1972, p. 14
  37. ^ "Some of These Days". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  38. ^ Furia & Lasser 2006, pp. 1–2
  39. ^ "Alexander's Ragtime Band". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  40. ^ Hemming 1999, p. 30
  41. ^ a b Furia 1992, pp. 49–50
  42. ^ Berlin 1995, p. 210
  43. ^ "Memphis Blues". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  44. ^ Wilder & Maher 1972, p. 18
  45. ^ Bearden & Phillips 2006, p. 22
  46. ^ Hughes et al. 2001, p. 81
  47. ^ Charters 1975, p. 39
  48. ^ "Ballin' the Jack". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  49. ^ a b Holloway & Cheney 2001, p. 114
  50. ^ Green & Schmidt 1999, p. 116
  51. ^ The Real Book, Volume II, p. 366
  52. ^ Shaw 1989, pp. 67–68
  53. ^ a b c Wilson, Jeremy. "St. Louis Blues". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  54. ^ Furia 1992, p. 35
  55. ^ Wilder & Maher 1972, p. 20
  56. ^ Marshall Cavendish 2003, p. 200
  57. ^ Stanfield 2005, p. 83
  58. ^ Hostetler 2007, pp. 89–90
  59. ^ "That's a Plenty". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  60. ^ a b Jasen 2007, p. 252
  61. ^ Crawford & Magee 1992, p. 82
  62. ^ "12th Street Rag". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  63. ^ Tyler 2008, p. 41
  64. ^ Oliphant 1996, p. 30
  65. ^ Oliphant 1996, p. 29
  66. ^ Jasen 2007, p. 264
  67. ^ "I Ain't Got Nobody (and Nobody Cares for Me)". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  68. ^ The Real Book, Volume III, p. 151
  69. ^ a b c d Burlingame, Sandra. "Baby Won't You Please Come Home". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  70. ^ Tosches 2003, p. 149
  71. ^ a b Gracyk & Hoffmann 2000, pp. 169–170
  72. ^ a b Jasen 2002, p. 80
  73. ^ Giddins 2000, p. 47
  74. ^ "Weary Blues". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  75. ^ Blesh 2007, p. 263
  76. ^ Crawford & Magee 1992, p. 92
  77. ^ a b Sisson, Zacher & Cayton 2007, p. 568
  78. ^ Kernfeld 1995, p. 187
  79. ^ "Beale Street Blues". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  80. ^ Norment, Lynn (June 1981). "Memphis". Ebony 36 (8): 120. 
  81. ^ Brooks & Spottswood 2004, p. 436
  82. ^ Brooks & Spottswood 2004, p. 424
  83. ^ Koenig 2002, p. 138
  84. ^ Burlingame, Sandra. "W.C. Handy Biography". JazzBiographies.com. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  85. ^ Charters 2008, p. 357
  86. ^ a b Gracyk & Hoffmann 2000, p. 140
  87. ^ Matteson 2006, p. 147
  88. ^ "Grammy Awards". Grammy.com. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  89. ^ "Darktown Strutters Ball". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  90. ^ Egan 2004, p. 28
  91. ^ a b Hoffmann & Ferstler 2005, p. 536
  92. ^ a b Bogdanov, Woodstra & Erlewine 2002, p. 961
  93. ^ De Stefano 2006, p. 267
  94. ^ Arwulf, Arwulf. "Shelton Brooks biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  95. ^ The Real Book, Volume II, p. 201
  96. ^ Listed in The Real Vocal Book
  97. ^ a b c Wilson, Jeremy. "Back Home Again in Indiana". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  98. ^ The Real Book, Volume III, p. 340
  99. ^ Burlingame, Sandra. "Harry Williams Biography". JazzBiographies.com. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  100. ^ a b Tyle, Chris. "Rose Room". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  101. ^ Waksman 2001, pp. 27–28
  102. ^ a b c d e "Tiger Rag". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  103. ^ Kirchner 2005, p. 26
  104. ^ Shaw 1989, p. 16
  105. ^ The Real Book, Volume III, p. 12
  106. ^ The New Real Book, Volume II, p. 5
  107. ^ a b Furia & Lasser 2006, p. 20
  108. ^ a b c Wilson, Jeremy. "After You've Gone". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  109. ^ Kirchner 2005, p. 207
  110. ^ a b University, Jeffrey Magee Associate Professor of Musicology Indiana (23 November 2004). The Uncrowned King of Swing : Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz. Oxford University Press. pp. 156–7. ISBN 978-0-19-535814-8. 
  111. ^ Brooks, Tim; Spottswood, Richard Keith (2004). Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919. University of Illinois Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-252-02850-2. 
  112. ^ Burke, Patrick Lawrence (2003). "Come in and Hear the Truth": Jazz, Race, and Authenticity on Manhattan's 52nd Street, 1930-1950. University of Wisconsin--Madison. pp. 230, 350. 
  113. ^ "Ja-Da". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  114. ^ Christensen 1999, p. 274
  115. ^ Jasen 2002, p. 108
  116. ^ Axelrod, Roman & Travisano 2005, p. 595
  117. ^ Giddins 2000, p. 310
  118. ^ Herder 1998, p. 176
  119. ^ Wilder & Maher 1972, p. 27
  120. ^ Jasen 2002, p. 15
  121. ^ a b c Burlingame, Sandra. "Royal Garden Blues". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  122. ^ Kirchner 2005, p. 769
  123. ^ "Someday Sweetheart". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  124. ^ a b c Jasen 2002, p. 177
  125. ^ Pastras 2003, p. 125
  126. ^ Lomax, Gushee & Martin 2001, p. 175
  127. ^ Pastras 2003, p. 127
  128. ^ The Real Book, Volume I, p. 451
  129. ^ "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  130. ^ a b Jasen 2002, p. 218
  131. ^ a b Jasen 2003, p. 196
  132. ^ Santoro 1995, p. 151
  133. ^ Aquila 2000, p. 288

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Fake books[edit]