Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)

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"Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)"
Louis Prima Sing Sing Sing Cover.jpg
Song by Louis Prima
Released 1936
Genre Jazz, Swing, Big band
Language English
Label Brunswick, Brunswick 7628
Writer Louis Prima
Composer Louis Prima
Language English
Cover versions

“Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)” is a 1936 song written and composed by Louis Prima, who first recorded it with the New Orleans Gang and released it in March 1936 as a 78, Brunswick 7628, with "It's Been So Long" as the B side. It is strongly identified with the Big Band and Swing eras. Though it has lyrics, which Prima wrote, it was covered as an instrumental by Fletcher Henderson and, most famously, by Benny Goodman.

Benny Goodman recording[edit]

On July 6, 1937, "Sing, Sing, Sing" was recorded in Hollywood with Benny Goodman on clarinet; Harry James, Ziggy Elman, and Chris Griffin on trumpets; Red Ballard and Murray McEachern on trombones; Hymie Schertzer and George Koenig on alto saxophones; Art Rollini and Vido Musso on tenor saxophone; Jess Stacy on piano; Allan Reuss on guitar; Harry Goodman on bass; and Gene Krupa on drums. The song was arranged by Jimmy Mundy. Unlike most big band arrangements of that era, limited in length to three minutes so that they could be recorded on one side of a standard 10-inch 78-rpm record, the version which Goodman’s band recorded was an extended work. The 1937 recording lasted 8 min 43 seconds, and it took up both sides of a 12-inch 78. At its longest, a live recording (with impromptu solos) was recorded and took 12 min 30 sec. Mundy's arrangement incorporated "Christopher Columbus," a piece written by Chu Berry for the Fletcher Henderson band, as well as Prima's work.

In their 1966 book Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya: The Story Of Jazz As Told By The Men Who Made It, music critics Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff quote Goodman as saying, "'Sing, Sing, Sing' (which we started doing back at the Palomar on our second trip there in 1936) was a big thing, and no one-nighter was complete without it."[1] Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall jazz concert was different from the commercial release and from subsequent performances with the Goodman band. The personnel of the Goodman band for the Carnegie Hall concert were the same as in the 1937 recording session, except Vernon Brown replaced Murray McEachern on trombone, and Babe Russin replaced Vido Musso on tenor sax.

Goodman's solo is more introspective in the Carnegie performance,[citation needed] with a wider range of dynamics and colors, with Krupa playing a pulsating tom-tom accompaniment accented on the third beat of the measure behind BG for the first half of the solo, while Jess Stacy inserts minor-chord punctuations. Goodman's solo evolves to a driving 'four' feel before quietly giving way to Stacy's famous solo, a four-chorus, chromatic impressionistic masterpiece widely analyzed by pianists both jazz and classical. Stacy was quoted as saying he was glad he did not know Goodman was going to let him solo, because then he would have gotten nervous and "screwed it up."[2]

Other recordings[edit]






  • In 2009 part of the melody was used in "Box of Secrets", a song by Zarif.
  • Chicago recorded their own version of the song with The Gipsy Kings on ther 1995 album Night and Day: Big Band.
  • Used in Dallas, TX based band Course of Empire's song Infested, from the 1993 album of the same name. The "Darwin Goodman" remix of Infested on the 1993 EP samples Goodman's performance of 'Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)' and features a different, swing-inspired drumbeat.
  • Part of the song is mentioned in Michael Bublé's rendition of the "Spider-Man" theme on Bublé's album Babalu.
  • Los Straitjackets covered this song on their 1999 album The Velvet Touch of Los Straitjackets
  • A cover of the song is to be found on Flat Duo Jets' 1990 self-titled album.
  • A slight variation and expansion of the instrumental version of this song is used as the instrumental backing of the Royal Crown Revue track, "Barflies At The Beach."
  • Accordion rock band Those Darn Accordions recorded an instrumental version played entirely on accordions for their 1994 album Squeeze This!.
  • ADSS recorded an electro swing version of the song, titled "Swing mood". It belongs to their 2012 self-titled album.

Ice dancing[edit]

  • Champion ice-dancers Torvill and Dean used "Sing, Sing, Sing" to accompany their winning routine in 1981.

Reality TV[edit]

TV advertisements[edit]

  • In México was used in TV ads for Foster's beer.
  • In America was used in TV ads for Chips Ahoy cookies.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shapiro, Nat, and Hentoff, Nat. Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: The Story of Jazz As Told by the Men Who Made It. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1966. (Access Page 320 from Google Books.)
  2. ^ Whitney Balliett, "Back from Valhalla", American Musicians II 

External links[edit]