Ain't Misbehavin' (song)

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"Ain't Misbehavin'"
Single by Fats Waller
Released August 2, 1929
Genre stride, New Orleans Jazz
Length 3:03
Label Victor
Writer(s) Fats Waller, Harry Brooks, Andy Razaf

"Ain't Misbehavin'" is a 1929 song written by Fats Waller, Harry Brooks (music) and Andy Razaf (lyrics).[1] Waller recorded the original version that year for Victor Records and also later performed the song in the 1943 film Stormy Weather. In a 1941 interview with Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Fats claimed the song was written while "lodging" in alimony prison, and that is why he was not "misbehaving".

There were six other recordings of the song released in 1929, including versions by Louis Armstrong, Ruth Etting, Gene Austin, and Leo Reisman and His Orchestra. It was also used in the off-Broadway musical Connie's Hot Chocolates.[citation needed]

It has been recorded by many other performers over the years, including Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan (for "Sarah Vaughan in Hi-Fi"; 1950), Billie Holiday, Eartha Kitt, Ella Fitzgerald, Django Reinhardt, Miles Davis, Kay Starr, Frankie Laine, Art Tatum, Floyd Pepper, Sonny Stitt, Sam Cooke, Johnnie Ray, Sidney Bechet, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Elkie Brooks, Eyran Katsenelenbogen, Willie Nelson, Kermit Ruffins, Leon Redbone, Freddie White, Dave Brubeck, and Bill Haley & His Comets (who recorded a rock and roll version in 1957). Johnnie Ray's version reached number 17 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1956.[2] In 1960, Tommy Bruce and the Bruisers had a number 3 hit in the UK Singles Chart with their cover version of the song.[3] Leon Redbone performed the song on Saturday Night Live in 1976. It served as the title song of the successful 1978 musical Ain't Misbehavin'.

The original 1929 recording of "Ain't Misbehavin'" by Fats Waller received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1984, and it was one of fifty recordings selected for inclusion in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2004.

In 2001, it was one of 365 Songs of the Century selected by the RIAA.

Hank Williams, Jr. version[edit]

"Ain't Misbehavin'"
Single by Hank Williams, Jr.
from the album Five-O
B-side "I've Been Around"
Released February 10, 1986
Genre Country, stride, New Orleans jazz, Country jazz
Length 4:35
Label Warner Bros./Curb
Writer(s) Fats Waller, Harry Brooks, Andy Razaf
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen, Hank Williams, Jr.
Hank Williams, Jr. singles chronology
"This Ain't Dallas"
"Ain't Misbehavin'"
"Country State of Mind"

Hank Williams, Jr.'s recording was one of the singles released from the album Five-O, his fiftieth album. The single met with great commercial success, making it to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1986. It was his eighth number one and Williams' version of "Ain't Misbehavin'" was also well received by critics, earning him nominations for the Country Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson, Jeremy. "Jazz Standards Song and Instrumentals (Ain't Misbehavin')". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 451. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 83. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
Preceded by
"Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ol' Days)"
by The Judds
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

May 17, 1986
Succeeded by
"Tomb of the Unknown Love"
by Kenny Rogers
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

May 31, 1986