Beale Street Blues
|"Beale Street Blues"|
Sheet music cover
|Song by Gilda Gray|
Composition and lyrics
The publication of the song coincided with the beginning of jazz recordings. An early version by Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band earned Handy's firm $2,857 in royalties. A version by singer Marion Harris was a top 10 hit in December 1921. More typically, however, in the early years after it was written, jazz musicians played instrumental versions of the song.
Later versions and influence
Jack Teagarden used the song as a vocal showcase in the 1930s and 1940s, and recorded it with several bands in that period. In the big band era, only a few of the well-known bands recorded it; these included Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington. Since the 1950s, the song has been associated with trad bands.
- Gioia, Ted (2012). Jazz Standards. Oxford University Press. pp. 31–32.