Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar

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"Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar"
Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar sheet music cover.jpg
Sheet music cover
Single by Will Bradley and His Orchestra featuring Ray McKinley
B-side"Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar Pt. 2"
Released1940 (1940)
Format10-inch 78 rpm record
RecordedMay 21, 1940
GenreBoogie woogie
LabelColumbia (no. 35530)

"Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" is a song written in 1940 by Don Raye, Hughie Prince, and 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 drummer McKinley on vocals and Freddie Slack on piano.[1] The recording was re-issued by Columbia Records on its Hall of Fame series featuring landmark songs.


The single placed in Billboard's "Leading Music Box Records of 1941" at number ten.[2]


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 a 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.

The Will Bradley Columbia recording was also released on V-Disc as No. 489A by the U.S. War Department in August 1945.



  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 2, side B.
  2. ^ "Leading Music Box Records of 1941". Billboard. 54 (5): 66. January 31, 1941. ISSN 0006-2510.