Big Noise from Winnetka

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"Big Noise from Winnetka" is a jazz song co-written by composer and bass player Bob Haggart and drummer Ray Bauduc, who were members of a sub-group of the Bob Crosby Orchestra called "The Bobcats". They also were the first to record it, in 1938. That recording is remarkable for its unusual duet feature: Haggart whistles the melody and plays the bass, while only Bauduc accompanies him on the drums. Halfway through the solo, Bauduc starts drumming on the strings of the double bass, while Haggart continues to play with his left hand, creating a percussive bass solo. The original version was just bass and drums but many other arrangements have been performed including one by the Bob Crosby big band with the band's vocal group.

After the success of the initial recording, Haggart and Bauduc performed the song frequently for the rest of their careers, including in several films, most notably in 1941's Let's Make Music and 1943's Reveille with Beverly. The original recording was featured on the soundtrack of Raging Bull. Nick Nolte and Debra Winger danced to a version credited to Bob Crosby and the Bobcats in the 1982 film Cannery Row.


The song was a spontaneous composition, created at the Blackhawk in Chicago in 1938.[1] When some of the band were late getting back from a break, Haggart and Bauduc started free improvising while they waited and "Big Noise" was the result. It was a joint composition, later formalized by arranger Haggart. Later, lyrics were written.

Winnetka is a North Shore suburb located approximately 16 miles (26 km) north of downtown Chicago,

Cover versions[edit]

  • 1959: Jazz drum legend Gene Krupa covered the song on his live album "Big Noise from Winnetka".
  • 1963: Jazz drum legend Cozy Cole's version Bubbled Under in the American Billboard Charts at position 121.
  • 1963: Eddy Mitchell sang a French version ("Quand une Fille me plaît") on his album "Voici Eddy... c'était le soldat Mitchell".
  • 1965: Chico Hamilton recorded his own version on the album "The Dealer" (Impulse!).
  • 1966: Kenny Clare & Ronnie Stephenson - Drum Spectacular
  • 1979: The song was covered by Bette Midler for her album "Thighs and Whispers", and released as a single where it peaked at #98 on the US Dance Charts. The song was also performed in her concert film Divine Madness and is included on the soundtrack album. The song was included during her Las Vegas show, "The Showgirl Must Go On" (2008–2010).
  • 1980: The song was featured in the field repertoire of the Bridgemen Drum & Bugle Corps (Bayonne, New Jersey). The Bridgemen missed winning that season's Drum Corps International world championship title by 0.55.
  • 1984: The Australian teenage "indie band" the Lighthouse Keepers recorded a version of "Big Noise" featuring a C melody sax on their album Tales of the Unexpected.
  • 2002: The Japanese jazz group Ego-Wrappin' covered the song on their album Night Food.
  • 2005: Bassist Kyle Eastwood recorded an arrangement on his album Paris Blue.
  • 2009: In the UK, the song has been used in advertisements for[2]
  • 2013: Miss Florida does a baton routine to the song in the Miss America pageant
  • 2013: The song was featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band


  1. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (November 5, 2009). "So long, spinning salad bowl! Don Roth's Blackhawk to close". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Retrieved December 31, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Services in One Place". TV Ad Music. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 

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