Cow-Cow Boogie

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"Cow-Cow Boogie"
Songwriter(s)Benny Carter
Gene De Paul
Composer(s)Don Raye

"Cow Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)" is a "country-boogie"-style blues song utilizing the folklore of the singing cowboy in the American West. In the lyrics, the cowboy is from the city and tells his "dogies" (motherless calves)[1] to "get hip." The music was written by Don Raye, and lyrics were written by Benny Carter and Gene De Paul. The song was written for the 1942 Abbott & Costello film Ride 'Em Cowboy, which included Ella Fitzgerald as a cast member. The first recording was by Freddie Slack & his Orchestra, featuring vocalist Ella Mae Morse in 1942. The record was the second release by Capitol Records and their first million-seller/ number one on the charts record. Morse learned the song from hearing Fitzgerald on a soundtrack she had acquired, even though the song had been cut from the movie. Morse also recalled recording the song in a single take, which she had thought was only a rehearsal.[2] The 1944 collaboration between The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald resulted in a number-one hit on the Harlem Hit Parade and a number-10 hit on the pop chart.[3]

The Ella Mae Morse version was later re-recorded as a "soundie," an early form of music video.

Mother-daughter duo The Judds recorded the song for their 1987 album Heartland.


  1. ^ "Dictionary definition of "Dogies"". Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved Nov 11, 2012.
  2. ^ 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 1, side A.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 204.

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