I Didn't Know About You

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"I Didn't Know About You" is a 1944 song composed by Duke Ellington, with lyrics written by Bob Russell.[1]

The recording by Count Basie & His Orchestra (vocal by Thelma Carpenter) briefly reached the No. 21 position in the Billboard charts in 1945 [2] and other recordings available that year were by Duke Ellington, Mildred Bailey, Jo Stafford and Lena Horne.[3]


Alec Wilder wrote that it "works well as a song in [the] series of Ellington instrumentals with Russell lyrics. The main strain is the most melodic, vocally, of the three Russell wrote lyrics for." First recorded for radio broadcast by World Transcriptions in late 1943 under the title of Sentimental Lady, the song was not released until Joya Sherrill sang it as I Didn't Know About You on Duke's Victor recording of Dec 1, 1944. It was also recorded by Ellington for Columbia records as a feature for alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges under the title of Sentimental Lady in December of 1959 but did not appear on the Blues in Orbit album until the CD era as a bonus track. Charlie Rouse and Thelonious Monk recorded it in 1966, also for Columbia, as I Didn't Know About You on Monk's Straight No Chaser album "[4] [5] [6]

Other notable recordings[edit]


  1. ^ Bob Russell Biography. Listen to Classical Music by Bob Russell
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 47. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  3. ^ "honkingduck.com". honkingduck.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Wilder, Alec. American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900-1950 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), 240.
  5. ^ Valburn, Jerry. The Directory of Duke Ellington Recordings (Marlor Productions, 1968)
  6. ^ Massagli/Pusateri/Volontè. Duke Ellington's Story on Records 1943-1944 (Milan: Musica Jazz Ed., March 1968)