Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby
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|"Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby"|
|Single by Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five|
|Recorded||October 4, 1943|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues|
|Songwriter(s)||Billy Austin, Louis Jordan|
"Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" is a Louis Jordan song, recorded on October 4, 1943, and released as the B-side of a single with "G.I. Jive". The song reached No. 1 on the US folk/country charts, number two for three weeks on the pop chart, and number three on the R&B chart. This was Jordan's second and last country chart No. 1, and the last No. 1 country chart topper for an African American artist until Charley Pride's "All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)" in 1969.
The song was co-written by Jordan and Billy Austin. Austin (March 6, 1896 – July 24, 1964) was a songwriter and author, born in Denver, Colorado. The phrase "is you is or is you ain't" is dialect, apparently first recorded in a 1921 story by Octavus Roy Cohen, a Jewish writer from South Carolina who wrote humorous black dialect fiction.
In the 1932 American film Harlem Is Heaven, dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, accompanied by jazz pianist Putney Dandridge, sings "Is You Is or Is You Ain't." The song in the film has different lyrics; but, in addition to its title, its melody is at times similar to that later used for "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby."
Glenn Miller recorded this song on a radio broadcast from Europe during World War II. Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters recorded the song on June 30, 1944 for Decca Records and it too reached the No. 2 spot in the Billboard charts during a 12-week stay.
Other cover versions
- The song was performed by the character Tom in the 1946 Tom and Jerry cartoon short Solid Serenade.
- Dinah Washington recorded a version of the song with accompaniment led by Quincy Jones for her 1957 album The Swingin' Miss "D".
- Vic Damone included it on his album My Baby Loves to Swing (1963)
- Syndicate of Sound recorded a version for their 1966 debut album Little Girl.
- Joe Jackson performs the song on his 1981 album Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive.
- Max Cullen sings the song in the style of Billie Holiday in the 1995 film Billy's Holiday.
- A version by the JB Jazz and Blues Band featured prominently in the closing scenes of the final episode of the first series of Spaced by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes in 1999.
- The song was used in an advertisement for credit card Access with the words changed to "does you do or does you don't take Access?"
- Diana Krall included the song on her album Only Trust Your Heart (1995).
- Naomi Uyama recorded a version of this song with her band Naomi and Her Handsome Devils on their 2014 album Naomi & Her Handsome Devils
- 1944 Follow the Boys - performed by Louis Jordan
- 1986 Heartburn - sung by Jack Nicholson
- 2006 Shortbus - performed by Anita O'Day
- "The Online Discographical Project". 78discography.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 184.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 309.
- "Harlem is Heaven--Bill Robinson, Eubie Blake, 1932 Film", posted by Alan Eichler, February 14, 2016 YouTube. Retrieved January 29, 2018. Bill Robinson and Putney Dandridge's performance of "Is You Is or Is You Ain't" begins in the noted copy of Harlem Is Heaven at the 40:15 mark in the film's presentation.
- "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 113. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
- "allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Cub Koda. "Little Girl - The Syndicate of Sound | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
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