Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby

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"Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby"
Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby.jpeg
Single by Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
A-side "G.I. Jive"
Released 1944 (1944)
Format 10"
Recorded October 4, 1943
Genre Rhythm and blues
Label Decca
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,[1] and released as the B-side of a single with "G.I. Jive". The song reached No. 1 on the US folk/country charts,[2] number two for three weeks on the pop chart, and number three on the R&B chart.[3] 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."[4]

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[5] and it too reached the No. 2 spot in the Billboard charts during a 12-week stay.[6]

Other cover versions[edit]

Film appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Online Discographical Project". 78discography.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 184. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 309. 
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 113. ISBN 0-89820-083-0. 
  7. ^ "allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ Cub Koda. "Little Girl - The Syndicate of Sound | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-26.