Jump for Joy (1941 revue)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jump for Joy is a 1941 musical revue by Duke Ellington that opened on July 10, 1941, at the Mayan Theater of Los Angeles and ran for nine weeks (122 performances).

It included many hit songs by Ellington that became pop and jazz standards like "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" and "A Drum Is a Woman".


The musical received rave reviews, and both Orson Welles and Charles Chaplin considered buying the show, but were refused, as the show was collaborative in nature and the writers did not want it to be owned.

Despite the original success, "it never made it to Broadway, but it made it to history".[1]

Political message[edit]

Contrary to other all-African-American revues of the time, it was very outspoken on racial matters, with the songs "Jump for Joy" ("Fare thee well, land of cotton / Cotton lisle is out of style"), "Same Old South" ("It's a regular children's heaven / Where they don't start to work until they're seven" and "I got a Passport from Georgia (And I'm Going to The USA)" ("Goodbye Jim / And I do mean Crow").

The production team received protestations and death threats. Duke Ellington described it later in his life as "the first 'social significance' show".


  1. ^ "Jump For Joy: Duke Ellington’s Celebratory Musical", David Johnson, February 6, 2008, Indiana Public Media, consulted on 26 March 2017. http://indianapublicmedia.org/nightlights/jump-for-joy-duke-ellingtons-celebratory-musical/