Mississippi Mud

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Original 1927 recording by The Rhythm Boys

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"Mississippi Mud" is a 1927 song written by Harry Barris and James Cavanaugh,[1] first made popular by Bing Crosby as a member of The Rhythm Boys,[2] who originally recorded the song on June 20, 1927 for Victor as a medley with "I Left My Sugar Standing in the Rain." It was recorded by Paul Whiteman's orchestra in 1928 with vocals by Irene Taylor and The Rhythm Boys featuring Bing Crosby and with Bix Beiderbecke on cornet. Two takes were released on Victor. Later it was also sung briefly by the Rhythm Boys in the 1930 film King of Jazz. The song was also sung in the 1931 Toby the Pup cartoon Down South.

The song has been recorded by a number of artists since, including Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke, Dean Martin, and Ray Charles, and become one of the standards of the American songbook, but with lyrics revised from the original politically incorrect version. The original lyrics featured the refrain line: "When the darkies beat their feet on the Mississippi Mud", which has since been revised to: "When the people beat their feet on the Mississippi Mud."

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1965 album The Chipmunks Sing with Children.

The song was featured in the M*A*S*H episode "The General Flipped at Dawn", being sung and danced to by Harry Morgan (playing Brigadier General Steele, not Colonel Potter as he would go on to portray later in the series) after he asks an African American helicopter pilot to do a song number.

The song was also featured as the opening number for The Muppet Show episode 18 (the guest star was Phyllis Diller), and was on the 1977 Muppet Show soundtrack album.


  1. ^ ASCAP entry for the song
  2. ^ Rhythm Boys Time, July 19, 1943