Rockin' Chair (1929 song)

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"Rockin' Chair" is a 1929 popular song with music composed by Hoagy Carmichael. Musically it is unconventional, as after the B section when most popular songs return to A, this song has an A-B-C-A1 structure. Carmichael recorded the song twice, in 1929 and 1930. Mildred Bailey made it famous by using it as her theme song. Frank Sinatra recorded a definitive version.[1]

The song was first recorded on February 19, 1929 by Hoagy Carmichael as a test for Victor Records, but not released at the time. This recording was later released on the Historical label as HLA-37. This version is sung by only one vocalist. Hoagy Carmichael and his Orchestra recorded a new version on September 15, 1930 featuring Bix Beiderbecke on cornet. This second version is with two vocalists and was released on Victor Records as V-38139B. Louis Armstrong recorded it with Hoagy Carmichael on vocals on December 13, 1929 at Okeh studios after the stock market crashed, giving a badly needed boost to Carmichael's finances. The recording was released as Okeh 8756 in 1930. The song utilises "call and response" to create a dialog between an aged father and his son. Armstrong performed "Rockin' Chair" numerous times in his career with his trombonist Jack Teagarden.[2]

Other versions[edit]

  • Ed Townsend released a version of the song on his 1959 album, New in Town.[3]
  • Harry James recorded a version in 1965 on his album In A Relaxed Mood (MGM E-4274).
  • Maria Muldaur recorded it (with vocal bantering with Carmichael himself)) for her third solo album Sweet Harmony (Reprise, MS-2235, 1976).


  1. ^ Wilder, Alec (1990). American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900-1950. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 374–375. ISBN 0-19-501445-6. 
  2. ^ 80 Years of Rockin' Chair: Archived 2016-05-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Ed Townsend, New in Town Retrieved August 16, 2016.

See also[edit]