Satin Doll

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"Satin Doll"
Language English
Published 1953
Genre Jazz standard
Composer(s) Duke Ellington
Billy Strayhorn
Lyricist(s) Johnny Mercer

"Satin Doll" is a jazz standard written by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Written in 1953, the song has been recorded countless times, by such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, 101 Strings, Terry Callier, and Nancy Wilson. Its chord progression is well known for its unusual use of chords and opening with a ii-V-I turnaround.[1] According to Richard Pryor, the piece was written for a famous black stripper by the same name.[2]

Johnny Mercer was often asked to write lyrics to already popular songs. The lyrics to "Satin Doll" were written after the song was already a hit in its instrumental version. Ellington used "Satin Doll" as the closing number at most of his concerts.

The popular 1950s group The Gaylords recorded a version of "Satin Doll" in 1958.[3]

Bill Doggett recorded a version on his 1959 tribute album Salute To Duke Ellington (King Records 533).

The Coasters released a version of the song on their 1960 album, One by One.[4]

In 1960 Harry James released a version on his album Harry James...Today. (MGM E-3848)

The American vocal group The Stylistics recorded a cover version for their 1976 album, Once Upon a Juke Box.[5]

Sophisticated Ladies, a musical revue based on the music of Duke Ellington, ran on Broadway in 1981.

Dr. John released a version of the song on his 1999 album, Duke Elegant.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Satin Doll", Compositions, Jazz Standards .
  2. ^ Richard Pryor Mafia Joke, YouTube, retrieved February 10, 2017 
  3. ^ "The Best of the Gaylords: The Mercury Years", The Gaylords, All music, retrieved February 18, 2012 .
  4. ^ "One by One", The Coasters, All music, retrieved February 18, 2012 .
  5. ^ "Once Upon a Juke Box", The Stylistics, Discogs, retrieved February 18, 2012 .

External links[edit]