Wabash Blues

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

Wabash Blues, with words by Dave Ringle and music by Fred Meinken, was the first success for pianist, saxophonist and song composer Isham Jones (1894–1956). Recorded in 1921 by Isham Jones and his Orchestra, this million-seller stayed twelve weeks in the U.S. charts, six at No. 1.[1]

The author of the original melody of the Wabash Blues is unknown. Though the song was recorded by Isham Jones and his ensemble, the piece was written Joseph E. Maddy. Prior to being called "Wabash Blues", the first name of this significant early jazz standard was called "The Trombone Jazz" and was orchestrated by Joseph E. Maddy in the Summer of 1918 at Kansas City's Electric Park - a then Summer proving ground for vaudeville artists. At the beginning of Jones' career in Chicago he played in the Edgewater Beach hotel dance band with Maddy and the early jazz sax team of Jones on alto and Maddy on tenor were in great demand -- it is through this partnership that Jones came in contact with Wabash Blues.

This song has been covered over the years by many artists, including Les Paul and Mary Ford, Shirley Bassey, Duke Ellington, Ace Cannon, and Paul Revere and the Raiders.


  1. ^ CD liner notes: Chart-Toppers of the Twenties, 1998 ASV Ltd.