Louie Prima Vesion
“Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)” is a 1936 song, with music and lyrics by Louis Prima, who first recorded it with the New Orleans Gang. Brunswick Records released it on February 28, 1936 on the 78 rpm record format, with “It’s Been So Long” as the B-side. The song is strongly identified with the big band and swing eras. Several have performed the piece as an instrumental, including Fletcher Henderson and, most famously, Benny Goodman.
Benny Goodman Version
On July 6, 1937, “Sing, Sing, Sing” was recorded in Hollywood with Benny Goodman on clarinet; Gene Krupa on drums; Harry James, Ziggy Elman, and Chris Griffin on trumpets; Red Ballard and Murray McEachern on trombones; Hymie Schertzer and George Koenig on alto saxophones; Art Rollini and Vido Musso on tenor saxophone; Jess Stacy on piano; Allan Reuss on guitar; and Harry Goodman on bass. The song was arranged by Jimmy Mundy. Unlike most big band arrangements of that era, limited in length to three minutes so that they could be recorded on one side of a standard 10-inch 78-rpm record, the version which Goodman’s band recorded was an extended work. The 1937 recording lasted 8 minutes and 43 seconds, and it took up both sides of a 12-inch 78.
Video – Louis Prima | original recording 1936
Sing, sing, sing, everybody start to sing like dee dee dee, bah bah bah dah
Now you’re singin with a swing
Sing sing sing everybody start to sing like dee dee dee, bah bah bah dah
Now you’re singin like everything
When the music goes around
Everybody’s gonna go to town
But here is one thing you should know
Sing it high and sing it low
Oh, sing sing sing sing everybody start to sing like dee dee dee, bah bah bah dah
Now you’re singin with a real good swing!
Video from ”Swing Kids (1993)” – Benny Goodman music track
“Sing, Sing, Sing (introducing Christopher Columbus)”
Ross Firestone says that the 1937 recording “bore only the slightest resemblance to the original score.” Helen Ward said that the changes started spontaneously: “One night Gene just refused to stop drumming when he got to the end of the third chorus, where the tune was supposed to end, so Benny blithely picked up the clarinet and noodled along with him. Then someone else stood up and took it, and it went on from there.” Firestone says the elements from “Christopher Columbus” were added this way. The title of the number as given on the Goodman recordings acknowledges the additional tune – “Sing, Sing, Sing (introducing Christopher Columbus)”.