WINGY and IVIE ASK THE SAME DEEP QUESTION, 1936

What a lovely song this is — by Benny Davis and J. Fred Coots in 1936.  I heard it first on record (the second version below) and then I was charmed by it in person when Marty Grosz sang and played it with Soprano Summit in 1976. Characteristically, Marty introduced it by saying it was written by a house detective in a famous St. Louis hotel.  (That version of the Summit had Bob Wilber, Kenny Davern, Marty, Mickey Golizio, and Cliff Leeman.  Yes indeed.)

Here’s Wingy Manone in an uncharacteristically serious, tender performance (even though the lyrics elude him about two-thirds through) both on trumpet and vocal.  The other philosophers are Joe Marsala, clarinet; Tom Mace, alto saxophone; Eddie Miller, tenor saxophone; Conrad Lanoue, piano; Carmen Mastren, guitar; Artie Shapiro, string bass; Sam Weiss, drums:

Then, the masterpiece: Ivie Anderson with the Duke, featuring Rex Stewart, Lawrence Brown, and Barney Bigard:

Wishing you love that is anything but puzzling.  You can have it as strange as you want it, but I hope it’s always rewarding.

Postscript: later versions of this song were recorded by two other fellows named Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.  Quality!  I know more than a few fine singers — at least — who would have a fine time with this song. Any takers?

May your happiness increase!

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One response to “WINGY and IVIE ASK THE SAME DEEP QUESTION, 1936

  1. Michael, thanks for putting these two together. I play the Ellington all the time, but had never much thought about the Manone, which will be acquired on first sighting.

    Yet another wonderful Thirties song that received little attention by way of recording. Unless “Isn’t Love the Grandest Thing” of the 1935 efforts of Bert Block (check out that personnel, some of whom a few years later would be with Tommy Dorsey) and Lombardo is the same piece, the only other version listed in either Jazz Records or the new ADBD is by Eddy Duchin, with a Jerry Cooper vocal. Only the Lombardo seems to be available on the Internet, for a fee after the hassle of registering on yet another website.

    We’re not likely to see Davis/Coots, Paul Denniker, or even Walter Donaldson receive any time soon the “songbook” treatment that can make something like this track #13 on a CD. It takes the Marty Groszes and Michael Steinmans to get these songs the attention they deserve, one at a time.

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