“OUCH, MY TOOTSIES!”

We’ve all worn difficult clothing in an attempt to be considered suitable as a Love Object.

I don’t know how far back the songwriters’ conceit of “I’m getting dressed up for my date with someone I’m crazy about and I have to put on shoes that hurt my feet” goes — although “My new shoes hurt” is part of the Ted Shapiro – Gus Kahn WAITIN’ FOR KATIE — in the savory 1927 recording by the Ben Pollack band, solos by young men in scuffed shoes (Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland, and Larry Binyon):

and the words show up at almost the same time in the 1928 “hot” recording of WAITIN’ FOR KATY by Guy Lombardo:

In 1935, another song developed this idea, most charmingly: the Sam Stept – Dave Franklin – Ned Washington BREAKIN’ IN A PAIR OF SHOES.  I offer three versions for your consideration.  The first is by the most lively and endearing Miss Cleo Brown with splendid rhythmic support from Vic Berton, Manny Stein, and Bobby Sherwood:

 

That recording I only discovered in the last year, however I knew the tune by heart because of this wonderful instrumental exploration by Teddy Wilson in his prime.  Where Cleo’s version is a sassy romp, Teddy’s is a sweetly logical exploration — mixing melodic embellishments and deeper improvisation all the way through, swinging gently but never racing, delicately balanced from first to last. . . not only a beautifully intricate solo piano performance but a delightful “dance record” in Thirties parlance:

And if your new shoes had the virtue of being flexible, you might want to dance some more — to the youthful Benny Goodman Orchestra:

No deep moral here, just an offering of good music. I hope you are surrounded by people who love you even if you wear unfashionable shoes.

May your happiness increase!

3 responses to ““OUCH, MY TOOTSIES!”

  1. Thanks once again, Michael. The Cleo Brown records, especially with this lineup, are personal favorites. (Another interesting stop along Vic Berton’s career path.) The song is pretty wordy in spots to have been a hit, but one might expect it to have been addressed instrumentally more often. The Bob Pope with Dixie Lee Sothern is nice. Time to look harder for the Gene Kardos with young Bea Wain.

  2. Waiting For Katie shows why Goodman was a jazz genius from the very start. His timing, tone and art of improvising was outstanding.

  3. Frank Trumbauer also recorded a fine version of Breakin’ In a Pair of Shoes, it seems to be popular in Russia as the only you tube videos I could find were of Russian jitterbugs! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cc71tFjuLE

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