Sweet Georgia Brown

Sweet Georgia Brown is a in 1925 by Kenneth Casey ( text ), Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard (Melody ) authored titles, which has become by many style cross cover versions on Evergreen and jazz standard. It has evolved over the years into a popular jam session number.


The authorship was unusual in many respects. On one hand, three authors involved in the creation of the song, on the other hand, the author trio was composed of mixed race, because in addition to White and Bernie Casey co-wrote Maceo Pinkard an African-American composer.

The song has 32 ​​or 16 bars, is kept at a moderate pace and in the form A'B 'or ABAC. The piece has a major characteristic and has a harmonious so-called " Barbershop sequence" of fifths.

Co-author Ben Bernie played the song on March 19, 1925 his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra one, so this recording the status of the original plays. He came herewith at rank 1 of the charts, a position he held for five weeks. Even more, taken at short intervals versions ensured with good finishes for an early recognition of the title. These included Ethel Waters with her Ebony Four ( with Joe "Fox " Smith ( cornet), Don Redman and Fletcher Henderson ) of 13 May 1925 ( # 6), Isham Jones ( June 5, 1925, # 5) and Bing Crosby ( April 23, 1932 by Isham Jones, # 2).

Came not in the charts now the Varsity Eight ( Recorded April 28, 1925 ) with Red Nichols and the Dorsey brothers, Perley Breed (30 April 1925), Oliver Naylor (1 May 1925), Original Indiana Five (May 1 1925), the Texas Ten (5 May 1925) or the California Ramblers (14 May 1925). A total of at least eight cover versions were thus appeared from April to June 1925. One year after its first publication came the title to Europe, where the Danish Reinhard Wenskat Orchestra in May 1926 grossed a version in Berlin ( German Grammophon # 20569 ).

During the Paris World's Fair came on April 28, 1937 along a super band. In addition to Coleman Hawkins ( tenor saxophone) played there in particular Benny Carter (trumpet ), André Ekyan (tenor saxophone), Stéphane Grappelli ( violin), Django Reinhardt ( guitar) and Tommy Benford (drums). A few months later was again immortalized on September 29, 1937 in Paris Sweet Georgia Brown by American jazz violinist Eddy South with a violin solo, accompanied by Django Reinhardt and Wilson Myers ( bass). Django Reinhardt had an affinity for the song developed, as a soloist, he stood with Grappelli, on 21 December 1937 in Paris again in the studio. Alone 1937-1938 Reinhardt was involved in four recordings of the title. This was followed by successful recordings by Lovie Austin and Brother Bones (1949, # 10). The version of the Swiss orchestra Lanigiro with trumpeter Gugu Dupuis was in 1944 in Switzerland, the jazz record of the year.

He subsequently produced, sung jazz versions by Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, which occurred Festival with the song in 1958 at the Newport Jazz, captured in Bert Stern's film Jazz on a Summer 's Day, and numerous instrumental versions, such as Count Basie, Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson and Lester Young. In 1952 it became the theme song of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. The musicians of modern jazz use the standard as a bebop head for their show tunes, like Jackie McLean ( "Donna" ), Miles Davis ( " Dig " ), Thelonious Monk ( "Bright Mississippi " ) or Clifford Brown ( "Sweet Clifford " ).

On 24 May 1962, at Polydor Records for Tony Sheridan under producer Bert Kaempfert the music tracks from Sweet Georgia Brown by The Beat Brothers ( Beatles ) recorded in Hamburg, which were sung by Sheridan on June 7, 1962. The piece was considered to Sheridan EP Ya Ya ( 1962), to single it was released in July 1964 as a B-side of Skinny Minnie ( Polydor # 52324 ) and reached rank 3 in the German charts. The mutability of Sweet Georgia Brown comes as Bossa Nova by Toots Thielemans ( 1966 LP Contrasts ), the rock & roll version of Jerry Lee Lewis ( January 1971 ) or in the boogie -woogie form of Oscar Peterson ( Montreux Jazz Festival July 27, 1977) for expression.

More pop cover versions played in the 1960s Trini Lopez, Nancy Sinatra and Jerry Lee Lewis, in the 1970s, the progressive rock band Gentle Giant ( Playing the Fool, 1977) a.

In addition, Sweet Georgia Brown found in various film scores, such as Billy Wilder comedy Some Like It Hot (1959 ) or the TV series Futurama or The Simpsons use. In sports, the song is the theme song of the Harlem Globetrotters.


Overall, ASCAP lists 101 versions of the title. The author trio was not one of the most successful teams in the Tin Pan Alley era, because for Benn Bernie are only 21 registered copyright 55 items for Casey 15 and Pinkard. The trio is no longer managed another classic of the format of Sweet Georgia Brown.