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Blues In The Night – Woody Herman

December 27, 2021

Today’s song of the day is “Blues in the Night.” Popular versions include those performed by Woody Herman, Jimmie Lunceford, and Dinah Shore.

Song Facts: 

  • “Blues in the Night” was written specifically by Harold Arlen and lyricist Johnny Mercer for a 1941 motion picture called Hot Nocturne. The song had an instant appeal which prompted producers to rename the motion picture Blues in the Night.
  • The song was nominated for an Academy Award in 1942 but lost to a song not written for a motion picture. This prompted a change in the rules. Now the “Best Song” award must be specifically written for the movie.
  • William Gillespie performed the song during a jailhouse scene in the motion picture Blues in the Night. Unfortunately, most of the fame and credit for performing “Blues in the Night” went to more famous performers and singers of the time.
  • The first “famous” person to make it to the top 40 charts with their version of the song was Woody Herman. His version of “Blues in the Night” stayed on the charts for eleven weeks.
  • On the heels of Herman’s release of “Blues in the Night,” Jimmie Lunceford released his version. It topped the charts at #4 and stayed on the charts for five weeks.
  • Dinah Shore’s version stayed on the charts for seven weeks and reached #4.



My mama done tol’ me

When I was in kneepants

My mama done tol’ me, Son!

A woman’ll sweet talk

And give ya the big eye

But when the sweet talkin’s done

A woman’s a two-face

A worrisome thing who’ll leave ya t’ sing the blues in the night

Now the rain’s a-fallin’

Hear the train a-callin’

Whoo-ee (My mama done tol’ me)

Hear that lonesome whistle

Blowin’ ‘cross the trestle

Whoo-ee (My mama done tol’ me)

A whoo-ee-duh whoo-ee

Ol’ clickety clack’s a-echoin’ back the blues in the night (Hum)

My mama was right, there’s blues in the night