Hot jazz 7 tune list
Composer and brief introductory notes from the Hot Jazz 7 tune list.
Alligator Hop (1923) Also know as Alligator Flop. Written by King Oliver, arranged by Lil Hardin,
Louie Armstrong’s 2nd wife.
Antigua Blues (1944) Lu Watters wrote this blues on the troop ship S.S. Antigua travelling from the
South Pacific war zone back to San Francisco.
Arab Strut (1956) Written by Ev Farey (cornet) and Roy Giomi (clarinet). Ev and Roy were founding
members of the Bay City Jazz Band, a band that was unabashedly delighted to follow in the very large
footsteps of Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena JB. As of 2004, Ev and Roy are still playing jazz in the San
Francisco bay area.
At A Georgia Camp Meeting (1897) Kerry Mills. This is one of the few cakewalks that has maintained
popularity among traditional jazz bands. Other jazz favorites written by Kerry Mills include “Whistling
Rufus” and “Red Wing”. Perhaps based on a Civil War Song: "Our Boys Will Shine Tonight".
Big Bear Stomp (1944). Lu Watters. Lu Watters led his San Francisco based Yerba Buena Jazz Band
from the late 1930’s until he retired in the late 40’s. The YBJB was a hard driving two cornet band that
played in the style of 1920’s King Oliver Creole Jazz band. “Big Bear Stomp” is named for one of the
band’s playing gigs: The Big Bear roadhouse in the Berkeley hills.
Black Bottom Stomp (1926) Jelly Roll Morton. Jelly Roll Morton, aka Ferdinand LaMenthe, wrote and
recorded a series of tunes with a terrific band called the Red Hot Peppers. We think this is a reference
to a red light district in Memphis, TN, after which was named a popular dance of the day.
Bouncin’ Around (1924) Peter Bocage and Armand J. Piron. Piron, a riverboat band leader, violinist and
vocalist led his New Orleans band to New York in 1923 and recorded several interesting tunes with
Peter Bocage on trumpet. Mama's gone Goodbye, West Indies Blues, Purple Rose of Cairo and Red Man
Brother Lowdown (1947) Turk Murphy.
Cakewalkin’ Babies From Home (1924) Clarence Williams. Bessie Smith helped make this a jazz classic
as did Louis Armstrong. The composer wrote many songs that became favorites of jazz bands: Royal
Garden Blues, None of My Jelly Roll, Sugar Blues, Baby Won’t You Please come home. He was the musical
director of a very important record company, Okeh, from 1923-28.
Canal Street Blues (1923) King Oliver. A 12 bar blues with 2 strains or melodies. Played a little bit
faster than most blues. Named after a street in New Orleans that used to be a canal but is now a 171
foot wide street with a street car track running down the middle.
Chant, The (1926) Mel Stitzel. Recorded by Jelly Roll Morton in an important studio session with his
Red Hot Peppers in Chicago in 1926. One of the more flamboyant personalities and dressers of the jazz
age, Ferdinand LaMenthe prided himself on being Creole, not African-American. He also was proud of his
gold front tooth in which he inserted a diamond.
Charleston (1923) James P. Johnson. Most well known jazz dance of the 1920’s. Symbol of the “Flapper
Era”. James P. was a virtuoso stride pianist who was an early mentor to Fats Waller. James P. wrote
Broadway shows which included jazz standards – Running Wild in 1923 and Messin’ Around in 1929. He
wrote pop tunes like Old Fashioned Love and A Porter’s Love Song To A Chambermaid as well as classical
music such as Fantasia in C minor, Sonata in F, and Piano Concerto in A flat.
Chattanooga Stomp (1923) Joe “King” Oliver. One of the historic set of tunes recorded in 1923 with
Louis Armstrong on 2nd cornet.
Chelsea On Down (1953) Robin Wetterau. In the late 1940’ and early 1950’s, the Dayton area spawned
some significant traditional jazz. Robin Wetterau, piano, played with the Dixieland Rhythm Kings, then
moved to New York and played with the Great Atlantic JB. There he met Charlie Sonnanstine (cornet
and trombone). They collaborated on many arrangements, moved to the West Coast and formed the Great
Pacific JB. The HJ7 plays lots of their arrangements. Chelsea on Down refers not to England or one of
the Clintons but to a comment attributed to Robin Wetterau about Boston restaurants: “There’s not a
decent restaurant from Chelsea on down.”
Chimes Blues (1923) King Oliver arranged by Lil Hardin. One of about a dozen songs recorded in
Richmond, IN in the Gennett recording studios April 6, 1923. Creole JB w/Louie.
Coal Cart Blues (1923) Louie and Lil. Recorded in October 1925 with the Clarence Williams Blue 5.
Copenhagen (1924) A Charlie Davis composition, Copenhagen was recorded by Bix Beiderbecke and the
Wolverines in the same year. George Brunis was on trombone for that historic recording session in
Richmond, Indiana on May 6, 1924.
Crazy Blues (1920) Perry Bradford. There were lots of blues singers named Smith: Anne (Ma Rainey),
Bessie, Clara, Clementine, Elizabeth, Ivy, Trixie, etc. Crazy Blues was a big hit for Mamie Smith when
she recorded it with her Jazz Hounds in 1920.
Dippermouth Blues (1923) King Oliver and Louie Armstrong, both on cornets, recorded this piece in
April 1923. Called King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, this studio group established a new level of two
cornet improvisation. The song refers to one of Louie’s many nicknames.
Doctor Jazz (1926) King Oliver. King Oliver recorded Doctor Jazz with his 10 piece band in
September 1926. In 1926, Jelly Roll Morton assembled a small group of Chicago based musicians and did a
series of recordings that turned out to be of great interest to the jazz world. “Doctor Jazz” was one
of those recordings. Others were: “Black Bottom Stomp”, “The Chant”, “Sidewalk Blues”, and
Doin’ the Hambone (1950) Lu Watters. In the late 30’s, Lu Watters founded the Yerba Buena JB
based upon the 2 cornet sound of King Oliver’s Creole JB from the 1920’s. Lu wrote a number of songs
for the band, mostly in the early to mid forties. In the 40’s Lu’s band worked in a saloon in the San
Francisco bay area called Hambone Kelly’s. He wrote Doin' the Hambone to commemorate that gig. This
song is about Hambone: an old style of body percussion – slapping chest, thighs, legs in a rhythmic manner
– often seen in black-faced minstrel shows and vaudeville.
Don’t Forget to Mess Around (When You Do The Charleston) (1926) Paul Barbarin. Barbarin was a
new Orleans drummer who wrote several jazz standards; e.g., Bourbon St. Parade, Come Back Sweet Papa,
and Second Line. He played with King Oliver and with Louie Armstrong’s Hot 5 when they recorded this
song in Chicago in 1926.
Down Home Rag (1911) Wilbur Sweatman. Not really a rag but it tried to cash in on the rag time
popularity. It has a country hoedown flavor. One of the earliest recordings was in 1915 by the 6 Brown
Brothers. Sweatman was a band leader who tracked popular tastes and had the distinction(?) of being able
to play 3 clarinets at once.
Emperor Norton’s Hunch (1944) Lu Watters. Lu Watters and the YBJB played both the classic King
Oliver tunes as well as ones written by Lu and other band members. This tells the story of a man who
went West during the Gold Rush to earn his fortune. He earned it and lost it but became a popular
figure in the late 1800’s. He proclaimed himself the “Emperor of California”, wore outrageous costumes,
printed his own money, and even predicted that there would be bridges built across the SFO bay. His
‘hunch’ was right. Thousands of people attended his funeral.
(Here Comes) The Hot Tamale Man (1926) This is one of many compositions by Tin Pan Alley pop
composer Fred Rose. Rose also wrote other hot tunes: “ Red Hot Mama”, “Flamin’ Mamie”, and “Red Hot
Henry Brown”, as well as “‘Deed I Do”, and “Deep Henderson”. Jazz bands like the extended circle of
fifths chord structure of the chorus. Recorded in 1926 by Doc Cook and his Dreamland Orchestra. Also
by a smaller group of his called Cookie and the Ginger Snaps.
I Ain’t Gonna Tell Nobody (1923) Richard M. Jones.
I Am Pecan Pete (??) Turk Murphy. A tour de force for the trombone player. Very few bone players
even try to emulate Turk’s virtuoso playing. Turk first demonstrated this tune on a tour to Australia in
I’m Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind (1921) Clarence Johnson and Lloyd Smith. Johnson also
wrote “Kansas City Man Blues”. King Oliver and his two cornet Creole Jazz Band (with Louie Armstrong
on 2nd cornet) recorded this song in 1923 in what has turned out to be a series of historic recording
sessions. Other songs from the April 6, 1923 session include such classics as “Just Gone”, “Canal
Street Blues”, “Chimes Blues”, “Dipper Mouth Blues”, and “Snake Rag”.
I’m Goin’ Huntin’ (1927) Fats Waller. A little known Fats Waller tune – he never recorded it but Louie
Armstrong and Johnny Dodds did it in Chicago in 1927 with Jimmy Bertrand’s Washboard Wizards. Since
the leader of the band, Jimmy Bertrand, played washboard, you might expect some significant washboard
Just Gone (1923) Written by King Oliver, arranged by Lil Hardin, Louie Armstrong’s 2nd wife. King
Oliver and his two cornet Creole Jazz Band (with Louie Armstrong on 2nd cornet) recorded this song in
1923 in what has turned out to be a series of historic recording sessions. Other songs from the April 6,
1923 session include such classics as “Canal Street Blues”, “Chimes Blues”, “Dipper Mouth Blues”, and
Kansas City Man Blues (1923) Clarence Johnson and Clarence Williams.
Kansas City Stomp (1923) Jelly Roll Morton. Jelly Roll Morton was an extremely influential musician
in the 1920’s. His ego was huge – he claimed to have invented jazz in 1902 – but he was a virtuoso
pianist, composer, and band leader. This tune has nothing to do with Kansas City Kansas or Missouri.
Rather, it was named after a bar he played in Tijuana, Mexico.
King Chanticleer (1910) Nat Ayer wrote this Barbary Coast favorite to cash in on the dances of the day
like the Texas Tommy. In 1911, he wrote a huge hit -- “Oh You Beautiful Doll”. Also in 1911:
“Sweetheart, If You Talk in Your Sleep, Don’t Mention My Name”. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
danced to it in a 1939 movie – Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. Doris Day movie in 1953: By the Light
of the Silvery Moon.
King of the Zulus (A Chit’lin’ Rag) (1926) Lil Hardin Armstrong. Mardi Gras parades are put on by
social clubs called krewes. The Zulu Aid and Pleasure Club annually selects a prominent citizen to be the
‘King of the Zulus’ and ride on its float. Louie’s Hot 5 recorded this tune in 1926 with wonderful
trombone as well as cornet solos.
Livin’ High (1925) Maceo Pinkard. In 1925, Louie Armstrong backed up Eve Taylor in Clarence Williams’
Blue 5. The Blue 5 brought Louie and Sidney Bechet together. Pinkard also wrote Gimme A Little Kiss;
Them There Eyes; Livin’ High; Storyville Blues; I’ll Be A Friend With Pleasure.
Mabel’s Dream (1923) Ike Smith. Originally titled Maybelle’s Dream, this dance tune was typical of
the selections played at dances by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. Young Louis Armstrong played 2nd
cornet when this song was recorded in Chicago in 1923.
Mandy Lee Blues (1923) Walter Melrose. 3rd song recorded on 4/6/23 by Oliver and Creole JB.
Presumably named after a riverboat, the Mandy Lee. Other Mandy songs: Berlin’s 1918, Mandy, There’s A
Minister Handy reprised by Bing Crosby in the 1954 movie “White Christmas”. And see below. (Make up
Mandy, Make Up Your Mind (1924) Tin Pan Alley team of Meyer, Johnston, Clarke, and Turk. It was
introduced in a Broadway revue called “Dixie to Broadway”. Clarence Williams Blue 5 w/ Louie and
Sidney Bechet. Other ‘Mandy’ songs: ‘Loading Up The Mandy Lee’, ‘Mandy Lee Blues’, ‘Mandy and Me’,
‘Come Along My Mandy’.
Messin’ Around (1926) John St. Cyr and Charles Cooke.
Minstrels of Annie Street (1946) Turk Murphy, trombone alumnus of Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz
Band wrote this in response to a remark made by Herb Caen, a long running columnist for the San
Francisco Chronicle. Turk’s band was playing a joyous happy jazz at a little jazz club called the Dawn
Club on Annie Street just off Market Street in San Francisco. Herb referred to the band as the
“Minstrels of Annie Street”.
Minor Drag (1929) Fats Waller. The story is that Fats wrote this wonderful tune in a taxi on his way
to a recording session in New York. The band recorded two tunes this session, an up tempo tune called
Harlem Fuss and a slower called Minor Drag. The record company cross-labeled them and the dominant
up tempo tune is now known as Minor Drag.
Mojo Strut (1926) This voodoo charmed title was written and recorded in 1926 in Chicago by Tiny
Parham and his Apollo Syncopators. It illustrates a style of jazz known as the South Side Chicago style.
Mooche, The (1929) Duke Ellington.
Muskrat Ramble (1926) Edward (Kid) Ory was active in jazz from as early as 1912 through the 1960’s.
This jazz classic was written and recorded by him in 1926. It has been recorded by dozens of bands in
the 80 years since it was written.
New Orleans Stomp (1923) King Oliver with Lil Hardin. Another of the famous collaborations between
King Oliver, Lil Hardin, and Louis Armstrong. Recorded in 1923.
Oriental Strut (1926) Johnny St. Cyr was Louie Armstrong’s banjo player in the early Hot 5
recordings. They did Oriental Strut in Chicago on February 26, 1926 in the same historic session where
they recorded Heebie Jeebies. Supposedly, Louie dropped the lyrics to Heebie Jeebies and introduced the
world to skat singing.
Ory’s Creole Trombone (1922) Edward ‘Kid’ Ory. Possibly the first Black jazz recording was this tune
recorded in June, 1922, in Los Angeles under the name of Spike’s 7 Pods of Pepper. Kid Ory wrote the
tune and played on the recording date along with Mutt Carey on cornet. A delightful trombone piece.
Papa Dip (1926) Lil Hardin Armstrong. Louis Armstrong had several nicknames. Dippermouth was one.
This is a variation. Two years after she married Louis, Lil recorded this tune in Chicago without him –
similar to the Hot 5. New Orleans Wanderers w/ Geo. Mitchell on Cornet. Mitchell recorded w/ Jelly
Morton later that year with the Red Hot Peppers.
Purple Rose of Cairo (1920) Armand J. Piron was a New Orleans violinist who led society dance bands
on river boats in the early 1920’s. Purple Rose was his theme song.
Riverboat Shuffle (1925) Hoagy Carmichael and Dick Voynow.
Riverside Blues (1923) Thomas A. ‘Georgia Tom’ Dorsey and Richard M. Jones.
Sage Hen Strut (1944) Lu Watters w/ YBJB.
Saint James Infirmary Blues (1930) An original sheet music version of this song bears a 1930
copyright and is credited to Joe Primrose. Another original sheet shows the same song as “St. Joe’s
Infirmary” or “The Gambler’s Blues” written in 1930 and “arranged” by Claude Austin. Some reference
works cite the tune as “The Dyin’ Gambler’s Blues” and date it from the 1890’s. Perennial favorite of
traditional jazz bands.
Saint Louis Blues (1914) W. C. Handy proclaimed himself as the Father of the Blues. At least he
copyrighted many jazz standards such as Atlanta Blues, Beale Street Blues, Memphis Blues, and Yellow
Shake That Thing (1926) ‘Papa’ Charlie Jackson.
She’s Crying For Me (1925) Santo Pecora
Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble (1916) Spencer Williams. First recording: American Military Brass Band in
1916. NORK, 1923. Jazz standard. Spencer also wrote: Basin St. Blues, Careless Love, Everybody Loves
My Baby, Royal Garden Blues, 12th Street Rag.
Sic ‘Em Tige (1931) State Street Ramblers.
Sidewalk Blues (1926) Jelly Roll Morton. Jelly's Red Hot Peppers, Chicago, 1926.
Snake Eyes (1928) Tiny Parham.
Snake Rag (1923) King Oliver. One of the classic Oliver recordings with Louis Armstrong on 2nd
cornet. Recorded for the Okeh Record company in Chicago in 1923. Arranged by pianist Lil Hardin, soon
to be Louie’s 2nd wife.
South Rampart Street Parade (1938 Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc.)
Stampede, The (1926) Fletcher Henderson. Henderson recorded this masterpiece in 1926. Great
arrangement by Red Nichols a few months later.
Struttin’ With Some Barbecue (1930) Louie Armstrong supplied the melody and Don Raye the lyrics
for this jazz standard. Cornet players love the semi-solo verse.
Sunset Café Stomp (1926) Louie Armstrong recorded Sunset Café Stomp in 1926 with his Hot Five.
Written by Louie and Percy Venable, it captures the spirit of the Sunset Café on the South Side of
Suez (1922) Ferde Grofe and Pete DeRose. Part of the mysterious Asia and mid eastern exotica. The
same year he published Oriental Eyes with Paul Whiteman. DeRose also composed Deep Purple, Have You
Ever Been Lonely, Somebody Loves You, When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver. Grofe is better known as
the composer of the Grand Canyon Suite
Sweet Baby Doll (1919) George Thomas. King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band recorded this in 1923 with
young Louie Armstrong on 2nd cornet.
Sweet Like This (1929) King Oliver.
Sweet Lotus Blossom (1935) The original title was “Marahuana”. It was written by Coslow and
Johnston for a 1934 Paramount Picture called “Murder at the Vanities”. Duke Ellington’s band played
this number and one called “Ebony Rhapsody”. The tune was re-titled “Sweet Lotus Blossom” for a
Mercury Record release by Julia Lee.
Tears (1923) Lil Hardin and Louis Armstrong. We’re not sure of why this tune is titled ‘Tears’. We
think maybe it is so tough that it brings tears to the eyes of the trumpet players who have to play it.
King Oliver’s band in 1923.
Terrible Blues (1924) Clarence Williams.
That’s A Plenty (1914) Ray Gilbert and Lew Pollack.
Tiger Moan (1927) Tiny Parham. Born Hartzell Strathdene Parham, Tiny got his nickname because no
one could remember his real name. That and the fact that he was bigger than his contemporary, Fats
Waller. Tiny Parham and his piano wrote and produced many recordings representative of the South Side
Chicago style jazz. Other examples of his compositions are little known gems such as Mojo Strut, Head
Hunter’s Dream, Jungle Crawl, Washboard Wiggles, and Snake Eyes.
Tiger Rag (1917) Original Dixieland Jazz Band. The ODJB is thought to have recorded the very first
jazz record back in 1917. If you can believe Jelly Roll Morton (who claims he invented jazz in 1902), this
song was based on an old French quadrille. Tiger Rag is probably the most recorded Dixieland song after
Trombone Rag (1942) Turk Murphy. Turk Murphy was a San Francisco trombone player who was with Lu
Watters’ Yerba Buena JB for many years. He wrote this tune in 5 flats to discourage wannabe trombone
players. It’s not easy but it’s a lot of fun.
Villain, The (1949) Lu Watters
Waiting For The Robert E. Lee (1912) Lewis F. Muir and L. Wolfe Gilbert. Another steamboat tune.
Wa Wa Wa (1926) Mort Schaeffer. King Oliver tried to move into the big band era with his Dixie
Syncopators: 2 trumpets, 2 reeds, a trombone, and 4 rhythm. Presumably, the song title came from the
use of ”wa wa” mutes on the original recording.
Washboard Wiggles (1929) Tiny Parham. Born in Manitoba, Canada, raised in Kansas City, moved to
Chicago. Tiny Parham and his piano wrote and produced many recordings representative of the South Side
Chicago style jazz. Other examples of his compositions are little known gems such as Tiger Moan, Mojo
Strut, Head Hunter’s Dream, Jungle Crawl, and Snake Eyes.
Weatherbird Rag (1923) First historic session for Gennett Studios in Richmond, IN. Oliver’s Creole
JB. Louie and Earl Hines recorded Weatherbird as a duet in Chicago, 1928.
West Texas Blues (1919) Charles Booker, Jr.
Where Did You Stay Last Night (1923) Louis Armstrong and Lil Hardin Armstrong.
Recorded on 6/22/1923 with King Oliver’s band, this is one of the first joint arrangements with Louie
and his second wife, Lil Hardin.
Willie The Weeper (1927) Walter Melrose. Louie Armstrong recorded this reefer song in late April
1927 in Chicago with his Hot 7. King Oliver recorded it about 2 weeks later in Chicago with his 10 piece
band. It is the story of the big dreams of a little man with a lot of help from a currently controlled
Working Man’s Blues (1923) King Oliver and Lil Hardin. First recorded in Richmond, October 1923 w/
Creole JB but didn’t make the cut. Recorded in Chicago 2 weeks later on the Okeh label.
You Are My Sunshine (1940) Jimmie Davis. Davis was a professor of history, then a full time C & W
star, and ended up as a two term governor of Louisiana. Also wrote “Columbus Stockade Blues".
You Rascal, You (I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead) (1931) Sam Theard. Brian Rust’s Jazz Records,
1897-1942 lists 24 different recordings of this song. Louie did it as well as Jack Teagarden and Fats
You’re Next (1926) Lil Hardin Armstrong. Louie Armstrong and his Hot 5 were primarily a studio
recording group. They made a series of classic recordings in Chicago shortly after Louie left the King
Oliver band. Lil Hardin was the pianist in the Oliver band and became one of the Hot 5 as well as the
2nd Mrs. Armstrong. She wrote and arranged many selections for the Hot 5 and Hot 7.