July 23, 2009

Number One on the Hit List: Satin Doll

Filed under: Uncategorized — improviz @ 11:58 PM

Tune up your dander, Zombie Tune Crypt readers. The first tune I am going to pillory, in fact, the tune that inspired the creation of this blog, is “Satin Doll.”

This tune scores highly in all major Irritation Categories. First of all, while it may have provided some good income for Ellington, the fact that people equate him with this tune and ignore the many works of genius he created is enough to make the little grey cells quiver with anxiety. His great work lay elsewhere. Bartender: another Black and Tan Fantasy. Nuf said.

Secondly, people actually perform this tune to be “hip.” AHHHH! Let’s take a peek at these lyrics, shall we?
“Cigarette holder which wigs me
Over her shoulder, she digs me.
Out cattin’ that satin doll.
Baby, shall we go out skippin?
Careful, amigo, you’re flippin’,
Speaks Latin that satin doll.”

No more line quoting, just one word: Switch-a-rooney. Is it really possible that the great Johnny Mercer created these lyrics; lyrics that grow more and more dog-eared as the years pass? Please tell me he was on the pipe at the time. If you told me he was 12 when he wrote them, I’d believe you. In fact, that would be his only excuse.

Finally, as if this all wasn’t enough-and it is-there’s the simple fact that EVERYONE plays this song, no matter how scant their credentials for playing jazz. In wedding party rooms, pizza parlors, church basements, rehearsal rooms, even in recording studios, for gods sake, this tattered, dessicated tune is being regurgitated.

Hate me if you like, but if you search your heart, you will know I’m right. Join me in taking this un-endearing, tatterdemalion, trite song off life-support. Together we can.



  1. freakin hilarious -i vote Blue Bossa, having had to play to the point of nausea in jazz lab

    Comment by rob chalfen — July 9, 2009 @ 1:00 AM

  2. yo-it's so on the list. Poor K.D.

    Comment by Z.R. — July 9, 2009 @ 1:22 AM

  3. Rusty Bryant told me years ago that every city has its own "favorite" song, and guess what…..Satin Doll was the most requested song in Boston! That shows you where our taste is! I hate the damn song! TC

    Comment by Tom Curry — July 28, 2009 @ 7:41 PM

  4. then you have come to the right crypt!

    Comment by Steve — July 28, 2009 @ 8:58 PM

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