1928 selected standards, part 2


music Walter Donaldson, words Gus Kahn:
Makin’ Whoopee
Love Me or Leave Me
My Baby Just Cares For Me

Button Up Your Overcoat (m. Ray Henderson, w. B.G. DeSylva, Lew Brown)
I’ve Got a Crush on You (m. George Gershwin, w. Ira Gershwin)
Together (m. Ray Henderson, w. B. G. Desylva, Lew Brown)
Creole Love Call (Duke Ellington)
Lover Come Back to Me (m. Sigmund Romberg, w. Oscar Hammerstein II)

Separate features:

See also:

  • 1928 selected standards, part 1: I Wanna Be Loved by You, If I Had You, When You’re Smiling, Sweet Lorraine, Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love), She’s Funny That Way, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby


The following three songs were written, music by Walter Donaldson and lyrics by Gus Kahn, for the very popular musical comedy Whoopee!, starring Eddie Cantor and Ruth Etting, which debuted on December 4, 1928.

  • Makin’ Whoopee
  • Love Me or Leave Me
  • My Baby Just Cares For Me

Eddie Cantor


Ruth Etting (from ruthetting.com)

(above) posters for the 1930 film adaptation

Makin’ Whoopee

Eddie Cantor – Cantor introduced the song and became it’s first popularizer in the successful musical Whoopee! (running for 379 performances). The first clip below is from Cantor’s performance in the 1930 movie adaptation.


Ben Bernie and his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra, vocalist: Scrappy Lambert, 1928(?)


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, vocals by Bing Crosby and unknown others (possibly the Rhythm Boys) — 1928



Dr. John and Rickie Lee Jones — The pair recorded a duet for the former’s album In a Sentimental Mood, released 1989. This is a live TV performance, Tonight Show with Johnny Carson I think, probably from around the same time.




The two photos of Ruth Etting immediately above are promotional shots for the Broadway musical Whoopee! (1929), taken by Alfred Cheney Johnson

Love Me or Leave Me

Ruth Etting, recorded 1928 according to ruthetting.com — Wikipedia says, “Ruth Etting’s performance of the song was so popular that she was also given the song to sing in the play Simple Simon, which opened in February 1930.”


My Baby Just Cares for Me

Jack Payne and his Band – 1930 — An uptempo version in a contemporary style


My Baby Just Cares for Me is best known as the signature song of Nina Simone. Simone recorded the song in 1958 for her debut album, Little Girl Blue. The track remained relatively obscure until 1987, when it was used in a UK television commercial for Chanel No. 5 perfume. To follow up this exposure, the track was released as a single by Charly Records, entering the UK Singles Chart on October 31, 1987 (1987-10-31) and becoming, at Number 5, one of Simone’s biggest hits almost nineteen years after her previous chart entry. – wikipedia (adapted)



Button Up Your Overcoat (music: Ray Henderson, words: B.G. DeSylva, Lew Brown)

From Wikipedia:

The song was published in 1928, and was first performed later that same year by vocalist Ruth Etting. However, the most famous rendition of this song was recorded early the following year by singer Helen Kane, who was at the peak of her popularity at the time. Kane’s childlike voice and Bronx dialect eventually became the inspiration for the voice of cartoon character Betty Boop (most famously using Kane’s famous catchphrase Boop Boop a Doop).

From January 9, 1929 to December 21, 1929 Jack Haley and Zelma O’Neal sang “Button Up Your Overcoat” on Broadway in the musical Follow Thru. They reprised the song in the film version which opened on September 27, 1930 which was also one of the first movies in Technicolor.


Helen Kane – 1929


I’ve Got a Crush on You (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) was used in two Broadway productions, Treasure Girl (1928), and Strike Up the Band (1930).

Ella Fitzgerald 1950


Lee Wiley – from the album Night in Manhattan, 1951


Together (Ray Henderson/B. G. Desylva, Lew Brown)

Ray Starita and his Ambassadors Band, 1928


Arnold Johnson and his Paramount Hotel Orchestra, 1928


Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes with Orchestra directed by Victor Young, 1944


Duke Ellington_c_late20s

Creole Love Call (Duke Ellington)

Regarding composition credit, Wikipedia says:

Ellington first recorded it in 1927 and was issued a copyright for it as composer the following year. However the main melody appears earlier in the Joe “King” Oliver composition “Camp Meeting Blues” which Oliver recorded with his Creole Jazz Band in 1923. Apparently Ellington reedman Rudy Jackson had presented the melody to Ellington claiming it was his own composition.

After Ellington’s recording came out, Joe Oliver attempted to sue for payment of royalties and composer credit. The lawsuit failed due to problems with Oliver’s original paperwork resulting in Oliver not holding a valid copyright. Ellington fired Jackson over the incident, bringing in Barney Bigard as his replacement.

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, vocal: Adelaide Hall — recorded on 26 October 1927 in Camden, NJ

Duke Ellington, p, a, dir. Bubber Miley, Louis Metcalf t / Joe Nanton, tb / Otto Hardwick, ss, as, bar / Harry Carney, cl, as, bar / Rudy Jackson, cl, ts / Fred Guy, bj / Wellman Braud, sb / Sonny Greer, d. Adelaide Hall, v.


Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, vocalist: Kay Davis — not yet dated


The following two songs are from the 1928 operetta The New Moon.

Lover Come Back to Me (Sigmond Romberg/Oscar Hammerstein II) Evelyn Herbert introduced Lover Come Back to Me on September 19, 1928, at the Imperial Theater. She performed the song (which was reprised by Robert Halliday) as part of the Broadway musical The New Moon.

Billie Holiday — I believe this is from Session #33, live radio broadcast – Storyville Club at the Copley Square Hotel in Boston – 1 November 1951 — Buster Harding (p) John Fields (b) Marquis Foster (d) Billie Holiday (v) Nat Henthoff (announcer)


Richard Tauber – 1941


Aretha Franklin – 1962


Barbra Streisand on her first television special My Name is Barbra 1964


1928 selected standards, part 1: I Wanna Be Loved by You, If I Had You, When You’re Smiling, Sweet Lorraine, Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love), She’s Funny That Way, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby


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