That’s What I Like About the South

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Andy Razaf 

From Wikipedia (excerpt):

Razaf was born in Washington, D.C. His birth name was Andriamanantena Paul Razafinkarefo. He was the son of Henri Razafinkarefo, nephew of Queen Ranavalona III of Imerina, and Jennie (Waller) Razafinkarefo, the daughter of John L. Waller, the first African American consul to Imerina. The French invasion of Madagascar left his father dead, and forced his pregnant 15-year-old mother to escape to the United States, where he was born in 1895.[1]

He was raised in Harlem, and at the age of 16 he quit school and took a job as an elevator operator at a Tin Pan Alley office building. A year later he penned his first song text, embarking on his career as a lyricist. During this time he would spend many nights in the Greyhound bus station in Times Square and would pick up his mail at the Gaiety Theatre office building which was considered the black Tin Pan Alley[2]

Some of Razaf’s early poems were published in 1917-18 in the Hubert Harrison-edited Voice, the first newspaper of the “New Negro Movement”. Razaf collaborated with composers Eubie Blake, Don Redman, James P. Johnson, Harry Brooks, and Fats Waller. Among the best-known Razaf-Waller collaborations are Ain’t Misbehavin’, Honeysuckle Rose, The Joint Is Jumpin’, Willow Tree, Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now and (What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue. His music was played by other Tin Pan Alley musicians, as well as Benny Goodman, Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway and many others.

Many of Razaf’s lyrics provide an African-American perspective on America. Through their sharp observation of social and racial issues, Razaf’s lyrics give an inside look at life in New York City in the first half of the 20th century. In 1972 at seventy-six years of age, Andy Razaf, the most prolific black lyricist of twentieth century popular music, was finally recognized by his Tin Pan Alley peers in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He died in North Hollywood, California from cancer, aged 77.

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Andy Razaf biography and links:

That’s What I Like About the South (Andy Razaf)

Phil Harris and His Orchestra — recorded on 31 March 1937; issued on Vocalion 3583, c/w “Constantly”

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In the film I Love a Bandleader (1945)

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Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys

1942 (?)

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(below) date unknown

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cliff bruner

Cliff Bruner and his Texas Wanderers — recorded on 6 November 1944; issued on Decca 46026, as the B-side of “Snowflakes”

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Asleep At the Wheel — from their 1988 LP Western Standard Time, Epic ‎FE 44213 (Vinyl), Epic EK 44213 (CD)

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The Red Stick Ramblers — from the 2005 album Right Key, Wrong Keyhole

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Nolan Bruce Allen — from the 2004 album Salutes the Bob Wills Era, Vol. 2

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Crystal Gayle — live in Nashville, 2006

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trio (unnamed) — uploaded on 13 December 2010

Richard Sharp – bass, vocals
Greg Burgess – fiddle
Will McLin, DVM – guitar, vocals

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