Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me

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Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (m. Duke Ellington, w. Bob Russell)

The song developed from a 1940 instrumental titled Concerto for Cootie. With lyrics by Bob Russell added, Ellington re-recorded the song in 1943 under the new title, with the vocal provided by Al Hibbler.

Jazzstandards.com says,

In 1943 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra introduced Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me with featured vocalist Al Hibbler. The record became a best-selling rhythm and blues hit and appeared on the R&B charts in early 1944, climbing all the way to number one where it would stay for eight weeks.

However, after several early covers, the song attracted little attention until recordings by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, and Billie Holiday in the 1950s breathed new life into it, and helped to make it a jazz standard.

Concerto For Cootie  — Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Victor 26598-A, released in 1940. The recording was reissued in early 1944 as Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (Victor 20-1547)

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Billie Holiday — Live Session #10, New York, 18 Jan 1944 Metropolitan Opera House, All-Star Jam Band — Roy Eldridge (tp) Jack Teagarden (tb) Coleman Hawkins (ts) Barney Bigard (cl) Art Tatum (p) Al Casey (g) Oscar Pettiford (b) Sidney Catlett (d) Billie Holiday (v)

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The Delta Rhythm Boys – in the film Swingtime Holiday (1944). Below average sound quality.

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Patti Page accompanied on piano by Lou Stein, a radio transcription from 1949, says the provider

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Billie Holiday — Session #72 New York 14 February 1955 — Billie Holiday with Tony Scott & his Orchestra (Verve): Charlie Shavers (tp) Tony Scott (cl) Budd Johnson (ts) Billy Taylor (p) Leonard Gaskin (b) Billy Bauer (g) Cozy Cole (d) Billie Holiday (v)

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Ella Fitzgerald – recording of 4 September 1956 — Ben Webster (ts); Stuff Smith (vln); Paul Smith (p); Barney Kessel (g); Joe Mondragon (b); Alvin Stoller (d)

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Ed Bickert Trio – date unknown

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