Music Throwback Saturday: In the Mood

Under copyright laws, a tune that had not been written down and registered with the copyright office could be appropriated by any musician with a good ear.

Wingy-ManoneAll I wanted to do was post a link to a familiar version of In the Mood, then add one you might not have heard.

But the facts got in the way:





“In the Mood” was an arrangement by Joe Garland based on a pre-existing melody… The main theme, featuring repeated arpeggios rhythmically displaced, previously appeared under the title of “Tar Paper Stomp” credited to jazz trumpeter and bandleader Wingy Manone. Manone recorded “Tar Paper Stomp” on August 28, 1930…

Horace Henderson used the same riff in “Hot and Anxious”, recorded by his brother’s band, Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra, on March 19, 1931…

Under copyright laws [at the time], a tune that had not been written down and registered with the copyright office could be appropriated by any musician with a good ear. Wingy Manone had brought up the issue of the similarity between “Tar Paper Stomp” and “In the Mood” to Joe Garland and to the publishing company of the song, Shapiro, Bernstein, and Company of New York… “Tar Paper Stomp” was copyrighted on November 6, 1941…

Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” [1939] became the best selling swing instrumental.


But what I REALLY wanted to tell you about is my favorite version of In the Mood. I have it on the 1977 Warner/Reprise Loss Leader album Limo, compiled, as many were, by Doctor Demento. The song is credited to Henhouse Five Plus Too, the nom de poulet of Ray Stevens, who had hits as diverse as Gittarzan, The Streak, Everything Is Beautiful, Turn Your Radio On, and Mr. Businessman. This song went to #40 early in 1977 and proved to me that almost ANY song could be done in Chicken.

Listen to

Wingy Manone – Tar Paper Stomp HERE or HERE

Hot and Anxious – Fletcher Henderson HERE or HERE

In The Mood from The Glenn Miller Story – Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra HERE or HERE

In the Mood – Henhouse Five Plus Too HERE or HERE

Last dance music QUESTION

The intricacies of singing in chicken may require a substitute.

I have this Facebook friend, who not only is an actual terrestrial friend but who I see regularly. Anyway, she sent around this list of disco songs from which she would like the music for her funeral.

Whereas I would like a nice dignified affair. But the last song ought to be done in chicken. Almost any tune can be done in chicken. Exhibit A: unfortunately, just a snippet of In The Mood by Henhouse Five Plus Too, which is the nom de cluck of singer Ray Stevens. I don’t know if I can overstate the significance this song has had on my life, ever since I heard it on some Warner Brothers Lost Leader over 30 years ago.

Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily want In The Mood. Bach can be done well in chicken, even in four-part harmony. And if one cannot master the intricacies of chicken, I suppose kazoo will do. I played a lot of kazoo, occasionally even professionally.

So what special music would you want at YOUR funeral?

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