Mar 16

Cow Cow Boogie

On This Day (March 16) in 1909, Don Raye was born, who wrote the music for ”Cow Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)”, a “country-boogie”-style blues song utilizing the folklore of the singing cowboy in the American West. In the lyrics, the cowboy is from the city and tells his “dogies” (motherless calves) to “get hip.” The lyrics were written by Benny Carter and Gene De Paul. The song was written for the 1942 Abbott & Costello film Ride ‘Em Cowboy, which included Ella Fitzgerald in her first film role (a minor one).

The first recording was by Freddie Slack & his Orchestra, featuring vocalist Ella Mae Morse in 1942. The record was just the second release by Capitol Records and their first million-seller/ number one on the charts record. Morse learned the song from hearing Ella on a soundtrack she had acquired, even though the song had been cut from the movie!

Benny Carter, a pioneer on the alto saxophone, was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. Carter had an unusually long career. He was perhaps the only musician to have recorded in eight different decades.

This one’s dedicated to my friend and patient Barbara J.

See Ella Mae Morse sing this song (check out her eyes!):

See actual cows singing this song!:

Bosendorfer piano sound – For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I’ve ever owned!!