(CBS 11) – Today, we take you back to 1939, some 80 years ago, to the big band/swing era.
Erskine Hawkins (born July 26, 1914 and died November 11, 1993) was an American trumpeter and big band leader from Birmingham, Alabama. He was nick-named “The 20th Century Gabriel.” He was active from the late 1930s through the 80s. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall Of Fame in 1978.
Today’s song is the one he is most know for: “Tuxedo Junction.” The song is about a jazz and blues club in the Birmingham suburb of Ensley. It was used in several movies, one being “The Glenn Miller Story.”
Composed by himself, Bill Johnson, Julian Dash, lyrics by Buddy Feyne, this has become his “signature song” over the years.
RCA Records released it in 1939 and got all the way to #7. In 1940, Glenn Miller & His Orchestra recorded the song which became a #1 hit for them. Over the years, others who recorded the song included Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Harry James, Frankie Avalon, Joe Jackson, Stan Kenton and The Manhattan Transfer.
Today’s version do not contain lyrics but here they are:
I want to go
Right back where i belong
Way down south in Birmingham
I mean south in Alabam’
There’s an old place where people go
To dance the night away
They all drive or walk for miles
To get jive that southern style
It’s an old jive that makes you want
To dance till break of day
It’s a junction where the town folks meet
At each function in a tux they greet you
Come on down, forget your care
Come on down, you’ll find me there
So long town, I’m heading for
Tuxedo junction now
You can hear this song on SIRIUS XM 73 “40s Junction.”