Friday, April 5, 2019

A Window Above: In the Mood

Song: "In the Mood"
Writers: Wingy Manone, Andy Razaf and Joe Garland
Original Release: 1938
Original Band: Edgar Hayes & His Orchestra

"In the Mood" was the calling card of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the most polished - and squarest? - big band of the Swing Era.  It's loads of fun to play and a great crowd pleaser.  My daughter and I have now both played it in our scholastic jazz band careers.  Unfortunately, Peter Sellers didn't care for it (see story here).

The piece's compositional history is complicated.  The arpeggiated melody in the saxophones came from tune called "Tar Paper Stomp" by trumpeter Wingy Malone.  The theme was used again in another piece, "Hot and Anxious" by Horace Henderson, before Joe Garland got his hands on it.  Copyright laws were a lot looser in the 1930s so it was easy enough for a gifted musician to appropriate music that wasn't written down and registered.

The first Edgar Hayes recording was released as a B-side to "Stardust."  Several other acts, including Artie Shaw, recorded "In the Mood" but didn't have much luck with it.  In 1939, the song was sold to Glenn Miller who toyed around with the arrangement and struck gold.  Miller's iconic recording held the #1 spot on the charts for 13 consecutive weeks.

"Tar Paper Stomp" by Wingy Malone:

"Hot and Anxious" by Fletcher Henderson (Horace's brother):

There are lyrics, written by Andy Razaf.  The Andrews Sisters:

The Edgar Hayes original, note the bari sax solo in place of the usual alto duel:

Want to hear all of the songs I have featured in a convenient playlist?

Enjoy: A Window Above

What are you listening to these days?


  1. Interesting post, thank you. I found all the songs in the playlist engaging.

  2. I only had time to listen to the first one, but I am familiar with it. It's fine for what it is, but it's not something I'm going to pull out just to listen to.

    I think I don't listen to enough music these days.

  3. Wonderful music. Terrific post today.

    cheers, parsnip

  4. I like the song....thank you for sharing

  5. A great tune, lately I’m mostly listening to audible books

  6. With my HS gr-daughter being in jazz band (and marching) she plays clarinet and sax. I am learning a lot.

    1. My daughter is also a high school clarinetist. Keeps us all busy!