Friday, July 03, 2020

Song of the Day: ''Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It)' by Ella Fitzgerald

Although I knew Bananarama recorded a number of covers in their early years -- "Really Saying Something," "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" and "Venus" come to mind -- their first big hit was actually an original, "Cruel Summer." which hit the Top 10 in the U.S. and U.K., as were two of their other biggest ("Love in the First Degree" and "I Heard a Rumor.") What I somehow overlooked, however, was that "'It Ain't What You Do" -- ne "'Tain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)" -- is also a cover. I'm already forgetting whose version I heard -- Jimmie Lunceford, Harry James, Ella Fitzgerald plus Nat Gonella and His Georgians all recorded it in the late '30s and early '40s. But the jazz tune was transformed into a pop song with ska elements in 1982 by Fun Boy Three -- with the gals on backing vocals and title slightly altered to "It Ain't What You Do...." -- and the rest is music history.

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