Tox Tunes #28: Wacky Dust (Ella Fitzgerald and the Chick Webb Orchestra)

September 12, 2010, 1:29 pm

Chick Webb (?1905 – 1939) is often considered the greatest jazz drummer of the swing era.  Unfortunately, by the time audio recording techniques would have been able to capture the power and brilliance of his playing, his health was in rapid decline from Pott’s disease. Webb’s orchestra became even more popular after he hired Ella Fitzgerald — then essentially unknown and homeless — as a vocalist in 1935.  Webb died in 1939 at Johns Hopkins Hospital after surgery.  Reportedly his last words were “I’m sorry, I’ve got to go”.

Wacky Dust” was written by Stanley Adams and Oscar Levant. It is one of a number of Ella Fitzgerald’s songs that refer to drugs. Tox Tunes has already featured her recording of “When I Get Low I Get High“.

One Comment:

  1. precordialthump Says:

    Lovin’ the tox tunes, Leon.