Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

1922 sheet music cover with a photo of singer Blossom Seeley
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans is a popular song with music by John Turner Layton, Jr. and lyrics by Henry Creamer. First published in 1922, it was advertised by Creamer and Layton as "A Southern Song, without A Mammy, A Mule, Or A Moon", a dig at some of the Tin Pan Alley clichés of the era.- It was performed at The Winter Garden Theater in New York in Act 2 of the Broadway musical production Spice of 1922.The original 1922 sheet music featured a drawing of a girl on a spice bottle on the front cover, referring to the musical in which the song eventually made its public debut. [excerpt of Wikipedia article]

The Peerless Quartet, c.1923
L-R: John H. Meyer, Henry Burr, Frank Croxton, Albert Campbell

The song has been recorded numerous times from the early 1920s up till now. One of the first recordings of the song was made by Henry Burr and the Peerless Quartet in 1922

Layton & Johnstone — 1927
The composer Turner Layton recorded the song as part of the duo Layton & Johnstone in 1927

Frankie Trumbauer & His Orch, OKeh, 40843
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans was soon recorded by various jazz groups, one of the most famous recordings from the 1920s was made by Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra featuring Bix Beiderbecke (co), in 1927

As said, Way Down Yonder in New Orleans has been recorded by numerous artists and the song may be considered a part of the jazz standard repertoire, but it has also been treated by r&b, rock'n'roll and pop artists. I found a wonderful example of the fact that the song still inspires a new generation of jazz musicians to show off their best. - From a live performance at the Kids in Jazz, Norway 2013 Polina Tarasenko (Ukraine) is featured on trombone accompanied by Risa Takahashi (Japan), bass guitar, Trym Karlsen (Norway), drums, Odd Andre Elveland (Norway), piano - enjoy!


The popular song Way Down Yonder In New Orleans was composed in 1922 by John Turner Layton, Jr. with lyrics by Henry Creamer. The song had its debut in the Broadway musical production Spice of 1922 and was soon recorded by numerous artists. Both popular and jazz artist have made the song a part of the standard American repertoire. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans keeps inspiring - even young people - to show off their talents

Retrospect Keep Swinging (old) Oscar Aleman Choro Music Flexible Records Hit of the Week-Durium Friends of the Keep Swinging blog Keep Swinging Contributions


  1. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans... Heerlijke muziek zo 's-morgens bij het openen van Keep it Swinging. Lang niet gehoord maar we zijn weer helemaal bij...

  2. THaks Jo for this great contribution ....... Keep (it) Swinging continues ......