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Just One of Those Things (1935)

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Origin and Chart Information
“...Armstrong delivers an irresistible vocal and follows it up with some spunky trumpet playing.”

- Noah Baerman

AKAIt Was Just One of Those Things
Rank 74
Words and Music Cole Porter

June Knight and Charles Walters introduced “Just One of Those Things” in the Broadway musical Jubilee, which opened on October 12, 1935, at the Imperial Theatre and ran for 169 performances. Jubilee was a political satire about a deposed king and queen forced to go incognito in their own country.


More on June Knight at JazzBiographies.com

More on Charles Walters at JazzBiographies.com

Jubilee was one of ten musicals opening that year, some of which included Jumbo, Porgy and Bess, and May Wine. Not one of these made a profit. The Great Depression was partially responsible for the show’s commercial failure, but more to blame were the mixed critical reviews and public reaction to Moss Hart’s script and Cole Porter’s lyrics which were full of inside jokes about their famous friends. This practice was not unusual for either writer. With regard to Porter, Robert Benchley once said that his lyrics often seemed to have been written with “an eye to pleasing perhaps eighteen people.” The end came when Jubilee’s star, Mary Boland, left for Hollywood.

Other songs included in Cole Porter’s score were “The Kling-Kling Bird on the Divi-Divi Tree,” “When Love Comes Your Way,” “Me and Marie,” “A Picture of Me Without You,” “Begin the Beguine,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and “Why Shouldn’t I?”


More on Cole Porter at JazzBiographies.com

Less than two months after the opening of Jubilee, the recording of “Just One of Those Things” by Richard Himber and His Orchestra (Stuart Allen, vocal) made the record charts, rising to number ten. Peggy Lee’s 1952 rendition (accompanied by The Gordon Jenkins Orchestra) rose to number fourteen.


Chart information used by permission from
Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954

More information on this tune...

Charles Schwartz
Cole Porter: A Biography
Da Capo Press; 1st Pbk edition
Paperback: 365 pages

(Author Schwartz touches on the history of the song in his biography of the songwriter.)
See the Reading and Research links on this page for additional references.

- Jeremy Wilson

Recommendations for This Tune
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Max Roach
Plus Four
Polygram Records
Original Recording 1956
This recording documents drummer Roach’s triumphant return to the studio after the tragic deaths in a car accident of his trumpet player Clifford Brown and pianist Richie Powell. With Kenny Dorham and Ray Bryant on board in their places, the group unleashes a jaw-droppingly fast version of “Just One of Those Things,” featuring a particularly blazing solo turn from Sonny Rollins on tenor saxophone.
Gil Evans
Gil Evans and Ten
Original Jazz Classics 346
Original recording 1957
Evans’ quirky arrangement and the swinging work of his band are noteworthy here, but the real star is soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. Lacy, who would record his solo debut the following month, is the featured soloist here and already shows the unique style that would make him a major influence on his instrument.
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson
1997 Verve 539060
Original recording 1957
With expert backing from pianist Peterson and his quartet, Armstrong delivers an irresistible vocal and follows it up with some spunky trumpet playing.
Bud Powell
Complete Bud Powell on Verve
Polygram Records
Original recording 1955
Powell is heard here still in his prime, ripping through “Just One of Those Things” in an up-tempo solo piano performance that shows his stunning dexterity and mastery of improvisation over chord changes.
Cannonball Adderley
Things Are Getting Better
Original Recording 1958
Saxophonist Adderley and vibraphonist Milt Jackson were two of the hardest-swinging players in jazz history, and the expectations of their collaboration are fulfilled wonderfully on their version of “Just One of Those Things.” The presence of Wynton Kelly, Percy Heath and Art Blakey certainly does not hurt either.

- Noah Baerman

Randy Weston
Solo, Duo & Trio
2000 Milestone Records 47085
Original recording 1950
These recently reissued, early recordings show the influence of Thelonious Monk and the Africanisms that Weston would develop fully during his years in Nigeria. “Just One of Those Things” is light as feather in tandem with bassist Sam Gill.
Joanne Brackeen
Havin' Fun
1990, Concord 280
Original recording, 1985
In a wildly uptempo version with Cecil McBee (bass) and Al Foster (drums) Brackeen clusters chords and runs up and down the keys with abandon. She’s havin’ fun. A small complaint concerns the way several of the cuts fade out instead of coming to completion.
Susannah McCorkle
Easy to Love: Songs of Cole Porter
1996, Concord 4696

The vocal/guitar combination on “Just One of Those Things” lends a heartbreaking air to the song. McCorkle sings straight-ahead and with wonderful accompaniment throughout.

- Sandra Burlingame

Rosemary Clooney ...
Sings the Music of Cole Porter
1992, Concord 4185
Original recording, 1985
Ms. Clooney shows a deep understanding of Porter's music, both his rollicking sense of humor and his tender emotion. Backing the vocalist are Scott Hamilton (ts), Warren Vache (t), Jake Hanna (d), Nat Pierce (p), and Cal Tjader on vibes.
Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook, Vol. 1
Polygram Records
Original recording 1956
Porter was one of the best songwriters and Ella was one of the best jazz singers, making this a match made in heaven. Buddy Bregman conducts the orchestra.

- Jon Luthro

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