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Sunday (1926)

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Origin and Chart Information
The version by Cliff Edwards (otherwise known as Ukelele Ike) rose to number three on the charts and can be found in the CD collection The Songs of Jule Styne.

- Sandra Burlingame

Rank 281
Words and Music Ned Miller
Chester Cohn
Jule Styne
Bennie Krueger

Ned Miller and Chester Cohn (sometimes spelled Conn) both managed offices for Feist Records, Miller in Chicago and Cohn in New York, and wrote songs together. Ned also performed with Jack Benny on the vaudeville circuit. Benny Krueger was a Chicago-based saxophonist and bandleader. Jules Stein, who changed his name to Jule Styne in the early ‘30s, gave us such hits as “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” and “Let it Snow” and scored many Broadway hits, among them Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Funny Girl, Bells Are Ringing, and Gypsy.

 

More on Jule Styne at JazzBiographies.com
 

In 1926, when Stein was only 17 years old and beginning his long career, these four collaborated on “Sunday,” which became a typical “parlor song,” popularly sung by friends and family gathering around the piano for entertainment. In fact there is a piano arrangement by Art Tatum included in a collection of Parlor Songs. Al Jolson liked the song so much that he helped promote it. “Sunday” later became the theme song for the 1940’s radio show of husband and wife team Alice Faye and Phil Harris.

The song charted three times in 1927. Cliff Edwards (otherwise known as Ukelele Ike) took it to number three: Gene Austin (the “Voice of the Southland”) took it to number 11 accompanied by pianist Abel Baer; and the vaudeville singing trio, the Keller Sisters and Lynch, recorded “Sunday” with the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, and their version rose to number 11.

 

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

Goldkette’s band featured some of the finest musicians of the time: Bix Beiderbecke, Joe Venuti, Frank Trumbauer, and Eddie Lang. This performance of the “Sunday” fox trot is the epitome of music of the twenties and can be heard almost in its entirety at http://www.jazzage1920s.com/kellersisters/kellersisters.php.

The lyric describes the agony of waiting throughout the week for the day to roll around when the singer can be with his/her loved one:

I’m blue every Monday
Thinkin’ over Sunday
That one day when I’m with you
It seems that I sigh all day Tuesday
I cry all day Wednesday
Oh my, how I long for you


Although “Sunday” hasn’t been recorded often in recent years, it has been performed regularly by a wide variety of noted jazz musicians. Many saxophonists have recorded it: Lester Young, Lee Konitz, and John Coltrane; Ben Webster on two occasions with fellow saxists Gerry Mulligan and Don Byas; Harry Allen with the John Pizzarelli Trio; and Stan Getz with the Oscar Peterson Trio. Other recordings include vibraphonist Red Norvo; trumpeter Sweets Edison; pianists Fats Waller and Hank Jones; and vocalists Maxine Sullivan, Johnny Hartman, Carmen McRae, June Christy, Nat Cole, Carol Sloane, and the Manhattan Transfer.

More information on this tune...

Thomas S. Hischak
The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia
Greenwood Press
Hardcover: 552 pages


(Hischak includes the history of the song and its performers in his encyclopedia.)
See the Reading and Research panel below for more references.

- Sandra Burlingame

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Reading and Research
Additional information for "Sunday" may be found in:

David Ewen
American Songwriters: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary
H. W. Wilson
Hardcover: 489 pages


(1 paragraph including the following types of information: history and performers.)

Thomas S. Hischak
The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia
Greenwood Press
Hardcover: 552 pages


(1 paragraph including the following types of information: history and performers.)
Also on This Page...

Musician's Comments
Reading & Research

Jazz History Notes
By the Same Writers...

Jazz History Notes

Pee Wee Russell’s eccentric clarinet style was anathema to some jazz fans weaned on the smooth, technically-exuberant work of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. Yet Russell’s approach still finds adherents in those who are open-minded to the less legitimate aspects of jazz performance. Saxophonist Bud Freeman was a great fan of Russell’s, and Pee Wee was an important member of Freeman’s short-lived Summa Cum Laude ensemble of the early 1940s. For a taste of Russell at his most angular, Freeman’s version of “Sunday” is a treat.

Multi-instrumentalist Benny Carter, like many other talented swing-era musicians, tried his hand at leading a big band in the 1930s and ‘40s. Packed with great players and armed with Carter’s sparkling arrangements, the band was loved by jazz aficionados but never caught on with the general public. Luckily his bands made quite a few recordings, and his 1941 version of “Sunday” is a knock-out.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian


Bud Freeman
1939-1940
Classics 811

Benny Carter
The Music Master. Proper Box
(U K.) 68

Written by the Same Composer(s)...
This section shows the jazz standards written by the same writing team.

Chester Cohn, Bennie Krueger, Ned Miller and Jule Styne

Year Rank Title
1926 281 Sunday

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