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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 links on this page for additional references.

- Sandra Burlingame

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