East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

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"East St. Louis Toodle-Oo"
Disc label to the 1927 release on Columbia Records.
Single by Duke Ellington and his Washingtonians
B-side "Hop Head"
Format 78 RPM record
RecordedMarch 1927,
New York City, New York
Genre Jazz
Label Vocalion
Songwriter(s) Duke Ellington/Bubber Miley

"East St Louis Toodle-Oo" (also "Toodle-O") is a composition written by Duke Ellington and Bubber Miley and recorded several times by Ellington for various labels from 1926-1930 under various titles. [1] This song was the first charting 69 single for Duke Ellington in 1927 and was one of the main examples of his early "jungle music". [2] This composition was covered by Steely Dan on their 1974 album Pretzel Logic .


Recording history

Ellington first recorded "Toodle-Oo" in November 1926 for Vocalion Records, which was released as Vo (1064). He recorded the composition twice more in early 1927 for Brunswick Records; the first version was not released at the time, but the second was released as Br (3480). [1] He recorded his hit version in March 1927 for Columbia Records, under the name "the Washingtonians". Along with recording "Toodle-Oo", two other compositions were recorded at the same session, "Hop Head" and "Down in Our Alley Blues", the former of which would be released as the B-side of Columbia 953-D. [3]


"East St. Louis Toodle-Oo" features a growling plunger-muted trumpet part played by co-composer Bubber Miley, one of the first jazz trumpeters to utilize the style. [3] This style was carried on by later Ellington trumpeters Cootie Williams (1937 recording), [4] and Ray Nance (1956 recording).

For Steely Dan's 1974 cover of the song, Walter Becker sang the melody through a talk box to imitate Miley's trumpet style, while Jeff "Skunk" Baxter used a pedal steel guitar for the trombone part. [5]

Other notable recordings

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  1. 1 2 1924-1930 Ellingtonia. Duke Ellington Discography. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  2. Duke Ellington: East St. Louis Toodle-Oo (OKeh) Archived 2010-12-26 at the Wayback Machine . Jazz.com. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  3. 1 2 Dance, Stanley. Liner notes to The OKeh Ellington. Columbia/Legacy Records, 1991.
  4. Williams, Martin (1973). The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz . Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. p. 30.
  5. rockongoodpeople (18 June 2015). "Jeff Skunk Baxter talks Doobies Steely Dan Jeff Beck Eric Johnson clinic at Sweetwater Gearfest 2015" via YouTube.