Today we're going to hear two oldschool jazzy bandleaders, and their versions of Stag.
Duke Ellington (official wiki AMG)recorded his take in 1927, and it's an uptempo, bluesy little swing instrumental. That's right, an instrumental. I don't post a lot of instrumental takes on Stag (in fact, this is the first one), but Ellington's a big damn name. At the time, he was headlining The Cotton Club.
Four years later, Ellington's replacement at The Cotton Club, Cab Calloway (official wiki AMG), took the same tune and put lyrics to it, which are all about crazy dancing. (I'd believe Cab a little more if he hadn't slowed the tune down so much.) Apparently, Calloway didn't know anything about the legend of Stag, or at least lyrics to fit the tune he liked so much.
Next week, we'll be back to songs about the Stagger Lee/Billy Lyons legend -- there are two more weeks of double posts left this month.