Number One Songs—Stormy Monday Blues
This is one of the most unusual #1 song stories ever. You see, "Stormy Monday Blues" was a #1 R&B hit in 1942 by jazz greats Earl "Fatha" Hines and Billy Eckstein.
But the song "Stormy Monday" or "They Call It Stormy Monday," written by blues guitar legend T-Bone Walker and first recorded in 1947, is a much more famous and covered song, and has come to be known as "Stormy Monday Blues." While both are structurally blues compositions, they are not the same song at all.
Here is the first verse of the Hines-Eckstein song:
Stormy Monday Blues Lyrics
It's gone and started raining
It is the T-Bone Walker song that begins, "They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad...."
Among music lovers, there seemingly isn't much confusion about the songs because most simply don't know the 1942 "Stormy" song, even though it was a #1 hit.
But "They Call It Stormy Monday" is universally known despite only reaching #5 on the R&B charts in 1948!
Although the confusing titles are a moot point to the public, as "They Call It Stormy Monday" is clearly the definitive "Stormy Monday" song, the similarity of song titles has been a nightmare for the writers and publishers of the songs, as performance royalties have often been mis-applied.
"Trouble ensued when artists named ["They Call It Stormy Monday"] "Stormy Monday Blues," [on records]...as for instance Bobby Bland did on a well-known rendition, as it was mis-credited and royalties went to the Hines-Eckstine song rather than Walker's. This may have also happened on some of the treatments that were just called "Stormy Monday." —Wikipedia
"They Call It Stormy Monday" has been recorded hundreds of times by a wide array of artists, most notably by Bobby "Blue" Bland in the 60s and the Allman Brothers in 1971 on their widely-acclaimed classic album At Fillmore East.
"The original recording appeared on Black & White Records, produced by Ralph Bass, and was one of [T-Bone] Walker's breakthrough sides in pioneering the idiom of electric blues guitar...B.B. King has said that 'Call It Stormy Monday' inspired him to begin playing electric guitar." —Wikipedia
SIDEBAR: Stormy Monday is also the title of a 1988 feature film starring Sean Bean, Tommy Lee Jones, Sting and Melanie Griffith.
(They Call It) Stormy Monday Lyrics
They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad
Yes the eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me
Earl Hines and His Grand Terrace Orchestra
at the Pearl Theatre, Pennsylvania
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