Bye Bye Blackbird

"Bye Bye Blackbird" is a song published in 1926 by Jerome H. Remick written by the American composer Ray Henderson and lyricist Mort Dixon. It is considered a popular standard and was first recorded by Sam Lanin's Dance Orchestra in March 1926.[1]

Song information

Popular recordings in 1926 were by Nick Lucas, Gene Austin, Benny Krueger and by Leo Reisman.[2] It was the number 16 song of 1926 according to Pop Culture Madness.[3]

Other notable recordings

In "Goodbye Nkrumah" (1966) Beat poet Diane Di Prima asks:

And yet, where would we be without the American culture
Bye bye blackbird, as Miles plays it, in the ’50s[8]

In 1982, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) posthumously awarded John Coltrane a "Best Jazz Solo Performance" Grammy for the work on his album Bye Bye Blackbird.[9]

Recordings of the song often include only the chorus; the verses are far less known.[10]

Segregationists opposed to the American Civil Rights Movement, notably at the Selma to Montgomery marches, played the song over loudspeakers as a taunt.[11]

Two former Beatles have each recorded the song: Ringo Starr for his 1970 album Sentimental Journey, and Paul McCartney for his 2012 album Kisses on the Bottom. Both men have commented that the song was one of many "standards" that they grew up singing with their families.[12][13] McCartney also noted in the CD booklet for Kisses On The Bottom that he and John Lennon had liked the song so much that they had intended to record a Beatles version of it.

It is used in the musicals Liza with a Z and Fosse, and also the 2006 film adaptation of The History Boys.

See also


  1. Mort Dixon. "Cover versions of Bye Bye Blackbird by Sam Lanin's Dance Orchestra – SecondHandSongs".
  2. Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 482. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  3. Pop Music Hits of 1926 Song Chart Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine at Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  4. "". Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  5. "". Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  6. "". Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  7. "". Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  8. Di Prima, Diane. (1979). Revolutionary letters, etc., 1966–1978 (4th ed.). San Francisco: City Lights Books. ISBN 0872860590. OCLC 5886747.
  9. John Coltrane, The Official Site Archived 2015-12-06 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  10. "What are the rest of the lyrics to 'Bye, Bye, Blackbird?'", Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  11. Renata Adler (1965-04-10). "Letter from Selma". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  12. Sentimental Journey (Booklet). Ringo Starr. Apple, Apple Corps / Capitol, EMI. 1970. CDP 0777 7 98615 2 1.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. Bye Bye Blackbird at Retrieved February 8, 2012.
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