I Didn't Know About You

"I Didn't Know About You" is a song composed by Duke Ellington, with lyrics written by Bob Russell.[1] Recorded in 1944 with vocal by Joya Sherrill, it was based on an instrumental first recorded by Ellington in 1942 under the title "Sentimental Lady".

The recording by Count Basie & His Orchestra (vocal by Thelma Carpenter) briefly reached the No. 21 position in the Billboard charts in 1945 [2] and other recordings available that year were by Duke Ellington, Mildred Bailey, Jo Stafford and Lena Horne.[3]


Alec Wilder wrote that it "works well as a song in [the] series of Ellington instrumentals with Russell lyrics. The main strain is the most melodic, vocally, of the three Russell wrote lyrics for."[4] (The other two songs were “Do Nothing till You Hear from Me” and “Don't Get Around Much Anymore”, based respectively on "Concerto for Cootie" and "Never No Lament".)

Other notable recordings


  1. Sandra Burlingame, "Bob Russell", JazzBiographies.com
  2. Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 47. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  3. "honkingduck.com". honkingduck.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  4. Wilder, Alec. American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900-1950 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), 240.
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