We've put a tied up a coupla knots in this B&S thread already. Let's now get to the start.
"Body and Soul" is a pop tune, from back in the day when pop tunes came from musical theater. It was a feature song in Three's a Crowd. The versionologist to takes it from the stage, samples it, makes it new by putting it into the tradition. Again and again. That's how we begin.
To this end, let's load a crowd of bullets in the clip from 1930. It's a straightforward case:
- Ruth Etting, "Body and Soul." Etting was not above living the blues. Check that portion of her bio where her husband shoots her lover and gets a year upstate.
- Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, "Body and Soul." The vocal is by Whiteman's trombone player, Jack Fulton. No need to tell you that Whiteman was the Elvis or Eminem of his day, grinding hits that more proper people wanted curbed 'cause they were creating bad habits among the youth. But that's all in the tradition, too.
- Louis Armstrong* and His Orchestra, "Body and Soul." Odd man out. Here's where the story begins.
* We have so much things to say about the man. We'll be back at it. He basically made the 20th century up from mud and straw in the streets. We're still living under that spell.