Billie Holiday: Yankee Doodle Never Went to Town
Yankee Doodle Never Went to Town
Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra (featuring Billie Holiday)
The Quintessential Billie Holiday Vol. 1: 1933-1935 (Columbia CK-40646)
Dave Barbour (guitar).
Composed by Arthur Freed & Bernie Hanighen.
Recorded: New York, October 25, 1935
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
Making "Yankee Doodle" its official song was in keeping with Connecticut's Revolutionary spirit. As first sung by British redcoats to deride disorganized colonials, "doodle" meant fool. By adopting the ditty as their own, nutmeggers demonstrated impudent defiance. In 1935, however, investigative reporter Billie Holiday discovered that the backstory was phony. "Yankee Doodle never went to town," she revealed. "He didnít even own a pony." State historical societies were understandably up in arms. Buoyed by Swing Era stalwarts, however, Billie stuck to her guns. This track doesn't aspire to be High Art, but its silly fun is thick as hasty pudding.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz