Fats Waller: Two Sleepy People


Two Sleepy People


Fats Waller & His Rhythm


If You Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It! (RCA Bluebird 81125)

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Fats Waller (piano, vocals), Herman Autrey (trumpet), Gene Sedric (tenor sax, clarinet), Al Casey (guitar), Cedric Wallace (bass), Slick Jones (drums).

Composed by Hoagy Carmichael & Frank Loesser


Recorded: New York, October 13, 1938


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

"Two Sleepy People" may the most charming song Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser ever wrote. Even today, its simple story of young lovers can delight listeners. It even softened the heart of Fats Waller, who would mercilessly parody any song, even his own. Waller's was the first jazz recording of the song, preceding the composer's recording by exactly one day. Waller grasps the song's message instantly and he and his Rhythm perform a simple two-chorus arrangement. In the first chorus, Herman Autrey plays the melody on muted trumpet while Waller offers light commentary on the highest register of the piano. Waller's vocal takes up the second chorus, and somehow it seems that we can hear a twinkle in his eye as he sings. There is great tenderness lying below the exterior gruffness of his voice, and his only spoken retort is when he disagrees with the narrator's father about the merits of his girl. Perhaps he could relate to being part of a couple who were short of money and who usually stayed up too late talking. There was a lot of that going on during the Depression...

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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