Black and Blue (Fats Waller song)

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"(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue" is a 1929 jazz standard composed by Fats Waller with lyrics by Harry Brooks and Andy Razaf.[1] It was introduced in the Broadway musical Hot Chocolates (1929) by Edith Wilson. The show also included Waller's hit compositions "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose".[2]

Louis Armstrong later performed and recorded the song several times. His rendition of it is distinct from that of Edith Wilson due to his omission of a lot of the context of the song.

Blues singer Ethel Waters's 1930 version of the song became a hit, and the song has been recorded by many artists since then.

Frankie Laine's 1946 version was featured in the 2011 video game L.A. Noire, as part of the in-game radio station, K.T.I. Radio.

The song is also featured in the prologue of Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man (1952) as its protagonist, while hiding underground, listens to the song being played very loudly and descends into a dream regarding "the blackness of Blackness," all after smoking a marijuana cigarette.


  1. ^ Black and Blue at - retrieved on 20 May 2009
  2. ^ David Tenenholz: Fats Waller (Thomas Wright) Archived 2009-04-06 at the Wayback Machine. at - retrieved on 20 May 2009

See also[edit]