“Rockin’ Chair” is a 1929 popular song with music composed by Hoagy Carmichael. Musically it is unconventional, as after the B section when most popular songs return to A, this song has an A-B-C-A1 structure. Carmichael recorded the song twice, in 1929 and 1930. Mildred Bailey made it famous by using it as her theme song.
The song was first recorded on February 19, 1929 by Hoagy Carmichael as a test for Victor Records, but not released at the time. This recording was later released on the Historical label as HLA-37. This version is sung by only one vocalist. Hoagy Carmichael and his Orchestra recorded a new version on May 21, 1930 featuring Bix Beiderbecke on cornet. This second version is with two vocalists (Carmichael and Irving Brodsky) and was released on Victor Records as V-38139B. Louis Armstrong recorded it with Hoagy Carmichael on vocals on December 13, 1929 at Okeh studios after the stock market crashed, giving a badly needed boost to Carmichael’s finances. The recording was released as Okeh 8756 in 1930 and became popular in 1932. The song utilises “call and response” to create a dialog between an aged father and his son. Armstrong performed “Rockin’ Chair” numerous times in his career with his trombonist Jack Teagarden.
Jack Teagarden – trombone, vocals
Louis Armstrong – trumpet, vocals
Bobby Hackett – cornet
Peanuts Hucko – clarinet
Marty Napoleon – piano
Arvell Shaw – bass
Cozy Cole – drums
New York, December 30, 1957.