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Ken Wiley

Earl Hines and His Orchestra – Stormy Monday Blues (1942)

“Stormy Monday Blues” was written by Earl Hines, Billy Eckstine and Bob Crowder, and recorded by Earl Hines and His Orchestra on March 19, 1942 on Bluebird Records. Released later that year, it would reach the number one spot on Billboard Magazine’s “Harlem Hit Parade,” the equivalent of today’s Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, therefore becoming Hines’ only appearance in the charts.

The song features Billy Eckstine on vocals. Colin Bratkovic, in his book Just Remember This (2014), wrote of the song that it finds “Billy [Eckstine]’s sad, moody vocal in perfect harmony with a creative Hines orchestration.” Eckstine would later record a version of “Stormy Monday Blues” in his only album with bandleader Count Basie, Basie/Eckstine Incorporated (1959).


“Stormy Monday Blues” is often confused with T-Bone Walker’s 1947 song “Call it Stormy Monday (But Tuesday is Just as Bad).” One characteristic trait differentiating the two songs is that, despite its title, Hines’ includes neither the word “storm” nor “Monday” in its lyrics. Another, of course, is the sound of Walker’s electric guitar.

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