Categories
Jazz & Rock Play Along Jazz & Blues Music

Play Jazz Standards! Once in a while – 1937 Jazz Play Along

Once in a whileJazz Play Along – Play Jazz Standards! Words by Bud Green, Music by Michael Edwards (sheet music)

Best Sheet Music download from our Library.

And Jazz Play Along.

Michael Edwards (1893–1962) was an American composer and musician, known for composing the 1937 hit “Once in a While”. He was also a classical violinist, organist and music arranger.

jazz standards sheet music pdf

Edwards’s most famous composition, “Once in a While”, became a number one hit for Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, and later for Patti Page (1957) and The Chimes (1961). The song is now considered a jazz standard.

None of Edwards’s other songs achieved the popularity of “Once in a While”, and he has been called “a perfect example of a one-hit composer”.

Please, subscribe to our Library. Thank you!

Search Posts by Categories:

and subscribe to our social channels for news and music updates:

Composer Michael Edwards was also a classical violinist, an organist, and an arranger for publishing firms. His 1937 composition, “Once in a While” was given a lyric by Bud Green, who was also a composer and harmonica player. Green collaborated on such hits as “Alabamy Bound,” “Sentimental Journey,” and “Flat Foot Floogie.” “Once in a While” charted several times:

Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra (1937, with vocal quartet, 7 weeks at #1 for a total of 14 weeks)
Horace Heidt and His Orchestra (1937, #2 for one week of 7, featured the electric guitar of Alvino Rey)
Louis Armstrong (1938, two weeks peaking at #15)
Patti Page (1952, 11 weeks, peaking at #9, one of the early multi-track vocals)
The Chimes (1961 #11, doo-wop version, as “Once In Awhile”)

Note: Louis Armstrong recorded another tune named “Once in a While” (by William H. Butler) in 1927.

In Visions of Jazz: The First Century, Gary Giddins credits Rahsaan Roland Kirk with reviving interest among jazz musicians in “Once in a While” with his mid-sixties recording. Giddins notes that Kirk’s idol, saxophonist Don Byas, released a memorable recording of this “great, neglected ballad” in 1945.

The singer directs his plea to a lover from whom he has “drifted apart.” He’s hoping that he’s thought of “once in a while” even though someone else may be “nearer your heart.” The bridge peaks melodically and emotionally with these lines:

In love’s smoldering ember,

One spark can remain;

If love still can remember,

That spark may burn again.

“Once in a While” was sung by Lee Sullivan in a 1941 “soundie,” and it was featured in the 1950 movie I’ll Get By. It’s lent itself to a variety of interpretations: Nat “King” Cole with the big band of Billy May, saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist Sonny Clark, guitarist George Van Eps, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and the vocal duo of Jackie & Roy. In 2007 it was recorded by vocalist/pianist Freddy Cole and by the group Pearl Django.

One of the unique arrangements of the song, not yet available on CD, is from arranger/conductor Pete Rugolo’s 1956 LP, Music for Hi-Fi Bugs. With no rhythm accompaniment, the horns open the first eight measures in octave unison in a slow, fugue-like manner.

Sidney Bechet, in “Once in a while”, Live Concert, Cannes Jazz Festival, 1958.

Search Posts by Categories:

and subscribe to our social channels for news and music updates:

close
sheet music library

It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive our new posts in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Google Translator