The Darktown Strutters’ Ball

Year Inducted: 2005
Era Inducted To: Pioneer Era
Written In:1917
Lyricist(s):Shelton Brooks
Composer(s):Shelton Brooks

Shelton Brooks had a keen eye for the supreme ironies of society, one of which was the annual formal ball thrown by the Chicago elite in honour of the world’s oldest profession and their (often elite) associates. The song reached the Number 2 position in Canada in 1917, including early 78 recordings and music sheet sales. The sheet music, as published by New York’s Leo Feist that year, was used for voice, piano and ukulele. Described by some as the first nominal jazz record, it sold more than three million sheet music units and became a staple of many pop and jazz artists.

Cover Artists Include: Chet Atkins, Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Fats Domino, Jimmy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Al Jolson, Dean Martin, Fats Waller, Django Rheinhardt, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the Six Brown Brothers, Savoy Quartet, Wilbur Sweatman’s Original Jazz Band, and Lieutenant James Europe’s 369th Infantry Jazz Band