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Andy Razaf

Andreamenentania Paul Razafinkerierfo

Lyricist, Poet, Baseball Pitcher

(1895 - 1973)

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Andy Razaf was the son of a Madagascar prince who married the daughter of the American consul to Madagascar. With her father, purportedly the first black man in the diplomatic corps, Jennie fled to Washington, D.C. after the French invaded, killed her husband, and annexed the country as a colony. Andy was born in the states with an almost 40-character name which he shortened to Razaf. He sold one song in 1913 and left for Cleveland where he pitched in a black semipro baseball league. He came to New York in 1921 where his reputation as a protest poet (reflected in the lyrics of “Black and Blue”) landed him jobs as a lyricist with Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, and Paul Denniker.

In 1929 alone he had several hits with Waller--“Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue (What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue),” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” The team also created “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now” (1932) and “The Joint is Jumpin’” (1940). Razaf’s “S’posin’” with Denniker and “Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You” with Don Redman were also big successes. He scored Blackbirds of 1932 with Eubie Blake which produced “Memories of You” and “Lindy Hop.” Other collaborations produced “Stompin’ at the Savoy” (1936) and “In the Mood” (1939), a signature instrumental for Glenn Miller but a tune that is seldom sung. Razaf wrote the words and music for “That’s What I Like About the South” (1942) which became Phil Harris’ signature song. He also came up with lyrics for Blake’s “My Handy Man,” a song filled with sexual double entendres, and the equally bawdy “If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep On Sitting On It” with music by Alex Hill. Razaf purportedly recorded as a vocalist under a pseudonym accompanied by Waller on piano.

- Sandra Burlingame

Guess Who's in Town: Bobby Short Performs the Songs of Andy Razaf

Bobby Short

A Tribute to Andy Razaf

Maxine Sullivan

Black and Blue

Gene Harris Quartet

Fine & Mellow: Live at Birdland West

Carmen McRae Includes "Black and Blue" and "My Handy Man"

Ain't Misbehavin' (1978 Original Broadway Cast)

Nell Carter, Ken Page, Andre De Shields, Charlaine Woodard, Armelia McQueen

Ain't Misbehavin'

Hank Jones

Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You

The Jimmy Rushing All-Stars

Memories of You

Eubie Blake

Jazz Spectacular

Frankie Laine/Buck Clayton Includes "S'posin'"

Stompin' at the Savoy

Chick Webb & His Orchestra

Stompin' at the Savoy

Benny Goodman

Azure Te

Karrin Allyson Includes "Stompin' at the Savoy"

In the Mood

Glenn Miller

The Great Glenn Miller Instrumentals/We Remember Tommy Too!

The Modernaires Vocal version of "In the Mood"

American Songbook Series: Waller/Razaf

Fats Waller & Andy Razaf
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Barry Singer

Black and Blue: The Life and Lyrics of Andy Razaf

Schirmer Books

James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake, George Tobias

The Glenn Miller Story

Universal Studios


Willie Nelson, Dyan Cannon, Amy Irving, Slim Pickens, Joey Floyd

Pure Country/Honeysuckle Rose

Warner Home Video


Willie Nelson, Dyan Cannon

Honeysuckle Rose

Warner Home Video


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