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American Routes Shortcuts: Way Down Yonder in New Orleans and Beyond

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

This is American Routes from New Orleans, a city of music and songs, many of which have been written about it, often by outsiders. “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans"–music by John Turner Layton and lyrics from Henry Creamer–was published in 1922. “Way Down Yonder” was advertised as "A Southern Song, without A Mammy, A Mule, Or A Moon.” That was a rightful dig at some of the Tin Pan Alley clichés of the day. “Way Down Yonder in”–I say–“New Orleans" has been performed by many: Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters, Freddy Cannon, Jan and Dean, and Dean Martin. And now let’s go “Way Down Yonder” and beyond, starting with a fresh version of the old song from New Orleans Jazz Vipers on American Routes.

“Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” The New Orleans Jazz Vipers
Going Going, Gone (The New Orleans Jazz Vipers)

“Way Down Yonder in New Orleans- Live in Lewisohm Stadium” Louis Armstrong
The Columbia & RCA Victor Live Recordings Vol. 3 (Sony)

NS: Louis Armstrong and band 1956 live at Lewisohm Stadium at the City College of New York, breathing new life into the 1922 Tin Pan Alley song, a brilliant instrumental version.

To hear the full program, tune in Saturdays at 5 and Sundays at 6 on WWNO, or listen at americanroutes.org.