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Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)

GUEST 18 Jan 01 - 05:00 AM
MartinRyan 18 Jan 01 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 18 Jan 01 - 05:27 AM
fat B****rd 18 Jan 01 - 04:48 PM
Uncle_DaveO 18 Jan 01 - 09:13 PM
Steve Parkes 19 Jan 01 - 06:23 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Sep 09 - 12:16 PM
Azizi 30 Sep 09 - 09:16 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 09 - 04:41 AM
GUEST, topsie 01 Oct 09 - 04:52 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 09 - 05:52 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Oct 09 - 07:35 AM
Arkie 01 Oct 09 - 09:49 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 09 - 10:44 PM
Azizi 01 Oct 09 - 11:49 PM
Barbara 02 Oct 09 - 12:21 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 09 - 01:19 AM
GUEST, topsie 02 Oct 09 - 05:41 AM
clueless don 02 Oct 09 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Oct 09 - 06:35 AM
GUEST, topsie 03 Oct 09 - 07:43 AM
Bob the Postman 03 Oct 09 - 10:28 AM
Barbara 03 Oct 09 - 06:29 PM
Bob the Postman 03 Oct 09 - 07:16 PM
Barbara 03 Oct 09 - 07:45 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Oct 09 - 11:05 PM
clueless don 06 Oct 09 - 08:48 AM
clueless don 06 Oct 09 - 03:31 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Oct 09 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Oct 09 - 07:39 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Oct 09 - 02:23 AM
clueless don 08 Oct 09 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 06 Feb 10 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 06 Feb 10 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 06 Feb 10 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 07 Feb 10 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 08 Feb 10 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Boomshot 10 Jun 10 - 09:35 PM
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Subject: 'Must Be Jelly Baby, Cause Jam Don't Sha
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 05:00 AM

Hi

Can someone tell me who performed an old blues song:

"Must Be Jelly Baby, Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That"

Thanks a lot

Ed


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Must Be Jelly Baby, Cause Jam Don't Sh
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 05:05 AM

Here's one recording, anyway.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Must Be Jelly Baby, Cause Jam Don't Sh
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 05:27 AM

I would guess (not being in the same place as my records) Cab Calloway, possibly Fats Waller. It could be my theme song!
RtS (built for comfort not for speed)


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Must Be Jelly Baby, Cause Jam Don't Sh
From: fat B****rd
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 04:48 PM

I saw a "beat group" play this in 1960 and I think they did a sort of Carl Perkins thing with it, but the only recorded version I've heard is by Glenn Miller and one of his vocal groups, great phrase though, I often use it when suffering from chronic political incorrectness.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Must Be Jelly Baby, Cause Jam Don't Sh
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 09:13 PM

I don't believe the word "Baby" is in there. My recollection is that it's, "It must be jelly, 'cause jam don't shake like that." My recollection from my misspent youth.

DAve Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Must Be Jelly Baby, Cause Jam Don't Sh
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 06:23 AM

I'm sure I heard Fats Waller sing it on the radio, just once, about twenty years ago. I'm confused, though: surely, in US, what we call "jam" you call "jelly", and what we call "jelly" you call "jell-o"? ANd does anyone want to post the words?

Steve


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT MUST BE JELLY ('CAUSE JAM DON'T ...)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 12:16 PM

Catalog information from WorldCat.org:

IT MUST BE JELLY ('CAUSE JAM DON'T SHAKE LIKE THAT)
J. Chalmers "Chummy" MacGregor; George Williams
New York: Mutual Music Society, 1942.

[Lyrics from a sound sample:]

It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that.
It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that.
Oh, mama, you're so big and fat.

[I think those are all the lyrics, at least, of the version recorded by Glenn Miller.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 09:16 PM

I think I muat have been in my 30s when I first heard a recording of "It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That". For quite some time I didn't know that jelly or jam were sexual code words in the Blues. And even though I'm a bit of a puritan, now that I know more about Blues code words & phrases, I still really like this song.

For what it's worth, I've been singing (not in public) another verse to that song ever since I first heard it. I can't remember whether I made this verse up or if I heard it on some record. I'd be interested to know if this sounds familiar to anyone.
Here are the words:

My baby loves me.
My baby she's so fat.
My baby loves me.
My baby she's so fat.
It must be jelly
Cause jam don't shake like that.

-snip-

I like this verse because I think it fits the formulaic pattern of the song and I like it because the words could refer to a real baby or to an overweight lover. I have good memories of singing this song with that second verse to my children when they were babies.

If I didn't get that verse from someone else, and I made them up myself, then feel free to use it if you wanna. :o)


Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 04:41 AM

Another Brit asked a question way above on this old thread which has never been answered; so can I ask it again, please?

My knowledge of the American language is: that you do not use the word 'JAM'. What we call 'jam', i.e. a sweet fruit-spread for bread or toast, you call 'jelly'; and what we call 'jelly', i.e. a gelatinous sweet, pudding or dessert course, you call 'jell-o'.

So I have always understood that 'JAM', in the sense of a foodstuff, doesn't exist in the US; how, in that case, did it get into this blues? And what, precisely, does it mean?

I should really appreciate an answer as to the true semantics involved here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 04:52 AM

In the world of UK jam making, jelly is similar to jam except that the fruit and liquid are strained to produce a clear liquid, which is then boiled with the sugar to make a clear set jelly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 05:52 AM

Yes, I could have added that additional meaning of 'jelly', a strained clear 'jam', to my above query.

**But that still leaves the main gravamen of my above question unanswered: where, precisely. does the word J A M fit into the American vocabulary?**


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 07:35 AM

Jam certainly is used in America—both the word and the substance—although I think jelly is more popular. I'd say the distinction is exactly as you have described it: Jelly is made by straining the fruit pulp out of the mixture, leaving only the juice to be made into jelly. For jam, the pulp is left in.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Arkie
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 09:49 PM

Audrey Auld, a contemporary singer, does a really nice version of this.

And I have very fond memories of my mother's strawberry jam.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 10:44 PM

That is interesting - thank you. In many visits to US I had never heard anyone speak of 'jam' or seen it on the label of a jar. I suppose this is probably because the clear version without the fruit pulp is generally preferred over there: while here we like our fruity jams, unless, like redcurrant or cranberry jelly, they are being used as a sauce with meat — traditionally over here, we eat redcurrant jelly, as an alternative to mint sauce, with roast lamb, & cranberry jelly with roast turkey,

I just thought you guys over there might like to know this...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 11:49 PM

I've seen jars in grocery stores in the USA for jam, but I agree with Jim Dixon that jelly is more popular in the USA than jam.

For what it's worth, here's a link to the CanningUSA.COM webpage that provides instructions about canning jam and jelly at home.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Barbara
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 12:21 AM

I see a lot more jam around than jelly here in Oregon, but the words do get used interchangeably sometimes -- When people talk about PB&J they mean a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but the "jelly" is often strawberry jam -- though I guess grape jelly is the most "traditional".
The shelves in the stores here have blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry, strawberry peach jams -- preserves -- and marmalade made with citrus.
People do tend to eat apple/mint jelly with lamb.
Mostly jams and jellies are spread on toast at breakfast.
Jello is a fruit flavored dessert -- or salad in the Midwest -- that is made by adding a packet of fruit flavored gelatin to hot water and refrigerating it till it sets up.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 01:19 AM

Thank you, Barbara, for such a clear exposition. I have never visited Oregon. FYO, what you call jello, we call jelly — it is, indeed, at least as usual an application of the word as the clear preserve eaten with meat. The word jello is absolutely unknown here. We too might eat mint jelly, as an alternative to redcurrant jelly, with lamb: but another favourite accompaniment to lamb is mint *sauce*, consisting of the chopped mint leaves in vinegar with sugar added. Apple jelly is not much eaten here, but apple sauce [i.e. not-too-sweet stewed apple] is a valued accompaniment to roast pork or roast duck.

Traditional greetings - Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 05:41 AM

Using even more concentrated fruit you can make 'cheese' as in damson cheese, and also fruit 'leather', spread thinly and then dried.
They are all methods of preserving fruit.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: clueless don
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 09:25 AM

As I understand it, as has already been said, in making jam the fruit pulp is left in, while for jelly it is strained out. However, for jam the seeds are removed. If you leave the seeds in, you get preserves.

Jello (or Jell-o, if you prefer) is an entirely different beast.

Don (here in the US of A)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 06:35 AM

And then Yanks also have "preserves," whole or chunk fruit embedded in jam, for those who like to go overboard.

But preserves, in general, don't "shake like that." The reason jelly shakes like that is, it's thinner and in consistency more like the Real Thing, if you know what I mean, whereas jam is sticky and coheres ... uh, well maybe I'd better stop there.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 07:43 AM

So, if it's a jam session, the participants are coherent?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 10:28 AM

Michelle Shocked's "Strawberry Jam"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Barbara
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 06:29 PM

Jelly is fruit juice (minus pulp and seeds), with sugar and sometimes pectin added as a thickening agent. It is cooked and canned.

Jello is a brand name for flavored gelatin mixed up from a packet and refrigerated to get it to set up. The archtypal midwestern dish is Strawberry or cherry (red) Jello with a can of fruit cocktail and miniature marshmallows added.

Didn't know about the distinction between jams and preserves, and
in our house we eat lamb with spearmint minced fine and vinegar and sugar added. Of course my partner's mum was English so we have a number of non US type foods in the kitchen including Marmite; that excellent marmalade that comes in a white glass jar (I forget the brand name at the moment) and some black currant syrup we made earlier.
The spice is down in the bottom orchard at the mo, picking the Bramley Seedlings.
Just so you know.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 07:16 PM

According to me, preserves is whole fruit or large pieces of fruit put up in a thin sugar syrup, suitable for serving straight from the jar but not suitable for spreading on bread. The jam I intend to make from the raspberries I picked today will have plenty of seeds in it. Jelly is jam with the food removed.

Anyone care to expound on the aspic thing?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Barbara
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 07:45 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Oct 09 - 11:05 PM

Jell-O is a brand name that most Americans use as if it were generic, in the same way that Brits use "Hoover" to mean vacuum cleaner.

It's been years since I've seen any other brand of gelatin dessert besides Jell-O, but at least one can still be found on the Internet: Royal Gelatin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: clueless don
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 08:48 AM

Yes, Bob, I think I realized as soon as I wrote it that seeds are sometimes left in jam for fruits like strawberries and raspberries - indeed, I have seen both seedless and with-seeds strawberry jam and raspberry jam. And I suppose there might be examples of preserves where the seeds are removed - is there such a thing as peach preserves? I wouldn't think that the pit is left in.

But for fruits like grapes and, as another example, Damson plums, I think my explanation applies.

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: clueless don
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 03:31 PM

I think it is possible that I am guilty of posting first and asking questions later!

I believe my statement about preserves including the seeds is something I heard in my childhood, and have never seriously questioned. Now I'm not so sure. In my google search, I did find one reference where it is stated:

"Preserves are basically the same as jam unless you buy them from Smucker's, in which case if it's got seeds in it it's preserves and if it doesn't it's jam."

But most of the references I found spoke of preserves involving chunks of whole fruit, as opposed to fruit puree in the case of jam. But there was no mention of seeds. So perhaps I have it wrong.

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 04:04 AM

Over here, 'preserves' is regarded as a slightly pretentious synonym for jam. One would expect to find seeds in, e.g., good raspberry jam. We just wouldn't say 'raspberry preserve' unless we were Hyacinth Bucket (a much satirised social climbing character in one of our popular tv sitcoms, who, e.g. insists on pronouncing her surname as if spelt 'Bouquet').

There appears to be no doubt that in this area the British and Americans are indeed divided by that common language. The best we can hope for, it seems to me, is to learn one another's usages and hope to get them right when visiting or contacting the others' country.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 07:39 PM

"The archtypal midwestern dish is Strawberry or cherry (red) Jello with a can of fruit cocktail and miniature marshmallows added."

Pfui! I'm a Midwesterner, and I haven't seen junky food like that in at least 30 years.

(Have you been listening to Garrison Keillor and BELIEVING him? Big mistake.)

What you mean is, that's archetypal 1950's food.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 02:23 AM

Ill becomes a Brit to contradict a true Mid-Westerner, perhaps: but, even if now obsolete, a little more recent than 1950s. I remember being served exactly the dish as described during a teachers'-exchange visit to Columbus, Indiana in *1971* [my wife was an educational journalist reporting on the scheme]. We were obviously taken to visit several other of our hosts' friends, & the red [or sometimes green, I think — lime?] jell-o with fruit cocktail was invariably served: generally as the starter, as I recollect, tho I might just have misremembered there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: clueless don
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 09:26 AM

What's that in the jell-o? mold?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 06 Feb 10 - 04:52 PM

At the risk of interrupting a fascinating jelly/jam/preserves discussion, I'd like to get back to the original question by expanding on the information Jim Dixon provided above.

The first pop recording of "It Must Be Jelly, 'Cause Jam Don't Taste Like That" was, as Jim noted, in 1942 by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The lyric was credited to two people: Chummy MacGregor, who may have been one of the Modernaires, who did the vocal,and George Dale "The Fox" Williams, b. New Orleans 1917, who may have been the source of the original lyric.

The Glenn Miller version had only the one refrain:

It must be jelly, 'cause jam don't taste like that (2)
Oh, mama, you're so big and fat.

At least one cut of the Miller piece sounds like the last line "Oh mama, you're so big and fat" is varied by something like "Lost jammer, play me some of that." Those are the only lyrics used by Glenn Miller as far as I can tell.

In 1944 Woody Herman and Frances Wayne sang an expanded set of verses, and sheet music appeared as well. Here are the Herman lyrics, some of which seem disappointingly lame:

Must be jelly, 'cause jam don't taste like that (2)
Oh, mama, you're so big and fat.

Must be Monday, I feel low down and blue (2)
Baby, see what you can do.

Lost my sugar (way) on Sugar Hill (2)
Sugar, that's a bitter pill.

Must be [sounds like Zhaw-lee] 'cause Joe's got hair (2)
He surely [pulls?] your rug up there.

You must be Mary, 'cause Tilly's big and fat,
Mary, Mary don't you get like that!
    SPOKEN: Don't you do it!

(Tune varies in following)
Must be jelly, 'cause it ain't like jam,
It ain't jam, I don't know what it am,
Sure looks like jelly to me.

In 1946 the song was performed by Sonny Skylar, George Williams and Chummy MacGregor in a short film directed by William Forest Crouch. The film was titled It Must Be Jelly 'Cause Jam Don't Taste Like That. Skylar was given composer credit along with the other two.

Major research credit goes to my wife Amba Lee for scouring up much of the above.

Now comes more fun. For (!) it appears the song was not original in 1942, but based on something older, possibly even traditional. More about that in the next message.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 06 Feb 10 - 05:04 PM

I was convinced the original of "It Must Be Jelly, 'Cause Jam Don't Taste Like That" was older than 1942. It sounds like a product of the hot blues rag bands of the 1930s. I speculated that George Williams, with his New Orleans origin, might have heard the refrain from African-American musicians.

After massive search, still in progress, through Godrich and Dixon's (un-indexed, alas) "Blues and Gospel Records 1902-1942" I turned up the following:

"You Know Jam Don't Shake"
Performed by Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon,
Decca 7733
Recorded March 5, 1940.

Jaxon, a well-known blues stage entertainer, is a good candidate for crossover to white pop music, and may have been George Williams' source for the three-line refrain used in the Glenn Miller recording. I have not heard the Jaxon recording (have any of you?), but the title is close enough so it has a good chance of being an earlier version.

Now, my search continues. I would not be surprised to find an even earlier version, especially as Jaxon, judging by his recordings, often used others' songs in his act. The stanza may be much older; it is not unlike the sort of bordello entertainment Jelly Roll Morton featured, like "If You Don't Shake You Don't Get No Cake" and so on.

I'll let you know if I come up with more.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 06 Feb 10 - 05:22 PM

By the way, my information indicates that by 1944 George Williams, who had been with Glenn Miller in 1942, was a member of the Woody Herman band. Presumably he brought the song with him, and may have had a hand in concocting the Herman lyrics.

However, I'm no expert in swing or pop generally. Please, anyone who can verify or correct my information in the above three messages, do so!

Composer credits for the Herman version would be particularly interesting.

Thanks,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 11:47 AM

Jaxon is indeed the originator. His 1940 version is a fully conceived pop classic. Miller and Herman were just noodling on what they remembered of it.

A sound sample. From "Frankie Half-Pint Jaxon Vol. 3, 1937-40," Document DOCD-5260 has the following lyrics, apparently from the middle of the song. Presumably the "jam don't shake like that" was his first verse or refrain.

YOU KNOW JAM DON'T SHAKE

... {tastes.?]

It must be jelly, 'cause you know jam don't shake, (2)
Yas, yas, she's got what it takes.

(Bridge)
Let me tell you, geek, what I overheard,
Don't tell a soul, don't breathe a word,
It's a very simple tale,
All about a certain frail,
How she ...

It's still possible, of course, that the refrain originated earlier; but Jaxon is pretty plainly the source for what followed.

Anyone got the CD and can post the complete lyrics?

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:55 AM

My favorite jelly comes from high Sierra gooseberries, a thorny "ribe," a relative of currants. The taste is more delicate than black or red currant jelly, but quite pronounced in its own way. I once proposed writing a musical paean to this noble fruit, but came up short. The rare jelly turned out to be a quickly vanishing muse.

I think we, in the U.S. and those in the U.K. are speaking basically the same language in this case. Jelly is clear and jelled with fruit pectin, where jam is a whole or macerated fruit spread. Jell-O' a totally unrelated "delicacy," is (often artificially) flavored water, sugar and animal-based gelatin, served in hospitals, school cafeterias and prisons to captive audiences.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't ...)
From: GUEST,Boomshot
Date: 10 Jun 10 - 09:35 PM

The lyrics were added by Sunny Skylar AFTER the record became a massive chart hit for Glenn Miller in 1944, two years after it was recorded. It went all the way to no. 2 on the Billboard Harlem Hit Parade Chart, the then equivalent of the later R&B Chart. It went to no. 16 on the Billboard Juke Box Chart also in 1944. Woody Herman and Johnny Long covered it. On the original Glenn Miller RCA record label, Skylar is not listed as a co-composer. Sunny Skylar wrote the expanded lyrics to the song that are heard in later versions such as the Herman recording. It is much like what happened with Moonlight Serenade with Mitchell Parish later adding lyrics to what was initially an instrumental. The saying "It Must Be Jelly 'Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That" sounds like a traditional slang expression that goes back a long way. It is similar to the Duke Ellington title "Don't Do Anything Until You Hear From Me" which he did not create, but which is an expression that white society used. So Duke was just mimicking an expression he heard from the larger white society. This is the same way the Glenn Miller expression was picked up.


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