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When It's Sleepy Time Down South

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Clarence Muse
Leon René
Otis René

Clarence Muse, Leon René and Otis René (arr. Ninmer)

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General Info

Year: 1931
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: U.S. Marine Band
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

When It's Sleepy Time Down South, also known as Sleepy Time Down South, is a 1931 jazz song written by Clarence Muse, Leon René and Otis René. It was sung in the movie Safe in Hell by Nina Mae McKinney, and became the signature song of Louis Armstrong, who recorded it almost a hundred times during his career. The song is now considered a jazz standard.

The lyrics concern the Great Migration in the United States, the movement of African Americans from the South to cities in the North, with the singer talking about the "dear old Southland... where I belong", and contain many racial stereotypes. Armstrong's popularity among African-American audiences dropped because of the song, but at the same time it helped the trumpeter to make his fan base broader. There is a 1942 film short of the song where Armstrong and others played slaves and farm workers.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C. (Ryan J. Nowlin, conductor; Sara Sheffield, mezzo-soprano) – 24 August 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer