Smoky Johnson

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Trumpet-playing king of swing from the obscure 1937 song "King of Swing," composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by So Stillman. They wrote it for an all-Gershwin revue, Swing Is King, at Radio City Music Hall.


Before what’s known as the Jazz Age, ragtime was the thing.
But now we’ve got a great deal hotter thing that’s known as swing.
And there’s no doubt about it, Smoky Johnson is the King.
He wears a crown when he goes to town.
Watch him push that middle valve down! Oh,
They’re dancin’ at the Coronation
to something new in syncopation. Long live the King of Swing!
Oh, the King can do no wrong.
The greatest, up-to-datest band’ll tell all about the latest scandal.
They say the King of Swing sold his country for a song.
Did you hear that trumpet blare (Yeah!)
Over every inch of air (Where?)
From Frisco to Shamokin the King of Swing has spoken!
No music ever was absurder. He’s got composers shoutin’ murder.
They say, “He’s killin’ my song!”
But the King of Swing can do no wrong.

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