I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
At the time of this broadcast – on this day in 1927 – a virtually unknown airplane pilot named Charles Lindbergh in the Spirit Of St Louis was about 2/3 of the way through his 33 ½ hour non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris. Overnight, “All things Lindbergh” was the rage.
I mention this, because of a little dispute that has emerged centering on a song credited to Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields called “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” There are claims that the original music was by Fats Waller, not Jimmy McHugh and the lyrics were by Andy Razaf, not Dorothy Fields. Those disputing the McHugh and Fields authorship, maintain that the song originally debuted as a tribute to Lindbergh titled “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Lindy” in the Broadway revue “Harry Delmar’s Revels” in 1927, rather than “Blackbirds of 1928” as usually supposed.
This Sound of Swing program takes a look at some of the evidence and plays only this one song but in some of the many styles recorded in a quarter century of jazz.
Take a look, too, at the great video of Cab Calloway dancing to the song as performed by Jonah Jones.