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Performed by John Bianchi | Written in 1910, lyrics by Cecil Mack and Lew Brown and music by Ford Dabney, “That’s Why They Call Me Shine” became a jazz standard. Nowadays, it may be hard to sing these lyrics, which are seemingly rooted in the ‘coon song’ tradition, but for 1910, “Shine’s” theme was a surprising one for popular music – it wasn’t minstrelsy so much as a commentary on it, and it may or may not have been inspired by an incident in the NY City race riot of 1900.
He loves Remco Houtman Jensen’s (Ukulelezaza’s) take on this tune, and his approach is inspired by Remco’s fantastic version.
The ukulele is John’s ‘Ludwig Wendell Hall’ from the late 20’s, a great instrument, made even easier to play by the great repair work of Mamie Minch, who runs Brooklyn Lutherie with Chloe Swantner.