After last week's song from the 1970s, here is another fantastic tune which was recorded many years after the swing era:
When I Grow Too Old To Dream” by Arnett Cobb.
Arnett Cobb (Aug. 10, 1918 – Mar. 24, 1989), born Arnette Cleophus Cobbs, played briefly piano and violin before switching to tenor saxophone. His style was based between swing and early rhythm & blues.
Cobb worked with Frank Davis (1933), Chester Boone (1934-1936) and the Milt Larkin Orchestra (1936-1942). The latter was never recorded, though.
When Cobb was succeeding Illinois Jacquet with Lionel Hampton‘s Big Band (1942-1947), he gained his initial fame.
In 1948, he led a popular band but due to health issues, he needed an operation of his spine and his career stopped. In 1951, he was back and led another band for five years.
A serious car accident in 1956 injured his legs by crushing them and he needed to use crutches for the rest of his life.
In 1959, he returned once again to play and record actively. He moved to Houston, Texas and played mostly locally. However, in 1973 he occasionally toured and recorded nationwide. In 1988, he even was touring Europe with Jimmy Heath and Joe Henderson.
When I Grow Too Old To Dream
This title was on Arnett Cobb's debut for the label Prestige and his first recording as a leader after his car accident in 1956 (not to be confused with the version from 1947, which sounds quite different.)
An easy going swing tune which I also like to use to teach beginners classes.
Be aware: the song is looong!
Personnel: Arnett Cobb (tenor saxophone), Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (tenor saxophone), Wild Bill Davis (organ), George Duvivier (bass) and Arthur Edgehill (drums).
Title: When I Grow Too Old To Dream
Artist: Arnett Cobb
Recorded: January 1959
Album: Blow Arnett, Blow
Tempo: 120 bpm
Dance: Lindy Hop
Click the link to download the song at
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Do you like this song for classes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Every Monday, I post a new “Song of the Week“.
You can find the songs also on my Spotify playlist or on 8tracks.
Song of the Week #102: “Rosetta” by Al Casey
Song of the Week #101: “Gift For The Club” by Buck Clayton
Song of the Week #100: “Livery Stable Blues” by Original Dixieland Jass Band
Song of the Week #99: “Oh I'm Evil” by Una Mae Carlisle
Song of the Week #98: “Wednesday Night Hop” by Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds of Joy