Sportsong of the Week #44


"Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?"

Count Basie

Original words and music written by Buddy Johnson

1949

Sportsong of the Week #44 is a classic! It's Count Basie's version of 'Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?' originally written by Buddy Johnson.

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American Major League Baseball(MLB) second baseman who became the first African American to play in the major leagues in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947.

Jackie Robinson inspired a number of singers and songwriters to compose songs in his honor. In the years immediately following Robinson's major league debut in 1947, the Library of Congress Copyright Office received deposits of at least four songs with Robinson as their subject, including such titles as "The Jackie Robinson Boogie" and "Jackie Robinson Blues." By far the best know song honoring Robinson is Buddy Johnson's classic. Johnson submitted this sheet music for copyright in June, 1949. In August of that year, his recording of the song hit its peak position on the charts at number 13. Today many baseball fans are familiar with Count Basie's recording. This recording has become synonymous with the song itself.

Full Lyrics 'Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?' - Count Basie

Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball? It went zoom in cross the left field wall. Yeah boy, yes, yes. Jackie hit that ball.

And when he swung his bat, the crowd went wild, because he knocked that ball a solid mile. Yeah boy, yes, yes. Jackie hit that ball. Satchel Page [i.e., Paige] is mellow,

so is Campanella, Newcombe and Doby, too. But it's a natural fact, when Jackie comes to bat, the other team is through.

Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball? Did he hit it boy, and that ain't all. He stole home. Yes, yes, Jackie's real gone.


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