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    Red Nichols & His 5 Pennies - Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble, 1930


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    Red Nichols & His 5 Pennies - Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble (Spencer Williams), Brunswick 1930

    Lorin “Red” NICHOLS (1905 – 1965) - one of the most significant cornetists of the 1920s. He studied cornet with his father, who taught music in college. An expert technician and sight-reader, Nichols had his own crisp sound which was influenced by Bix Beiderbecke. A perfect arranger and a reliable player, Nichols appeared on 1000s of sides in 1924-32. He often teamed up with trombonist Miff Mole and drummer Vic Berton during 1925-28, including on recordings by Red Nichols and his Five Pennies.“Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble” was composed in 1917 by Spencer Williams – pianist born in New Orleans. The title may suggest it was the first “shimmy” ever composed. In other versions, it was a dancer Gilda Gray who “invented” shimmy by saying with her strong Polish accent a phrase “gimme the chemise”. Yet, more reliable ethymologies draw “shimmy” from the Arabic word referring to one of figures in oriental belly-dance.