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Just You, Just Me (1929)

Origin and Chart Information
Thelonious Monk’s “Evidence” was first titled “Justice” and then “We Named it Justice,” both puns of the song on which it was loosely based, “Just You, Just Me.”

- JW

Rank 90
Music

Jesse Greer

Lyrics Raymond Klages

Marion Davies and Cliff Edwards introduced “Just You, Just Me” in the 1929 MGM film Marianne. Also in the cast were Lawrence Gray, George Baxter, and Benny Rubin. Marianne was only moderately successful at the box office. According to Clive Hirschhorn in Hollywood Musicals, it was “the only musical in the history of the genre in which the leading lady and a pig attempt to upstage one another.”

 

Marion Davies was born in Brooklyn, New York, and followed her sisters into show business. By the age of twenty she had appeared as a (more...)

 

Cliff Edwards began playing ukelele to accompany his singing in St. Louis bars where there were no pianos. He had (more...)

“Just You, Just Me” has fared much better than Marianne, becoming the most recognized song written by either Jesse Greer or Raymond Klages. The 1929 Cliff Edwards recording was on the pop charts for two weeks, rising to number 13, and subsequently, “Just You, Just Me” was recorded hundreds of times by over one hundred artists.

 

Chart information used by permission from
Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954

Raymond Klages was a lyricist for numerous Broadway and Hollywood musicals. Jesse Greer was actually the pen name for vaudevillian comedienne/singer Josephine Harmon, whose real name was Josephine Greer. She has been called a “kind of cross between Sophie Tucker and Fanny Brice,” and, in addition to performing, she wrote nearly 200 songs which appeared in Broadway and Hollywood musicals during the 1920s and 1930s.

 

Raymond Klages wrote the lyrics to Fats Waller’s “I’m More Than Satisfied” in 1927, but his collaboration with (more...)

 

Jesse Greer worked as a theater pianist and, after serving in WWI, returned home to work in a music publishing house. One of (more...)

According to www.monkzone.com the “Official Thelonious Sphere Monk Website,” the (Monk) composition, “Evidence,” which was first recorded on July 2, 1948, went by various names, notably “Justice” and “We Named it Justice,” both puns of the song on which it was loosely based, “Just You, Just Me.” “Just Us” became “Justice” and finally “Evidence.” Both “Just You, Just Me” and “Evidence” are available from a 1964 session on Thelonious Monk's, Live at the It Club

Music and Lyrics Analysis

Musical analysis of “Just You, Just Me”

Original Key C major
Form A – A – B – A
Tonality Major throughout
Movement Generally downward by step, with some upward skips. Sustained and repeated notes; some arpeggiation.

Comments     (assumed background)

Slow rhythm, both melodically and harmonically, makes this an ideal “jam” tune. Melodic structure is generally confined to chord tones, making it easier to use exotic chord substitutions and extended harmonies. The progression of “A” bears some relation to “rhythm changes” (“I Got Rhythm”) in that a I – VI7 – ii – V7 is used, followed by a variation of I– I7 – IV – iv. (This tune substitutes a bVII7 – Bb7 in the key of C – for the iv chord.) The differences are that this tune goes through the I – VI7 – ii V7 only once, with each chord lasting twice as long–and that VI7 is substituted for vi. The last four measures of “B” turn this progression on its head, going I – vi – II7 – V7. (The vi here is preceded by a III7, presumably because of the melody note at that point.)
K. J. McElrath - Musicologist for JazzStandards.com

Check out K. J. McElrath's book of Jazz Standards Guide Tone Lines at his web site (www.bardicle.com).
Musician's Comments

The melody of “Just You, Just Me” starts with a simple two-note ascending motif (“just you”) then follows with the same motif a little bit lower (“just me”). That’s it--a total of four notes in the first four measures of the tune! And in case you didn’t get it, the same motif appears at the beginning of the bridge (“oh gee”). It’s a classic example of “sometimes simple is better.”

The chord progression of this tune is particularly attractive. Thelonious Monk liked it so much that he used it as the basis for his own tune “Evidence.” Jazz composers have made a common practice of setting new melodies to old chord progressions. Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” spawned several subsequent bebop tunes, such as Charlie Parker’s ”Anthropology” and Sonny Rollins’ “Oleo,” just as Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love” led to Tadd Dameron’s “Hot House.”

A student of mine came into his lesson a few months ago and proudly presented me with a new tune of his called “Acquittal,” based on “Evidence”; he was shocked to discover that the lineage was even longer than he suspected!

Randy Halberstadt, jazz pianist and professor www.randyhalberstadt.com


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Soundtrack Information
Just You, Just Me” was included in these films:
  • This Could Be the Night (1957)
  • New York, New York (1977, Liza Minnelli)
  • Everyone Says I Love You (1997, opening song, Helen Miles Singers)
  • The Prize (1963)
  • Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
  • Nat King Cole: Encore (2004, compilation DVD)
Also on This Page...

Music & Lyrics Analysis
Musician's Comments
Soundtracks

Jazz History Notes
Also by the Same Writers...
Reading & Research

CD Recommendations for This Tune
Click on a CD for more details at Amazon.com
Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Swings Lightly
1992, Polygram 517535
Original recording, 1958
Ella is backed here by the superb Marty Paich Dek-tette in an up-tempo version of “Just You, Just Me.”

Nat King Cole

The Complete After Midnight Sessions
1999, Blue Note
Original recording, 1956, Capitol
This is Cole’s jazziest vocal album, featuring his trio--John Collins (g) and Charlie Harris (b)--with guests, Lee Young (d), Willie Smith (as), Harry Edison (tp), Stuff Smith (violin), and Juan Tizol (tb). They cover three top standards—“Just You, Just Me,” “Caravan,” and “Sweet Lorraine.”

Benny Green

Green’s Blues
2001, Telarc
In this solo piano outing Green polishes off “Just You, Just Me” with a flurry of notes, displaying the technique that made him Oscar Peterson’s protégé.

Lester Young

Verve Jazz Masters 30
1994, Verve 521859
Original recording, 1943
This is a three-minute version with Johnny Guarneri (p), Slam Stewart (b), and Sid Catlett (d). The CD includes six different small group sessions and is an excellent introduction to the saxophonist. A seven-minute version is available on Lester’s In Washington D.C., 1956, Volume Three.
Jazz History Notes

Xylophonist/vibraphonist Red Norvo’s 1938 version of this 1929 composition features an arrangement by Eddie Sauter and some fine solos. A bop-influenced big band arrangement by Benny Carter from 1943 features the leader both on alto saxophone and trumpet.

Pianist Eddie Heywood’s 1944 combo recording spotlights a neat arrangement and great solos by trombonist Vic Dickenson, alto saxophonist Lem Davis, trumpeter Doc Cheatham and the leader.

The tune picked up great momentum post-WW2 with a plethora of small combo recordings. An interesting recording from 1946 of Buddy Rich’s big band features a marvelous arrangement by Tadd Dameron, who would feature prominently in the bebop movement as an arranger, bandleader, and pianist.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian


Red Norvo and His Orchestra

1937-1938
Classics 1192

Eddie Heywood and His Orchestra

1944-1946
Classic 1038

Buddy Rich and His Orchestra

1947-1947
Classic 1099
Written by the Same Composer or Team...
This section shows the jazz standards written by the same writing team. Click on a name to see all of a writer's jazz standards.

Jesse Greer and Raymond Klages

YearRankTitle
192990Just You, Just Me
Reading and Research

Additional information on “Just You, Just Me” may be found in:


1 paragraph including the following types of information: film productions and summary.

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