I’m Confessin’ – Overview/History

Chart Location

I was able to find the tune relatively easily in a couple of places.  (Remember to be searching and saving (PDF) copies of all of those Fake Books that are circulating out there.)  The book I went to first (and found it in) was 557 Jazz Standards.  No lyrics, but those are easily obtained with a quick google search.

Also, iReal Pro had it available from the forums community.  In fact, I had about three different versions in my system and needed to pay close attention to the chords (especially that second one) to find the right one.

Here is the slightly modified chart that I will be using for this series (chords only, I’ll do melody when I can get adequate software on my tablet).

Basic Research

As luck would have it, we have a Wikipedia page already started on this tune so we can get a lot of info from there.  I won’t rewrite the contents here, but let’s at least review the basics:

Original Recording: 1930 by Alyn Ainsworth

Authors: Doc Daugherty, Ellis Reynolds, (lyr) Al Neiburg

Recording Links

As always it is very important to listen to a lot of other recordings and hear what others have done before you. It can be very inspirational when looking for your voice.  Obviously, I haven’t pulled every available recordin for you, but the list below has a lot to offer.

  • Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians
  • Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra – This recording is particularly important as it was a very young Armstrong recorded in 1930. Make sure to read the notes on the the linked video.
  • Count Basie and Oscar Peterson – From “Time Keepers”
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Peggy Lee – I like this one.  Dave Barbour (Peggy’s husband at the time) is the guitarist on this one and it is a spectacular cut. (BTW, Wikipedia shows this recording as 1974, but a little digging shows she recorded it with them in 1945 but it wasn’t released until much later.)
  • Willie Nelson – Particularly likeable.  Willie has a way with music that I can’t explain. Yeah, it’s country. Yeah, it’s western swing. Yeah, it’s jazz.  But it’s al Willie.  I can’t tell for sure, but I believe it is a tenor guitar (played by Paul Buskirk) noodling in the background as Willie sings and taking the first solo.


As songs go, this is a fairly easy going tune with a rich recording history to pull from.  As we move a little further into the process, we should be able to use the above information as inspiration for our rendition.

Leave a comment

Add comment