9 December 2014


A correspondent says he is trying to work out how to play Black Cat on the Fence.

As it happens, I went through the same experience. I listened to some recordings of the tune and tried to make a lead sheet by ear. Here's the lead sheet to Black Cat on the Fence that I came up with for inclusion in my mini Filofax. It's actually in Bb but I put it in C to suit my transposing cornet.

I tried the tune out with friends and it went quite well, partly because it is fairly easy to play and to improvise upon. It is a pretty rag that is best taken at a medium tempo.

I don't know who wrote the tune, or when. Someone told me it was Charlie Love, in 1949. But recently a source gave the composers as Waller, Brooks and Razaf in 1929. But I suspect that is wrong: I think this source was confusing it with Black and Blue. So I'll stick with Charlie Love.

Ken Colyer made it popular in England a few decades ago.