So it was a great pleasure to come upon a video uploaded on to YouTube by the excellent Louisiana-based video-maker codenamed RaoulDuke504. It shows The Shotgun Jazz Band (in its five-piece form, with Charlie Halloran on trombone) giving a most tasteful, gentle performance of this song at Covington Trailhead, which is a lovely new public park about 35 miles north of New Orleans. This was in the middle of June 2016.
This performance is unusual because it includes the VERSE as well as the familiar Chorus. The width of Marla Dixon's repertoire and the depth of her memory constantly amaze me. I ought not to have been surprised that she knew the Verse or that she sings the vocal. Is there any song for which Marla does not know the words by heart?!
Apart from its great melody, it is the simplicity and structure of the Chorus that should make it appeal to many more traditional jazz bands. After all, it is virtually nothing but an eight-bar three-chorder. (Well, actually the eight bars are played twice; but you see what I mean.)
The music for Moonlight Bay was written in 1912 by Percy Wenrich; the lyrics were by Edward Madden. Both men died in 1952.
Madden also wrote the words for such songs as By The Light of the Silvery Moon, Down in Jungle Town and Silver Bell.
Percy Wenrich was born in Missouri but from the age of 20 worked mainly in New York City. He composed rags such as The Smiler and Peaches and Cream, but he is probably best remembered for When You Wore a Tulip, Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet and of course Moonlight Bay.
Just in case my attempt may be of some use to a beginner, here's how I have worked it out with Band-in-a-Box. As usual, I can't guarantee 100% accuracy. Shotgun plays it in F: