Written by the father of the blues, William Christopher Handy, first published in 1914. The chorus derives from one of his earlier compositions: The Jogo Blues (1913). Together with his partner Henry Herbert Pace he founded one of the earliest black owned music publishing houses in Memphis, TN against all odds. It took some time before the St. Louis Blues took off. Blues was too new to be accepted overnite. Handy and his band had to wait until 1922 before cutting their own version and ASCAP waited until 1924 before accepting the Pace & Handy Music C°. In '41 Handy's biography Father Of The Blues was published, a bestseller soon to be distributed among soldiers overseas for his firm believe in his country and its values.
Ciro's Club Coon Orch. [black band in London; this vocal version is older than Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues, making it the oldest black blues recording; as a London hotel band their influence overseas was non existent]
Handy's Band [author for Black Swan]
Fats Waller [pipe organ version]
Callahan Brothers [hit for ARC]
Billie Holiday [with Benny Carter]
Glenn Miller [as St. Louis March]
Asleep At The Wheel [with that other Bob Wills affictionado Merle Haggard]
Natalie Cole [in film Lightning In A Bottle]
Pokey Lafarge [on American Epic]
1.500 different recordings of this song in America alone.