search   index   by subject   by year   biographies   books  SF Activities  shop museum   contact

Sophie Tucker and “Some of These Days”

In her autobiography, “Some of These Days” (Doubleday, Doran – 1945), Sophie Tucker wrote: "Some of These Days" is one thing more I owe in a way to Mollie [Elkins, Miss Tucker's maid]. I was riding high in Chicago, palling around with a fast crowd, too full of myself to pay attention to a lot of what was happening around me. Many song writers used to bring me their work, beg me to try the songs in my act and plug them. Every performer is beseiged with that sort of thing. At first you hear them all, consider them all, you're so fearful of missing a good thing. But after a few years of it you get careless. I guess it was that way with me.

One day Mollie came and stood in front of me, hands on hips, and a look in her eye that I knew meant she had her mad up.

"See here, young lady," said she, "since when are you so important that you can't hear a song by a colored writer? Here's this boy Shelton Brooks hanging around, waiting, like a dog with his tongue hanging out, for you to hear his song. And you running around, flapping your wings like a chicken with its head chopped off. That's no way for you to be going on, giving a nice boy like that the run-around."

"All right. I'll hear his song," I promised. "You tell him."

"You can tell him yourself," said Mollie. And she brought him in.

The minute I heard "Some of These Days" I could have kicked myself for almost losing it. A song like that. It had everything. Hasn't it proved it? I've been singing it for thirty years, made it my theme song. I've turned it inside out, singing it every way imaginable, as a dramatic song, as a novelty number, as a sentimental ballad, and always audiences have loved it and asked for it. "Some of These Days" is one of the great songs that will be remembered and sung for years and years to come, like some of Stephen Foster's.

Later Shelton Brooks wrote "Darktown Strutters' Ball," which I sang too, but nothing else he ever did touched "Some of These Days."

Record historian Tim Gracyk points out that Miss Tucker's first Edison cylinder recordings date from early 1910, and "Some of These Days" was recorded shortly before her 1911 departure for San Francisco. He wrote:
Her first recording, "That Lovin' Two-Step Man," was recorded either April 26 or 29, 1910 as EDison 10411. "Some of These Days" was recorded February 24, 1911 as EDison 4M-691.

"That Lovin' Two-Step Man" was a standard two-minute cylinder, while "Some of These Days" was one of the four-minute wax Amberol cylinders.

They are rare – highly collectible. I don't own them, darn it!

Hear Miss Tucker's Edison cylinder recording of "Some of These Days" (RealAudio).

Hear her recording of Reuben Rag, (RealAudio) from

Hear "Some of These Days" as she recorded it in 1926 with Ted Lewis and his Band

Her 1927 recording "What'll You Do?" gives the 1990s listener a sense of why Miss Tucker was – and is – known as the "Last of the Red-Hot Mammas" (RealAudio).

Learn more about early-recording history and technology from

Return to top of page