Clarence Williams and Spencer Williams were not related although they were both born in New Orleans a few years apart (1898 and 1889, respectively). Clarence was not only a pianist who accompanied many of the blues singers such as Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, and his wife Eva Taylor on their recordings, but he led his own band which occasionally included Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.
Although written in 1919 “Royal Garden Blues”’ didn’t really catch on until 1921 when it charted twice: The Original Dixieland Jazz Band (led by cornetist Nick La Rocca, composer of “Tiger Rag”) took it to third place with vocalist Al Bernard. The version by Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds reached number thirteen. Bix Beiderbecke also famously recorded it, and it entered the repertoire of several big bands such as Tommy Dorsey’s and Benny Goodman’s in the thirties.
A Section: No use of talkin' no use of talkin' You'll start in dog-walkin' no matter where. There's jazz-copation blues modulation, Just like a Haitian you'll rip and tear. Most everybody likes the blues
Here's why I'm ravin', here's why I'm ravin' If it's blues you are cravin' just come on down. You'll hear 'em playin', you'll hear 'em playin' Soon you'll be sayin', "Hon jazz me 'round" Because your feet they can't refuse.
B Section: What's that familiar strain that true blue note refrain It's drivin' me insane; Can't keep still, Tho it's against my will; I'm on my P's and Q's I just can't refuse.
There goes that melody, it sounds so good to me, And I am up a tree; It's a shame, you don't know the name; It's a brand new blues, The Royal Garden Blues.
Interlude: Everybody Grab somebody And start jazzing 'round
C Section: Hon don't you hear that trombone moan?, Just listen to that saxophone. Gee, hear that clarinet and flute, Cornet jazzin' with a mute, Makes me just throw myself away, When I hear 'em play.
That weepin' melancholy strain, Say, but it's soothing to the brain; Just wanna get right up and dance, Don't care I'll take most any chance; No other blues I'd care to choose, But Royal Garden Blues.