“Ain’t Misbehavin‘“ is a 1929 stride jazz / early swing song….as Andy Razaf wrote the lyrics to a score by Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks for the Broadway musical comedy play Connie’s Hot Chocolates….which has a thirty-two-bar form at a slow-to-moderate tempo.….and as Waller said, the song was written while “lodging” in prison for an alimony violation….and that is why he was not misbehaving.
The song was first performed at the premiere of Connie’s Hot Chocolates in Harlem at Connie’s Inn….as an opening song by Paul Bass and Margaret Simms….then repeated later in the musical by Russell Wooding’s Hallelujah Singers. Connie’s Hot Chocolates was transferred to the Hudson Theater on Broadway during June 1929….where it was renamed to Hot Chocolates….which is where Louis Armstrong became the orchestra director. The script also required Armstrong to play “Ain’t Misbehavin‘“ in a trumpet solo….and although this was initially slated only to be a reprise of the opening song….it was Armstrong’s performance that was so well received that the trumpeter was asked to climb out of the orchestra pit and play the piece on stage.
In this video herewith….NBC Sports uses the cast of the Broadway musical to perform the song in New Orleans as part of their Super Bowl XV between the Philadelphia Eagles vs Oakland Raiders from New Orleans on January 25, 1981.