A 32-bar AABA jazz composition, “Flying Home” is said to be derived from a tune Lionel Hampton nervously whistled waiting to board his first plane flight.

Benny Goodman and Eddie DeLange collaborated to write the composition with Hampton, and Sid Robin added lyrics. Originally recorded by the Benny Goodman Sextet in 1939, the song featured solos by Hampton and Charlie Christian.

Over the years, this song has been covered by many, the most famous of which is a toe-tapping 1942 recording by the Lionel Hampton Orchestra with a tenor sax solo by Illinois Jacquet. This song was also covered by Chris Connor and Ella Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s 1945 scatting version – arranged and preformed with Vic Schoen – was described as “one of the most influential vocal jazz records of the decade” by The New York Times.

Tune in to First Take with Chavis and Lando for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

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