It’s a “Sin to Tell a Lie” is a 1936 popular song written by Billy Mayhew and popularized by the great Fats Waller. Incidentally, it was said that shaking hands with Fats was like grabbing a bunch of bananas. This song was pretty popular: there are currently over 100 recorded versions of it! Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you how I learned this song.
A few weeks ago I was diving deep on YouTube on one of my favorite artists – guitarist virtuoso Steve Goodman – and I came across a live version of Goodman doing this song. It reminded me of how much a guitar prodigy he was and how I first came across him sometime in the 1970s at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (but that’s another story.). Goodman’s version was so over the top amazing that I jumped up and immediately went over to the keyboard to figure it out. I didn’t think anyone could top Goodman’s energy on this song, but then I listened to Fats Waller’s version. Now I don’t know. If you’ve read this far, you probably have at least a passing interest in music. Why don’t you check out both versions on YouTube (make sure you wait until they all start singing!) and then decide for yourself (here is a Billie Holliday version just for fun)!