Ethel Waters introduced "Stormy Weather," written by Ted Koehler & Harold Arlen, in the 1933 "Cotton Club Parade." She was accompanied by Duke Ellington's Orchestra. The song was a hit, and it was recorded by Waters (for Columbia), Ellington (Brunswick) and even composer Arlen for Victor Records. All were issued contemporaneously, along with at least a dozen more versions in the USA and UK. They weren't covers in the sense we think of them today; the song was the thing.
Ethel Waters' recording was played last Sunday, amid the craziness of the fund drive, which included a birthday salute to Harold Arlen. Tonight, amid five birthday salutes, a recording of "Stormy Weather" that's never been played on "The Big Broadcast." It's Paul Tremaine & His Orchestra, a 78 RPM issue only recently picked up in an auction. Another 50+ records just won on another pair of auctions help ensure the old music on the show never gets "old."