"Little Brown Jug" is a song written by Joseph Winner, originally published in Philadelphia in 1869 and credited to "Eastburn" (Winner's middle name).
The little brown jug [Historic American Sheet Music]
In 1868 a song with the same title, written by George Cooper and W.F. Wellman Jr., was published by C.H. Ditson in New York. As you can see on the link below, this was another song.
098.144 - The Little Brown Jug. Song & Chorus. | Levy Music Collection
In 1869 "Little Brown Jug" was published by S.T. Gordon in New York, claiming the song was written by Betta.
098.143 - The Original Little Brown Jug. Song and Chorus. | Levy Music Collection
But nowadays most authorities accept Winner as the composer.
It was originally a drinking song. It remained well known as a folk song into the early 20th century.
Little Brown Jug (song) - Wikipedia
The first version seems to be recorded by:
(o) Steve Porter (1900) (No. 3 US Charts)
Released on Columbia Cylinder # 4617
COLUMBIA cylinders numerical listing discography: 4000 - 5999
(c) Arthur Collins and Byron G Harlan (1903) (as "The Dude and the Farmer")
Recorded March 24, 1903 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
Released on Victor Monarch 2116
Browse All Recordings | The dude and the farmer, Take M-1 (1903-03-24) | National Jukebox LOC.gov
Victor matrix [Pre-matrix B-]2116. The dude and the farmer / Collins and Harlan - Discography of American Historical Recordings
Collins & Harlan* - The Dude And The Farmer (Shellac) at Discogs
Listen here (around 2 min and 9 sec on the soundfile below):
(c) Laura C. Herstein (1905)
Recorded September 4, 1905
Released on a Concert Brown Wax Cylinder (this was a home recording)
WFMU: Thomas Edison's Attic: Playlist from December 12, 2006
In 1916 the Victory Mixed Chorus sang "Little Brown Jug" as part of a medley.
(c) Victory Mixed Chorus (1916) (part of the "Songs of the Past No. 20" medley)
Recorded June 28, 1916 in Camden, New Jersey
Released on Victor 35585
Browse All Recordings | Songs of the past, no. 20, Take 2 (1916-06-28) | National Jukebox LOC.gov
Like many songs which make reference to alcoholic beverages, it enjoyed new popularity during the Prohibition era.
(c) Henry Whitter (1924)
Recorded in New York on February 26, 1924
Released on OKEH 40063.
(c) George Reneau (1924)
Recorded in April 18, 1924 in New York.
George Reneau: harmonica/guitar and Gene Austin: vocals/calls
Released on Vocalion 14812
(c) Riley Puckett and Clayton McMichen (1927)
Recorded in Atlanta, GA on April 2, 1927
Released on Columbia 15232
Columbia matrix W143868. Little brown jug / Clayton McMichen ; Riley Puckett - Discography of American Historical Recordings
Unlike what it says in the next YT, this version is by Riley Puckety and Clayton McMichen.
In 1939, bandleader Glenn Miller recorded and broadcast his swing instrumental arrangement of the tune with great success, and the number became one of the best known orchestrations of the American Big Band era. His version did not have the lyrics.
(c) Glenn Miller and his Orchestra (1939) (No. 10 USA Charts)
Recorded April 10, 1939
Released on Bluebird B-10286
In the 1948 Famous Studios Screen Song animated short titled "Little Brown Jug", a "bouncing ball" cartoon, it is sung with the music credited to Winston Sharples and entirely new lyrics by Buddy Kaye.
"Little Brown Jug" starts around 4 minutes in the next YT
(c) Richie Blackmore (1965) (as "Little Brown Jug")
Released on Oriole CB 314
45cat - Richie Blackmore - Getaway / Little Brown Jug - Oriole - UK - CB 314
Richie Blackmore* - Getaway / Little Brown Jug (Vinyl) at Discogs
(c) Jive Bunny (1989) (part of the "Swing The Mood" medley) (No 1 UK)
Swing the Mood - Wikipedia
Listen here (at 4 min and 50 sec in the YT below)
The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - LITTLE BROWN JUG
The same melody was used for the song "My Ding-a-Ling" written by Dave Bartholomew in 1952, which became a Number 1 hit in 1972 for Chuck Berry.
My Ding-a-Ling - Wikipedia
(c) Dave Bartholomew (1952) (as "My Ding-A-Ling")
Recorded January 1952
45cat - Dave Bartholomew - My Ding-A-Ling / Bad Habit - King - USA - 45-4544
A few months later when Bartholomew moved to Imperial Records, he re-recorded the song under the new title, "Little Girl Sing Ting-a-Ling".
In the summer of 1954 Dave Bartholomew produced a version by The Spiders, which was titled "The Real Thing", which, lyrically, was clearly derived from "My Ding-A-Ling"
45cat - The Spiders [New Orleans] - Mmm Mmm Baby / The Real Thing - Imperial - USA - X5305
Only one month later, also in 1954 Dave Bartholomew produced a version by The Bees, which was titled "Toy Bell".
The Bees' "Toy Bell" was more or less the version, which Chuck Berry used for his 1972 live-version, that was a US No 1 Hit.
45cat - The Bees [50s] - Toy Bell / Snatchin' Back - Imperial - USA - X5314
Before the famous 1972 live-version, Chuck Berry recorded a studio-version called "My Tambourine" in 1968.
(c) Chuck Berry (1968) (as "My Tambourine")
Vinyl Album - Chuck Berry - From St. Louie To Frisco - Mercury - USA
But the version which topped the charts was recorded live during the Lanchester Arts Festival at the Locarno ballroom in Coventry, England, on 3 February 1972.
45cat - Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling / Let's Boogie - Chess - UK - 6145 019
45cat - Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling / Johnny B. Goode - Chess - USA - CH 2131
The Youtube below is from BBC In Concert, first broadcast on July 22, 1972.
More versions here:
Cover versions of My Ding-A-Ling by Dave Bartholomew | SecondHandSongs
The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - MY DING-A-LING