"Cow Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)" is a "country-boogie"-style blues song utilizing the folklore of the singing cowboy in the American West. In the lyrics, the cowboy is from the city and tells his "dogies" (motherless calves) to "get hip." The music was written by Don Raye, and lyrics were written by Benny Carter and Gene De Paul. The song was written for the 1942 Abbott & Costello film Ride 'Em Cowboy, which included Ella Fitzgerald as a cast member. The first recording was by Freddie Slack & his Orchestra, featuring vocalist Ella Mae Morse in 1942. The record was the second release by Capitol Records and their first million-seller/ number one on the charts record. Morse learned the song from hearing Fitzgerald on a soundtrack she had acquired, even though the song had been cut from the movie. Morse also recalled recording the song in a single take, which she had thought was only a rehearsal. The 1944 collaboration between The Ink Spotsand Ella Fitzgerald resulted in a number-one hit on the Harlem Hit Parade and a number-10 hit on the pop chart.
The Ella Mae Morse version was later re-recorded as a "soundie," an early form of music video.