New York native Irving Aaronson started out as a classically trained pianist who studied with Alfred Sendry at the David Mannes School for Music. Aaronson began his career at the age of 11, playing piano in nickelodeons. He is shown in some sources as being a member of Sophie Tucker's Five Kings of Syncopation, but this is likely a result of Aaronson's name being mixed up with that of pianist Jack Aaronson, who also worked with Ted Lewis. Around 1920, Aaronson started a dance group called the Versatile Sextette, which had changed its name to the Crusaders Dance Band by the time it made its first recording on one of the least-known Edison Diamond Discs (51685) in 1925. Reorganized in 1926 as Irving Aaronson and the Commanders, the group began to record for Victor late in the year and scored an immediate hit with "Crazy Words, Crazy Tune," containing the catchy chorus "vo-do-dee-oh/vo-do-do-dee-oh-doh." Although the California Ramblers had recorded "Vo-do-de-o Blues" in 1924, the Aaronson title was more or less the record that spread this term to the American public.