Things Ain’t What They Used To Be was written by Mercer Ellington in 1941. Mercer, son of Duke Ellington, wrote this piece for his father’s orchestra due to an ASCAP strike that restricted Duke from airing his compositions. Mercer, not under ASCAP, was not restricted by the strike. This is a popular jazz blues head and well worth learning. It’s played in many different keys but the charts provided below are in F.