Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

First recorded by Margaret Whiting (1947).
Other popular versions by The Les Paul Trio (1947), The Orioles (R&B #9 1949), Billy Ward & The Dominoes (1953), Ella Fitzgerald (1960), Danté & the Evergreens (US #106 1960), Nancy Wilson (XMAS #17 1965 |XMAS #24 1967), The Carpenters (1985), Rufus Wainwright (2005), Zooey Dechanel & Joseph Gordon-Levitt (2011).

From the wiki: “‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?’ was written in 1947 by Frank Loesser as an ‘independent song’ — not written for a particular movie or musical. Loesser was an American songwriter who wrote the lyrics and music to the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the latter, and was nominated for five Academy Awards for best song, winning once, for ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside‘. Among Loesser’s other notable songs: ‘Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition’, ‘Heart and Soul’, ‘On a Slow Boat to China’, and ‘Luck Be a Lady Tonight’.

“‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve’ first charted for The Orioles, peaking at #9 on Billboard’s Best-Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues chart in December 1949. Other charted versions include Danté & The Evergreens (#107 on Billboards Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles in December 1960) and Nancy Wilson (twice, first at #17 on Billboards Christmas Singles chart in December 1965 and again at #24 on the same chart in December 1967).

“In 2005, ‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?’ appeared on the album The McGarrigle Christmas Hour, a program of Christmas music recorded by the McGarrigle sisters, Kate and Anna, a number of friends and collaborators, and their family including Kate’s son, Rufus Wainwright. The album was named as #21 on the list of 40 Essential Christmas Albums by Rolling Stone magazine.

“A video posted by Hello Giggles, featuring a duet with co-founder Zooey Deschanel and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has garnered more than 18 million views since being uploaded to YouTube on December 28, 2011.”

The Les Paul Trio with Dick Haymes, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1947):

The Orioles, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1949):

Billy Ward & The Dominoes, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1953):

Ella Fitzgerald, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1960):

Danté & the Evergreens, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1960):

Nancy Wilson, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (recorded 1963):

The Carpenters, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1985):

Rufus Wainwright, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (2005):

Zooey Dechanel & Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (2011):

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