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), Ella Fitzgerald (1960), Danté & the Evergreens (US #106 1960), Billy Ward & His Dominoes (1965), 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 any particular movie or musical. Loesser was an American songwriter who had written lyrics and music for the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the latter, and was also 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’.

“First recorded by popular singer Margaret Whiting in 1947, ‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve’ made its first appearance on a music chart in 1949 when The Orioles arrangement peaked at #9 on Billboard’s Best-Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues chart in December 1949. Other later charting versions include Danté & The Evergreens (#107 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles in December 1960) and Nancy Wilson (twice, when her original 1963 recording peaked at #17 on Billboard’s Christmas Singles chart in December 1965 and again at #24 on the same chart in December 1967). ‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve’ also became the final single release for Billy Ward & His Dominoes, as the B-side to ‘O Holy Night’ in 1965, after 15 years of recording success.

“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 later 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 20 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):

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):

Billy Ward & His Dominoes, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (1965):

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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