Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)

First performed by Iréne Bordoni (1928).
First recorded and released by Irving Aaronson & His Commanders (1928).
Hit versions by The Paul Whiteman Orchestra (US #5 1929), Dorsey Brothers & their Orchestra (US #9 1929).

From the wiki: “‘Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love’ (also known as ‘Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)’ or simply ‘Let’s Do It’) was written in 1928 by Cole Porter. It was introduced in Porter’s first Broadway success, the musical Paris (A Play with Songs) (1928), by French chanteuse Irène Bordoni for whom Porter had written the musical as a starring vehicle. The song was later used in the English production of Wake Up and Dream (1929) and was also used as the title theme music in the 1933 Hollywood movie, Grand Slam.

“Irving Aaronson & His Commanders (who also performed as the ‘house band’ for the Broadway production of Paris) was the first group to release a commercial recording, in October 1928 on the Victor label. The following year, a young Bing Crosby recorded two versions of ‘Let’s Do It’ for two different but popular bands. The first was an uncredited performance in 1929 with The Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Crosby’s subsequent recording later that year with the Dorsey Brothers, however, did list him on the label as the featured vocalist.

“When published, ‘Let’s Do It’ became the first of Porter’s famous ‘list songs’, featuring a string of suggestive and droll comparisons and examples, preposterous pairings and double entendres, dropping famous names and events, drawing from highbrow and popular culture.

“One commentator saw the phrase ‘Let’s do ‘it” as a euphemistic reference to a proposition for a sexual intercourse. According to this argument, ‘Let’s Do It’ was a pioneer Pop song to declare openly ‘sex is fun’. According to it, several suggestive lines include a couplet from verse 4: ‘Moths in your rugs do it, What’s the use of moth-balls?’ and ‘Folks in Siam do it, Think of Siamese twins’. There’s also a report that Porter’s original version included the even more risqué line, ‘Roosters with a doodle and a cock do it’.

“The original publication of ‘Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)’ also conveyed three derogatory racial terms: ‘Chinks’, ‘Japs’ and ”little’ Lapps’. The original line is heard in the early recordings of the song, including the Whiteman and Dorsey Brothers’ arrangements, separate recordings in 1941 by Peggy Lee (with the Benny Goodman Orchestra) and Billie Holiday, and as late as a 1944 release by Mary Martin before Porter excised the line and replaced it with the now-familiar opening refrain ‘Birds do it, bees do it/Even educated fleas do it’.”

The Paul Whiteman Orchestra, “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)” (1928):

The Dorsey Brothers & their Orchestra with Bing Crosby, “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)” (1929):

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