“What are you doing New Year’s Eve?” — is there any more romantic question? People do a lot of self-evaluating going into a new year, and if someone wants to spend that most hallowed of nights with you, you must be pretty special.
In 1947, musical-theater vet Frank Loesser (Guys & Dolls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) put that sentiment to music with “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” And now that Christmas music is behind us, it’s time to move on to the New Year’s classics. (Check out our Ultimate Holiday Playlist here.)
Who had the best version of this NYE standard? Check out our six choices and place your vote below.
The Orioles (1949)
This doo-wop take was the first version to hit the charts, and it’s considered the original. We’re guessing these five gentlemen and their smooth voices had no trouble finding New Year’s Eve dates.
Ella Fitzgerald (1960)
More than a decade later, Ella gave the song a jazzy makeover, complete with an extended intro and a killer brass section. Lady Ella keeps it classy.
Harry Connick Jr. (1993)
This song clearly requires smooth vocals, and Connick’s tenor is as smooth as it gets. Hopefully he can pass some of his vocal prowess on to the latest American Idol contestants.
Barbra Streisand (2001)
Babs brings her flair for the dramatic to the holiday standard. And since it was written by Frank Loesser, it fits her Broadway pipes perfectly.
Rufus Wainwright (2005)
The singer/songwriter had his first taste of the mainstream when he performed 30 seconds of this song behind a piano for a 1998 Gap commercial. Seven years later, he recorded this full version.
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (2011)
This webcam YouTube video of the (50) Days of Summer co-stars gets us every time. Zooey with her ukulele and wide eyes, and Joe with his guitar and dimples — why don’t they just get up from the computer to be each other’s New Year’s dates?
How did you pick your favorite? Let us know in the comments!