What are we doing New Year’s Eve? Oh, not much. Just sticking close to home, staying socially distanced.
“When the bells all ring and the horns all blow
“And the couples that we know are fondly kissing
“Will I be with you or will I be among the missing?”
We’re all among this missing this year, making this classic all the more poignant as 2020 finally ends. Maybe next New Year’s Eve.
Written by Frank Loesser in 1947, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” has been described as the only notable jazz standard with a New Year’s Eve theme. This sophisticated tune tempers an unrequited love with some hope. We all could use some hope these days.
It’s great no matter who does it. Let’s go.
It’s the ’60s. You’re in a roadhouse, the one hard by the tracks. You hear this.
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” King Curtis, from “Soul Christmas,” 1968. (Recorded on Oct. 23, 1968, at Atlantic Studios in New York. That’s Duane Allman on guitar.)
Then you head uptown to a nightclub. You hear this …
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” the Ramsey Lewis Trio,” from “Sound of Christmas,” 1961.
… and this …
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” Eydie Gorme, from “That Holiday Feeling!” Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, 1964. (Steve sits this one out.)
… and this.
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” Lou Rawls, from “Merry Christmas Ho Ho Ho,” 1967.
Four decades later, you wander into a hotel ballroom …
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” Brian Setzer and Julie Reiten, from “Dig That Crazy Christmas,” the Brian Setzer Orchestra, 2005.
This blog post originally appeared here in different form … 10 years ago. Man. Where does the time go?