The "What's New" Linda Ronstadt and
Nelson Riddle Concert Page

A listing of the songs in the concert, when they were hits and who originally sang them

 
In 1984 Linda Ronstadt, known as the queen of rock and roll, made a gutsy move: at the beginning of the hard-driving Madonna era she dared to release a series of albums with songs taken mostly from the 1930s and 40s. The gamble paid off because the album was so successful it sold over 3,000,000 copies resulting in the RIAA certifying it as triple-platinum, two more albums were released and were also hits, the concert was a great success and Nelson Riddle picked up a few Grammys in the process. Linda Ronstadt's courage and determination to produce these albums exposed a whole new generation to the sounds of the pre-swing and swing eras.

VHS tapes of a concert featuring many of the songs from the albums are still available from second party dealers on Amazon.com and occasionally on Ebay. While the tape is entertaining I have to admit that I was disappointed that no mention was made either on the cover, during the performance, or in the credits of who originally performed the songs. This information was also impossible to find on the Internet so I decided to create the following page to provide a listing of the song titles, who originally sang them, when they were hits, and their highest chart position. Most of these songs were released several times by different artists. The information came from Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories, 1890-1954, 1986, published by Record Research. The songs are listed in their order on the VHS tape accompanied in three cases with YouTube videos of the songs.

 
1. I've Got a Crush on You (slow ballad)

Originally performed by: Joe Sullivan,.. 1940, top chart position: 30
................................Frank Sinatra, 1948, top chart position: 21

 
2. What's New (slow ballad)

Originally performed by: Bing Crosby,...... 1939, top chart position: 2
................................Benny Goodman, .1939, top chart position: 7
................................Bob Crosby, .......1939, top chart position: 10
................................Hal Kemp, ..........1939, top chart position: 11

 

3. Keep'n Out of Mischief Now (perky)

Originally performed by: Louis Armstrong,........... 1932, top chart position: 17
................................Coon-Sanders Orchestra, 1939, top chart position:. 2

 

4. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry (ballad)

Originally performed by: Harry James, 1945, top chart position: 16

 

5. Falling in Love Again (sassy)

Originally performed by: Marlene Dietrich,.1930s (never charted)
.................................Billie Holiday, .....1930s, (never charted)

6. Someone to Watch Over Me (ballad)

Originally performed by: Gertrude Lawrence, 1927, top chart position: 2
.................................George Olsen, .......1927, top chart position: 3
.................................George Gershwin, ...1927, top chart position: 17

7. Daddy (very fast and perky)

Originally performed by: Sammy Kaye,.... 1941, top chart position: 1 (for 8 weeks)
................................Joan Merrill, .......1941, top chart position: 13
................................Frankie Masters,..1941, top chart position: 21

 
8. Mr. Sandman (fast, bright, lively - my favorite of the tape)

Originally performed by: The Chordettes, 1954, top chart position: 1 (for 7 weeks)
.................................Buddy Morrow,.. 1954, top chart position: 20
.................................The Lancers, ....1954, top chart position: 28
.................................Four Aces, .......1955, top chart position: 5

 

9. I've Got a Guy (Girl) in Kalamazoo (Fast, perky - a rewrite of the Glenn Miller hit)

Originally performed by: Glenn Miller, 1942, top chart position: 1 (for 8 weeks)

 

10. Dream (When You're Feeling Blue) (ballad)

Originally performed by: The Pied Pipers,..1945, top chart position: 1 (for 1 week)
.................................Frank Sinatra, ...1945, top chart position: 5
.................................Freddy Martin, ...1945, top chart position: 9
.................................Jimmy Dorsey,....1945, top chart position: 15
.................................The Four Aces,...1954, top chart position: 17

 

11. Choo Choo Ch'Boogie (very fast)

Originally performed by: Louis Jordan,.1946, top chart position: 7

 

12. I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance (with You) (ballad)

Originally performed by: Bing Crosby,.1933, top chart position: 5
................................Ted Fio Rito,.1945, top chart position: 12

 
13. Lover Man (slow ballad)

Originally performed by: Billie Holiday,.1945, top chart position: 16

 

14. Goodbye (very slow ballad)

Originally performed by: Paul Specht,.1923, top chart position: 10

 

 

 
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