"How Important Can It Be?" is a popularsong written by Bennie Benjamin and George David Weiss and published in 1955. The lyrics of the song find the narrator asking her lover why her indiscretions with other boyfriends before him matter at all, now that she loves him so and vows to be true to him.
The versions by James and Jackson, though short pieces at 2 minutes and 30 seconds, are classic and timeless, and capture the emotion of the singer.
The 1950s version by Joni James was used in the popular Academy Award-winning motion picture LA Confidential.
The song was first presented to James by the music publisher Tommy Valando, according to her international fan club president Wayne Brasler of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. James recorded it at her first session in New York City, after moving from her hometown of Chicago, with arranger David Terry. However, after listening to the playback she and her career director and future husband Tony Acquaviva felt, in her words, "something was missing." She came up with the idea of a shuffle beat and male chorus in the style of The Four Aces, and planned to redo the song at her next session.
Meanwhile, Sarah Vaughan recorded the song, then Teresa Brewer, then Lou Monte. The Vaughan version was just about to come out when James recorded her second version, which MGM Records rush-released, stepping on a James hit headed up the charts to number one, "When We Come of Age". The label tried promoting both singles, but "Important" quickly overshadowed "Age". Beyond that distraction, the flip side of "Important", the lush ballad "This Is My Confession" got big radio and jukebox play.