"What's New?" is a 1939 popular song composed by Bob Haggart, with lyrics by Johnny Burke. It was originally an instrumental tune titled "I'm Free" by Haggart in 1938, when Haggart was a member of Bob Crosby and His Orchestra. The tune was written with a trumpet solo, meant to showcase the talents of band-mate Billy Butterfield. Crosby's orchestra recorded "I'm Free" the same day it was written.
The following year, the music publishers hired Johnny Burke to write lyrics for the tune. Burke's telling of the torch song is unique, using one side of a casual conversation between former lovers. Thus the song was retitled using the song's first line, "What's New?" The song was recorded with the new title in 1939 by Bob Crosby And His Orchestra With Vocalist Teddy Grace. The song reached a peak chart position of #10.
Other popular 1939 recordings of "What's New" include Hal Kemp and His Orchestra with Vocalist Nan Wynn, which peaked at #11, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra with vocalist Louise Tobin, which peaked at #7, and a recording by Bing Crosby which peaked at #7.
"I'm Free" was "lyricized" again in the 1990s, this time by Catherine O'Brien, who also provided lyrics to the Haggart tune "My Inspiration." O'Brien's version, published in 1996, retains the original title, "I'm Free."
"What's New" was the title of a 1983 album by Linda Ronstadt, and was the first of three albums of recordings of standards by Linda Ronstadt singing with The Nelson Riddle Orchestra with arrangements by Riddle. Her version of the song, released as the album's first single, peaked on the U.S. pop charts at #53, and achieved far greater success on the adult contemporary charts, where it peaked at #5.
- Helen Merrill - Helen Merrill (1954)
- Ella Fitzgerald - Like Someone in Love (1957)
- The Four Freshmen - Voices In Latin (1958)
- Frank Sinatra - Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958)
- Al Hirt - The Greatest Horn in the World (1961)
- Jack Jones - Where Love Has Gone (1964)
- Wes Montgomery - Smokin' at the Half Note (1965)
- Dexter Gordon with Slide Hampton - A Day In Copenhagen (1969)
- Irene Kral - Gentle Rain (piano solo by Alan Broadbent) (1977)
- Linda Ronstadt - What's New? (1983)
- Betty Carter, Carmen McRae - The Carmen McRae-Betty Carter Duets (1987)
- Sonny Rollins - What's New?
- Ana Paula Lopes - Meu (2005)
- Karrin Allyson - Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane (2001)
- Larry Coryell - Cedars of Avalon (2002)
- Maynard Ferguson - Wow: the Formative Years (2007)
- Teddi King - 'Round Midnight (2008)
|This jazz composition-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This pop standards-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|