Button Up Your Overcoat

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"Button Up Your Overcoat" is a popular song. The music was written by Ray Henderson, the lyrics by B.G. DeSylva and Lew Brown. The song was published in 1928, and was first performed later that same year by vocalist Ruth Etting. However, the most famous rendition of this song was recorded early the following year by singer Helen Kane, who was at the peak of her popularity at the time. Kane's childlike voice and Bronx dialect eventually became the inspiration for the voice of cartoon character Betty Boop (most famously using Kane's famous catchphrase Boop Boop a Doop).

From January 9, 1929 to December 21, 1929 Jack Haley and Zelma O'Neal sang "Button Up Your Overcoat" on Broadway in the musical Follow Thru. They reprised the song in the theatrical release which opened on September 27, 1930 which was also one of the first movies in Technicolor.

The composition was arranged and recorded by John Serry, Sr. with his ensemble for Dot Records (catalog #DLP-3024) for a 33 RPM vinyl recording entitled Squeeze Play in 1956.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1956, Gordon MacRae sang "Button Up Your Overcoat" in the movie The Best Things in Life Are Free.

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band recorded a popular cover version in 1966 as the B-side of their "Alley Oop" single.

In 1969, the song was parodied in a television commercial for Contac cold capsules. In that commercial, a group of blonde chorus girls known as "The Cold Diggers of 1969" sing and dance to "Button Up Your Overcoat" in a Busby Berkeley- style production number.

Father Mulcahy and Hawkeye sing "Button Up Your Overcoat" in episode 20, season 6 of M*A*S*H, "Mail Call Three".

In the 1985 film The Sure Thing, two characters sing "Button Up Your Overcoat" as part of a medley of show tunes during a road trip. The song also appears on the movie's soundtrack.[2]

In 1997, the Kidsongs Kids and the Biggles sung "Button Up Your Overcoat" as part of the Kidsongs: I Can Do It! VHS/DVD.

Helen Kane's 1929 cover of the song appears anachronistically in the 2013 video game BioShock Infinite, set in 1912, and can be heard in the Downtown Emporia level.[3]

The song was added to the 1993 revision of the musical Good News.

The Hi-Lo's included the song on their 2006 A Musical Thrill album.