What'll I Do
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"What'll I Do" is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1923. It was introduced by singers Grace Moore and John Steel late in the run of Berlin's third Music Box Revue and also was included in the following year's (1924) edition. In the lyrics, the singer questions how he or she will get by now that a recent romance has ended.
The song was used as a generalized theme in Nelson Riddle's Academy Award-winning period score for the 1974 film The Great Gatsby starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, sung by character actor William Atherton. It was sung by Mary Steenburgen in the 1991 movie, The Butcher's Wife, and was used as the theme tune to the British sitcom Birds of a Feather. An instrumental version of the song was used under the closing scene of "I Do, Adieu" (1987), the fifth season finale of the sitcom Cheers.
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"What'll I Do" is a popular standard and has been recorded by many artists. Following is a partial list of artists who have recorded versions (in alphabetical order):
- Alvin and the Chipmunks, as "What'll We Do" on the 1983 Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "The Incredible Shrinking Dave"
- Bea Arthur, on the 1992 Golden Girls episode "Journey to the Center of Attention"
- Chet Baker
- Sonny Bono performed it as the opening number in his Summer 1974 replacement show, his first TV variety show without Cher, after their break-up
- Pat Boone
- Chris Botti, from his album When I Fall in Love with vocals by Paula Cole
- Elkie Brooks
- Jim Campilongo
- Cher, on the album Dark Lady
- Rosemary Clooney - Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Irving Berlin (1984)
- Nat King Cole - The Absolutely Essential Collection (2009)
- Perry Como
- Michael Crawford - Songs From the Stage and Screen (1987)
- The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
- Judith Durham for her album, Judith Durham and The Hottest Band in Town Volume 2 (1974).
- Bob Dylan (2015)
- Fee and Foo, in the Harvey Beaks episode "The Negatives of Being Positively Charged"
- The Fleetwoods (1963)
- Art Garfunkel - Some Enchanted Evening (2007)
- Judy Garland
- Crystal Gayle
- Georgia Gibbs
- Eydie Gorme
- Dick Haymes
- Judy Holliday - Trouble Is a Man (2003)
- Lena Horne
- Burl Ives
- Eyran Katsenelenbogen, on his 2009 album, 88 Fingers
- Alison Krauss for the film Mona Lisa Smile
- Cleo Laine
- Joey Lawrence
- Julie London
- Charlie Landsborough
- Nick Lucas
- Art Lund
- Gloria Lynne
- Olivia Newton John, during her TV special Olivia
- Pink Martini
- Johnny Mathis
- Kate & Anna McGarrigle with Loudon Wainwright III, Martha Wainwright, and Rufus Wainwright
- Anne Murray
- Willie Nelson
- Harry Nilsson
- Bernadette Peters performed a particularly poignant TV solo in the mid-1970s, but no public recording exists; she also sang it to Johnny Carson on one of his last shows (The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson) on April 15, 1992
- Walter Pidgeon (1924)
- Lou Rawls
- Redhot & Blue
- Rita Reys
- Linda Robson & Pauline Quirke recorded a version for series 3 - 10 of the sitcom Birds of a Feather
- Linda Ronstadt with Nelson Riddle, on the album What's New (1983)
- Jan Rot translated in Dutch as "Hoe Zal Het Zijn"
- The Mike Sammes Singers
- Bobby Scott
- Second Edition (quartet), a modern Barbershop Quartet
- Anne Shelton
- Dinah Shore
- Frank Sinatra - recorded in 1947 & 1962
- Nancy Sinatra
- Tierney Sutton - Dancing in the Dark, 2004
- Johnny Tillotson
- Sarah Vaughan
- Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
- Slim Whitman
- Dianne Wiest, in the Woody Allen movie, 'September' (1987)
- Lyman, Darryl (1996). Jewish Heroes & Heroines: Their Unique Achievements. Jonathan David. p. 183. ISBN 0824603885.
- "Second Hand Songs - Artist: Irving Berlin" (list), SecondHandSongs.com, 2007-03-24, webpage: IBerlin1096.
- "American Classics - Music Box Revues 1921-1924" (history), webpage: AmClass-IBerlin.
- "When I Fall In Love Review". Allmusic.com.
- "Chris Botti A Smash on Late-Night TV". SmoothVibes.com.