What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?

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"What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?"
Written 1916

"What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?" is a song written by Joseph McCarthy, Howard Johnson and James V. Monaco in 1916.[1] It was released in 1917 by Ada Jones and Billy Murray on Victor Records (catalogue number 18224).[2]


It became a UK hit in 1959 when a doo-wop version, produced by Michael Barclay, became a number one hit for Emile Ford & the Checkmates over the Christmas and New Year of 1959/60, having overtaken Adam Faith's 'What Do You Want?'.[3] Its stay in the UK Singles Chart began on 31 October 1959 and lasted 17 weeks.[4] The last chart-topper of the 1950s, it retained the number one position for the first three weeks of 1960 until it was replaced by Michael Holliday's 'Starry Eyed' on 29 January 1960.[3]

The 1945 film Nob Hill, starring George Raft, Joan Bennett and Peggy Ann Garner, featured Vivian Blaine singing this song. The 1950 film Wabash Avanue, starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Phil Harris, had used the chorus as a transition between scenes, following "I've Been Floating Down the Old Green River"

In 1960, Danish rock singer Otto Brandenburg recorded a cover of the song that gave him his breakthrough on the Danish music scene. The song was also successfully covered by Shakin' Stevens in 1987. This version first entered the charts on 28 November 1987. It spent eight weeks there and peaked at No. 5.[5]

In 1963, Italian singer Don Backy recorded another cover of the song, using Italian lyrics, under the title "Ho rimasto". The title is intentionally grammatically wrong (it should have been "Sono rimasto") to catch public attention.

Les Gray's 1977 recording is on Warner Bros. Records K 17007.[6]

Swedish singer Christer Sjögren released recorded the song on his 2008 album Mitt sköna sextiotal.[7]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1959/1960) Peak
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[8] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[9] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 1

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Copyright 1916 Leo Feist Inc., USA. Sub-published Francis Day & Hunter Ltd., U.K.
  2. ^ "Victor 18224". Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records. University of California, Santa Barbara Library. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 47. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  4. ^ "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Chartstats.com. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 530. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "Les Gray - What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  7. ^ "Mitt sköna sextiotal / Christer Sjögren" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – EMILE FORD & THE CHECKMATES – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THOSE EYES AT ME FOR?" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  9. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – EMILE FORD & THE CHECKMATES – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THOSE EYES AT ME FOR?". VG-lista. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  10. ^ "October 1959/ Archive Chart: 30 October 1959" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved September 9, 2013.


  • Nostalgia Book of Hit *Singles by Jimmy Saville and Tony Jasper (page 60, 1st pub. in G.B. in 1982 by Frederick Muller Ltd.)
  • Rock File 4 edited by Charlie Gillett & Simon Firth (page 167, 1st pub. 1976 by Panther Books Ltd., Frogmore, St Albans, Herts. U.K.)
Preceded by
"Boom Boom Baby" by Crash Craddock
Australian Singles Chart number-one single
12 March – 2 April 1960
Succeeded by
"Beatnik Fly" by Johnny and the Hurricanes