What a Diff'rence a Day Made

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"What a Diff'rence a Day Makes"
Dinah Washington - What a Diff'rence a Day Made.JPEG
Single by Dinah Washington
from the album What a Diff'rence a Day Makes!
B-side"Come On Home"
GenrePop, vocal jazz
LabelMercury Records
Songwriter(s)María Grever, Stanley Adams (English lyrics)[1]
Dinah Washington singles chronology
"Make Me a Present of You"
"What a Diff'rence a Day Makes"

"What a Diff'rence a Day Made", also recorded as "What a Difference a Day Makes", is a popular song originally written in Spanish by María Grever, a Mexican songwriter, in 1934 with the title "Cuando vuelva a tu lado" ("When I Return to Your Side"). The song is also known in English as “What a Diff'rence a Day Makes”, as popularized by Dinah Washington.[2]

English adaptation[edit]

The English lyrics were written by Stanley Adams, and was played by Harry Roy & his Orchestra. It was published in late 1934. The most successful early recording, in 1934, was by the Dorsey Brothers, although it was first recorded in English by Cleveland crooner Jimmie Ague.[3]

Dinah Washington version[edit]

Dinah Washington won a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance with this song. Her version was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.[4] It also earned her first top ten pop hit, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5]


Chart (1959) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 8
US Billboard Hot R&B Sides 1

Esther Phillips version[edit]

In 1975, Esther Phillips recorded her version of the song. Her comeback record had a disco feel to it. The Esther Phillips version reached number two on the disco charts.[6] Her version also did well on the US soul and Top 40 charts. Phillips performed the song on Saturday Night Live, during its first season.


Chart (1975) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 38
US Hot 100 20
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles 10
U.S. Billboard Dance Club Songs 2
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening Chart 33

Other versions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The song, as performed by Dinah Washington, is used in the soundtrack of the following films:


  1. ^ Ascap entry for song ASCAP, accessed January 9, 2011.
  2. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 17 - The Soul Reformation: More on the evolution of rhythm and blues. [Part 3]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  3. ^ "What a Difference a Day Makes", Songs With Earlier Histories, August 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Grammy Hall of Fame
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 611.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 202.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 233. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "The official SHELLS music website".
  9. ^ "The official Robin Pearkes music website".
  10. ^ "What a Difference a Day Made". BobbyDarin.com. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  11. ^ Victoria Cordova & Alfredo Antonini Orchestra perform "What a Difference a Day Made" for Muzak in The Library of Congress Online Catalog at catalog.loc.gov
  12. ^ "What a Difference a Day Made". BobbyDarin.com. 1960-02-02. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  13. ^ "Little Anthony And The Imperials* – Goin' Out Of My Head" at Discogs.
  14. ^ IRIS CHACÓN - "What a difference a day makes
  15. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Jacky Terrasson - Jacky Terrasson | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Artist: China Moses & Raphael Lemonnier". Second Hand Songs. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2013-06-10.