Happy Music Monday New Year!
Fun fact: the featured image was from December 31, 2006, during a Las Vegas concert. We know what former Chicago bassist Jason Scheff and current Chicago guitarist Keith Howland were doing on New Year’s Eve that year!
So, a new year is upon us. Out with 2017, in with 2018. We’re closing in on the end of the 2010s with fierce determination. I remember 20 years ago, as the 90s were moving into the final two years. It was a fun time, or as fun as it could be when you’re 15 years old and your only opportunity to drink something “celebratory” was sparkling grape juice or cider. I’m still more partial to those drinks, even as a 35-year-old.
I recently acquired the third Chicago Christmas album for my collection, 2011’s Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three, which features more Christmas favorites by the horns and rock band from the Windy City, as well as several guest artists and another collection of cute crooners to wrap the album up. The recording session featuring the children’s choir was part of the documentary Chicago World Tour 2011. While my favorite collection is truly the first collection (that would be Chicago XXV – I wrote about that album and the second – What’s It Gonna Be Santa? last year on Retroist), this one is a good addition to the previous two releases. It also features the semi-current lineup (I say semi-current because it is the current lineup, but with Jason Scheff, and he left the group in 2016). Scheff sang several songs on the album, including the 1947 Frank Loesser-penned song “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”
The original history of the song was that it was produced independently – no movie or musical tie-in. It was a hit for The Orioles in 1949, and has been covered many times over the years, by classic and contemporary artists alike. The only other version of this song I have is the Seth McFarlane version for 2013’s Holiday For Swing. If you’re looking for a good Christmas album next year, please keep that in mind. You don’t have to be a fan of his humor or his work, just songs sung by a lovely 1940s-style voice.
That same voice proclaimed “I Saw Your Boobs!”, but that’s here nor there, and hey, I wasn’t offended. And I have boobs.
Enough of that, more of the music.
This version of the song, as I said, is sung by the lovely voice of Jason Scheff. He’s playing the guy who wants to know where someone will be on that night. Trust me, if he sang this to me, I’d have an answer to the question.
I say this because in that 2011 world tour documentary, he sang “If You Leave Me Now” to a woman in a group of people who got a private meet and greet with the band. He sang it a capella. The woman looked like she was going to melt. If that were me, I would have done the same.
Anyway, enjoy this lovely version of the classic song, sung by the guy who did justice as a lead singer for Chicago for 31 years. I still miss his lovely voice.
Happy New Year, and all the best in 2018!