You’re Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do?)

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page originally published on 25 July 2012; revised on 31 December 2018

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You’re Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do?) (Walter Donaldson)

From Wikipedia:

“You’re Driving Me Crazy” is an American popular song composed (music and lyrics) by Walter Donaldson in 1930 and recorded the same year by Lee Morse, Rudy Vallée & His Connecticut Yankees and Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (with vocal by Carmen Lombardo). The song became a hit and was added to the 1930 musical comedy Smiles, starring Marilyn Miller and Fred and Adele Astaire. It was also recorded in 1930 by McKinney’s Cotton Pickers and by Nick Lucas & His Crooning Troubadors. Nick Lucas‘s version, released on Brunswick, was a No. 7 hit: Brunswick 4987 (E-35404). The chords of “You’re Driving Me Crazy” form the basis for Bennie Moten‘s great “Moten Swing.”

Although SecondHandsongs.com suggests that the song was introduced by Adele Astaire & Eddie Foy, Jr. in the musical Smiles, and commercial recordings followed, this chronology doesn’t seem to be supported by facts. The first recording of the song, according SecondHandSongs.com, was that by Jack Albin and His Hotel Pennsylvania Dance Orchestra, on 21 October 1930. The musical Smiles opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 18 November 1930 and closed on 10 January 1931 after 63 performances.

Popular early recordings include those by Guy Lombardo & his Royal Canadians, Rudy Vallee & His Connecticut Yankees, and Nick Lucas & His Crooning Troubadours. The song was also covered early by Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys (26 November 1930) — among the “Bluegrass Boys” on this recording were Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Eddie Lang — and by Ben Selvin and his Orchestra (8 December 1930).

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Jack Albin and His Hotel Pennsylvania Dance Orchestra — recorded on 21 October 1930; issued on the 78 rpm single Crown Records 3002, b/w “What’s the Use of Living Without Love” (B-side recorded by Milt Shaw’s Detroiters) — In the UK the recording was released in March 1931 on Imperial Records 2408.

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Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians — recorded 11 November 1930

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Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys — recorded 26 November 1930

According to the Lee Morse discography at The Vintage Jazz Database (hotjazzpie.com), the musicians on this recording were as follows:

Lee Morse: vocal, Manny Klein: trumpet,  Tommy Dorsey: trombone, Benny Goodman: clarinet, Rube Bloom: piano, and Eddie Lang: guitar

Audio file, from Internet Archive:

Ogg Vorbis, 1.7 MB

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Louis Armstrong and his Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra — recorded in Los Angeles, CA on 23 December 1930; issued on OKeh 41478, c/w “The Peanut Vendor.”

Pops, we just muggin’ lightly.”

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Rudy Vallee & His Connecticut Yankees – 1930

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Nick Lucas-The Crooning Troubadour-1930s

Nick Lucas and His Crooning Troubadours 1930   Despite the label credit (see video), some authorities credit the recording to Nick Lucas with Victor Young and his Orchestra.

Wikipedia says,

In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought Brunswick Records. Due to their appreciation of Nick Lucas, Warner Bros. provided him with his own orchestra which was billed on his records as “The Crooning Troubadours”. This arrangement lasted until December 1931, when Warner Bros. licensed Brunswick to the American Record Corporation. The new owners were not as extravagant as Warner Bros. had previously been and Lucas lost his orchestra and eventually left Brunswick in 1932 to go freelance.

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The New York Twelve, vocal by Frank Luther recorded 29 December 1930 — Harry Reser and his Orchestra under one of its numerous pseudonyms

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Gene Austin — recorded on 29 December 1930; issued on Victor 22601, b/w “Crying Myself to Sleep!”

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Josephine Baker – 1931

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Quintet du Hot Club de France –– recorded in Paris on 21 April 1937 – QHCF: Stephane Grappelly (v), Django Reinhardt, Pierre Ferret, Marcel Bianchi (g), Louis Vola (b)

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valaida-snow-37-1-d15sh14

Valaida Snow – 1940

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Marilyn Moore — from her 1957 album Moody Marilyn Moore

From the very short Wikipedia article on the singer:

Marilyn Moore was an American jazz singer of the 1950s. Born in Oklahoma City, she is best known for her 1957 album Moody Marilyn Moore, released on Bethlehem Records. Her vocal style was almost an exact replica of Billie Holiday’s, and according to jazz critic Will Friedwald, Holiday and Moore became friends.[1] She was the first wife of saxophonist Al Cohn (who played on Moody Marilyn Moore) and the mother of guitarist Joe Cohn.[1]

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Chet Baker — recorded in NYC, August 1958 — Chet Baker (tp, vo) Kenny Drew (p) Sam Jones (b) Dannie Richmond (d) — released on the 1958 LP It Could Happen To You: Chet Baker Sings (Riverside RLP 12-278)

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Benny Golson — from the album Pop + Jazz = Swing, recorded in NY in April 1962

From Wikipedia:

Pop + Jazz = Swing is an album arranged and conducted by Benny Golson featuring performances recorded in 1962 and originally released on the Audio Fidelity label.[2] The album utilised stereophonic sound to present a jazz group on the right channel and an 11-piece pop orchestra playing the same song or a related tune on the left channel which could be separated or mixed by the listener.[3] The related jazz tunes are contrafact‘s or borrowed chord progressions where new melodies are overlaid on an existing harmonic structure.

track 1: left channel – You’re Driving Me Crazy / right channel — Moten Swing (Bennie Moten)

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