Appreciating all that makes America special

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Baby, It's Cold Outside, www.greatamericanthings.netHe’s wanting her to stay, she can’t make up her mind. Such a simple idea, but brilliantly executed by the wonderful Frank Loesser in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Frank and his wife Lynn Garland premiered the song at the end of one of their parties, and those in attendance loved it. Loesser sold the song to MGM, which included it (twice) in the film Neptune’s Daughter. And what did he get for it, other than a nice stipend? How about an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Baby, It's Cold Outside,

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Over the years, the song has been recorded by some terrific (and sometimes odd) couples, including: Rock Hudson and Mae West…Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark…Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting (my personal favorite)…Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald…Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams…Ray Charles and Dionne Warwick…Buster Poindexter and Sigourney Weaver…James Caan and Bette Midler…Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel…Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera…even Rudolf Nureyev and Miss Piggy.

Loesser (perhaps better known for writing such musicals as How to Succeed in Business and Guys and Dolls) probably never imagined that his song would make such strange, um, bedfellows. Nor that his mostly innocent song would be completely misinterpreted by the schizophrenic modern America that is at the same time libertine and neo-puritan. Nevertheless, you can’t hide brilliance under a barrel, and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is undeniably an American classic.

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