Clay Aiken – A Show-Stopper!

FRANK LOESSER is one of the most versatile Broadway composers in history. He wrote five Broadway musicals. Each one was very different from the other and they all contributed to the art of the American musical theater. The three most famous musicals were Guys And Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

Before writing for Broadway, Loesser had dozens of popular hits from his Hollywood career. He wrote the 1948 Academy Award winner, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Born June 29, 1910, in New York City, Frank never studied music formally, although he came from a musical family. His father was a distinguished German-born teacher of classical piano and his older brother, Arthur, was a renowned concert pianist, musicologist and music critic. Frank refused to study classical music. His interest was in pop music, which his father disdained. So he taught himself, first the harmonica, then the piano in his early teens.

In 1961, Loesser won the Pulitzer Prize and seven Tony Awards for How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. It ran four years on Broadway and many of the songs are still enormous hits.

At this time of year, we remember Frank Loesser for his beautiful song, What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? Written in 1947, it has been recorded by many artists. But, for me, no one sings it better than Clay Aiken. It is a song that just fits his voice and personality. It was always a show-stopper when he sang it as a part of his Christmas concerts.


Maybe it’s much too early in the game
Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s Eve

Maybe I’m crazy to suppose
I’d ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations
You’d receive

Ah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s Eve

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

The following performances by Clay Aiken are  amazing.   You can see so many emotions in a short song. He certainly made the day for a few people in the audience.  I have to admit that I smiled so much last night, trying to choose what video to post.  It came down to these two and I couldn’t choose.  So…here are two of them..  The first is from Pasadena.  It means a lot because I was at this concert.  And, many, many year ago, I used to be an usher at this auditorium.  It was a great job during my school years!!

The other video is a great montage by LCV.  It puts together many of the wonderful moments of Clay’s performances of this song.  Please, take the time and watch one or both of these videos.  They are worth the time!!

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  1. Thanks so much for the memories. It's been so much fun watching Clay over the last few years as he and his voice matured. Cannot wait to see what the new year holds for him.

  2. Thrilling, exciting, lovely videos – Thank you! I saw one of Frank Loesser's shows, The Most Happy Fella, back in the middle 1950's while spending Labor Day weekend in NYC. A long
    time ago. I was also a fan of a very popular group at that time – The Four Lads – from Canada.
    Does anyone remember them? Got to meet them in 1953 and went to all of their shows, whenever, they were in the Pittsburgh area over the next few years. Got to be friends with them –
    they recorded some of Frank Loesser's songs including What Are You Doing N Y E, and Standing On The Corner. Met up a few years back with the only original, Bernie Toorish, who now
    lives near Cleveland.He still preforms with 3 others, sometimes on PBS – 50's show!
    Thanks for all the info on Frank Loesser.

  3. Thanks for the information on Mr. Loesser. I had no idea who wrote this beautiful song. And you are right, no one sings it better than Clay. I'm off to work right now, but when I return, I will definitely watch the video and montage.

  4. Pasadena was my first time seeing Clay live. I had seats in the 2nd to the last row in the balcony. The weather that night was obnoxious, almost had to swim from the parking structure to the auditorium. one of the best times in the last 7 years.. Now that I think about it, it may be 7 years to the day..

    • I do remember how rainy it was that day…I brought a friend who had never seen Clay before. SHe is now a HUGE fan!!

  5. Don't you just want to slow dance to this Clay song!? A couple of years ago, Sony put out an album called "Crooner's Christmas". Ten of the best known (i.e. Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, etc.) were on the album and Sony chose to add "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" by Clay Aiken to the mix. Doesn't get much better than that.

  6. Thank you so much for those two video's. I so remember when he sang that song right at the end. I believe I saw it at The King Center in Melbourne, Florida. Oh, my, my daughter and I wished we had seats on the floor that night. All the screaming in the audience. That video brought all that back to me. Can.not.wait.till he tours again.

    I am so excited for the new year. Have a feeling Clay is going to be very busy in 2012. <3^_^

  7. Thanks so much for this article on Mr. Loesser. I had no idea he had written WAYDNYE and that the song was witten in the 40's. I love the video clip of Clay singing it. He is amazing in every song he sings, but this one involved some audience members and was especially a heart touching song and memory.

  8. Oh, thank you for these videos. How amazing Frank's accomplishments were. Thank you, Frank, for that song that Clay sings to perfectly! I sure remember all these moments.

  9. I get all misty when I see the video of Clay dancing with the lady from the audience. That's for posting it.

  10. I was there that night that Clay danced with the lady from the audience. What excitement! He thrilled us all with that wonderful gesture. Love our guy!

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