New York New York has become a well-known song and theme for New York City.
The song debuted in the 1977 Martin Scorsese film New York New York.
Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb wrote the song for the film. “Composers Kander and Ebb stated on the A&E Biography episode about Liza Minnelli, that they attribute the song’s success to actor Robert De Niro, who rejected their original theme for the film because he thought it was “too weak”.”
Liza Minnelli performed the song in the film and it has become part of her standard repertoire.
In October 1978, Frank Sinatra performed the song during his performances at Radio City Music Hall and the song began to gain momentum.
In 1979, Frank Sinatra recorded the song for his album Trilogy: Past Present Future and released the following year.
Sinatra’s version was nominated for a Grammy Award for Record Of The Year. It lost to “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. “Someone joked that I beat Sinatra, so I’d better watch my back,” Cross told us.
In 1985, New York Mayor pushed to make the song the city’s official anthem but it was never made official.
Sinatra and Minnelli performed the song as a duet on occasion and Sinatra recorded a duet of the song with Tony Bennett in 1993.
Sinatra sang another song about New York New York in the 1944 musical On the Town. This song was written by Leonard Bernstein, Adolph Green and Betty Comden.
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