New York New York, Theme from New York New York actually, was written by Fred Ebb and composed by John Kander for the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York in 1977. In 1979, Frank Sinatra recorded the song for his album Trilogy: Past Present Future. Frank Sinatra sang the song many times in his concerts, and also as a duet with Liza Minnelli in a concert, and with Tony Bennett in his Duets album.
In some of his concerts, Frank Sinatra adds the part of the song New York New York (from the film On The Town, 1944) to the beginning of this song.
New York, New York, a helluva town.
The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.
The people ride in a hole in the groun’.
New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!
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New York New York was a big success for Frank Sinatra. In all of his concerts, we can hear the audience literally going crazy when New York New York starts. It then replaced My Way, and became the new national anthem.
Frank first sang New York New York in public in October 1978, during a charity event at Waldorf-Astoria. The previous year, when it had been the theme song for the movie, it had not really taken off. Performed live by Frank, it became a show-stopper. It was in 1979 , in Los Angeles, that he made the recording that endures today. It came over as a new, defiant personal statement as much as a paean to a city.
In June 1980, in a fever of anticipation, New Yorkers thronged to hear Frank at Carnegie Hall. San Diego Union-Leader columnist Don Freeman recalled how on hearing the first tentative sounds of the song the audience “erupted into a thunderclap of loving recognition. Sinatra the wise showman allowed the applause and the cheers to reach a high decibel peak, and descend into a deliciously tense, expectant silence. Sinatra the artist would bring the audience along the heights again, but on his terms. He puffed on a cigarette, sipped from a glass of wine. And then he sang New York New York… Unforgettable”
The following part is from the book Sinatra! The Song Is You, Will Friedwald.
By far the most commercially successful number of The Present –on all of Trilogy, in fact- was not any kind of youth-directed pop-art at all but what amounts to a show tune from a flop film, “New York New York.” Frank Military, who had left Sinatra’s employ at the end of the Capitol era, rightfully busts his buttons with pride at having been the first to pull Sinatra’s coattails to this piece of material. “I sent him the song, and he said he would listen to it. I kept calling Dorothy