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It was first recorded by Margaret Whiting in 1947 and first charted for The Orioles, peaking at No. 9 on Billboard's Best-Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues chart in December 1949. Other charted versions include Danté & The Evergreens (No. 107 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles in December 1960) and Nancy Wilson (No. 17 on Billboard's Christmas Singles chart in December 1965 and No. 24 on the same chart in December 1967).
Although it is typically performed in December, that was not the composer's intent. In A Most Remarkable Fella: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life, his daughter Susan Loesser explains that "the singer, madly in love, is making a (possibly rash) commitment far into the future. ("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?") It always annoyed my father when the song was sung during the holidays".