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What's New?

A 1939 popular song composed by Bob Haggart, with lyrics by Johnny Burke.

PUBLISHED: May 18, 2013 • UPDATED: May 18, 2013 • VIEWS: 19 • LESSON CODE: UL577

Instruments: ukulele leadsheet playalong ANY Subjects: jazzballadrepertoire

View the Download section below to download the song files for the complete and most up-to-date versions.

What's New? is a 1939 popular song composed by Bob Haggart, with lyrics by Johnny Burke. It was originally an instrumental tune titled "I'm Free" by Haggart in 1938, when Haggart was a member of Bob Crosby and His Orchestra. The tune was written with a trumpet solo, meant to showcase the talents of band-mate Billy Butterfield. Crosby's orchestra recorded "I'm Free" the same day it was written.

The following year, the music publishers hired Johnny Burke to write lyrics for the tune. Burke's telling of the torch song is unique, using one side of a casual conversation between former lovers. Thus the song was retitled using the song's first line, "What's New?". The song was recorded with the new title in 1939 by Bob Crosby and His Orchestra with vocalist Teddy Grace. The song reached a peak chart position of #10.

"What's New" was the title track of a Triple Platinum 1983 album by Linda Ronstadt, one of three recordings she released backed by The Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Linda's earnest version of the song, released as the album's first single, reached the Top 40 of the Cash Box Top 100 chart and peaked at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100. It achieved far greater success at Adult Contemporary radio, where it spent several weeks in the Top Five.


Whats New - Premium Playalong Track

This play-along is ONLY available to active users with Gold Level, Premium Site Access. “Can't give it all away.”

Here is a FREE track as a sample of the quality of these custom play-along tracks.

Desafinado - Premium Playalong Track with Guitar Melody Played

I, (Curt) originally created these tracks to perform over for gigs and this was a demo for booking gigs.

These Premium Playalong Tracks are available to LearningUkulele.com Site Members and are my personal one-of-kind tracks I (Curt) and Chuck Anderson recorded and arranged.

Download the Lead Sheet and have a go at it.

Main Song Download(s)

The main downloads for this Song.

What's New - Premium Play-along Track Leadsheet
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

Leadsheet to the premium play-along track What's New in key of C.


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What's New - Premium Play-along Track
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

Premium play-along track for What's New in the key of C.


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Song Road Map

Tips and tricks for remembering a song.

Remembering songs is all about the form and harmonic content and movement with taking in the similarities between songs. And, just like a road map they're landmarks that will trigger memories of how to get through various sections, changes or parts of a song.

This section of a song's page presents some tips on how I try and remember a particular song.


No Road Map for What's New? check back soon.

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for What's New? at this time.

Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation • Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Core Chords is a series of lessons for building your core, essential 4-part chords. These chords commonly called jazz chords, are really just 4-part chords used in a wide range of musical styles.

The Big Six chords include: Seventh 7, Major Seventh maj7, Minor Seventh m7, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five diminished 7 m7b5, Diminished Seventh o7 and Augmented Seventh +7. These six chords form a core set of chords.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for What's New? at this time.

Types of Chords Available on Ukulele
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The types of chords possible on ukulele include open position chords, movable form chords, 4-part chords, a.k.a. jazz chords and free from chords.

Common Chord Progressions and Remembering Songs
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Learning the similarities between chord progressions and songs helps you remember a lot of songs. There's a lot more in common between songs than one might think.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale and Chord Selection
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Harmonic Analysis is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression or song. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and is a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality.

Basic Ukulele Chords Charts
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Not so much a series - but the basic chords ALL ukulele players should know.

Jazz Standard Chord Progressions
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

These are the chord progressions, extracted from my book Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele for use with on-line and private students.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm by Chuck Anderson
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Modular Phonetic Rhythm represents a significant advance in the teaching and application of rhythm. Eliminating many inefficient aspects of rhythm education, Modular Phonetic Rhythm streamlines the traditional educational approach, resulting in a reflexive reaction to rhythm.

Core Ukulele Chords - The Big Six
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Core Chords for Ukulele, The Big Six - From four F7 chord voicings or shapes, your can build your massive 4-part, a.k.a., “jazz” chord vocabulary. Beyond basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and a core set of 4-part chords. There are just too many chords shapes too memorize. Learning the principles of how chords are constructed and the ukulele fingerboard are the way to go. Then you can create more advanced chords like 9#11, 7#5-9, 13b5, 7+9 on the fly as needed.

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

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