It took a little detective work to find the final answer(s).
Baby It’s Cold Outside was written by Frank Loesser in 1944, and he originally sang it with his wife, Lynn Garland at their housewarming party, towards the end of the party, as a subtle ‘good night’ to their guests. It was written as a “wolf” and “mouse” duet in an era when seduction was the basis of the battle of the sexes; when choosing between being a ‘good girl’ or a ‘naughty’ one really depended on the moment, and the charm of the seducer.
By today’s standards, many people consider the song a bit “rapey” with the first assumption of whatever was put into the drink mentioned in the song was a ‘roofie.’ I’m pretty sure that Frank didn’t ‘roofie’ his wife, and the song was first heard in 1994’s Neptune’s Daughter. We’re pretty sure think alcohol was in the drink.
It has been recorded by many artists since its original release.
But who sang it with Dean?
There was a recording with Martina McBride that was released in 2006, although Dean died in 1995. Studio magic created that version.
Many people swear it’s Doris Day, but she sang it with Bing Crosby.
Dean Martin recorded the song for his 1959 album A Winter Romance, with a chorus of women, although some reports say it was Marilyn Maxwell. The trick is in the assumption that the song that we’ve been associating with the 1959 album obviously wasn’t.
The version we hear with a single woman (Marilyn Maxwell), not a chorus, singing was recorded on 1949, and is available on “The Very Best of Dean Martin” and “Relax, It’s Dan Martin Vol Two” along with several Christmas Anthology albums.
Dean originally performed the duet of this song with Marylin Maxwell on his radio show with Jerry Lewis called the “Martin and Lewis Show” in 1949, and that is the source of the duet. On one of those shows, Marylin Maxwell was the guest. They did a sketch about gangsters and the sketch ended something like this:
Dean (Dino Martinez): Well, Rocky’s (Jerry Lewis) gone
Marylin: Yep, Rocky’s gone. Well… I better be getting home
Dean: But Marylin you can’t-a go now.
Marylin: I can’t? Why not
Dean: Because-a baby it’s-a cold outside. (song begins…)
*Thanks to Bob Falkenstein (and others) for help solving the mystery!
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