Composer Walter Donaldson had enjoyed many successes with lyricist Gus Kahn before publishing “You’re Driving Me Crazy” in 1930 for which he also wrote the lyric. They scored the 1928 Broadway musical Whoopee! which produced two hits that became jazz standards, “Makin’ Whoopee” and “Love Me or Leave Me.” For the film version of Whoopee! they added another song which became a hit, “My Baby Just Cares for Me.”
Mel Torme sang and recorded “You’re Driving Me Crazy” many times over several decades. In Singing Jazz: The Singers and Their Styles,authors Bruce Crowther and Mike Pinfold say, “Torme first sang professionally when he was four years old, singing two choruses of “You’re Driving Me Crazy” with the popular Coon-Sanders Nighthawks band at the Blackhawk Restaurant in Chicago in 1930.” Later, when Torme was 25 or 26 years old, he was filmed performing the song, not at its usual jaunty tempo but as a lovely ballad with a group that includes a harpist. His performance is available on DVD as The Vocalists (part of the Jazz Legends series) which also includes Peggy Lee, June Christy, and Sarah Vaughan. The films, from the 1950-51 Snader Telescriptions, were by producer Lou Snader who made some 700 short films (akin to today’s music videos) that were presented on television. Torme recorded the song in 1991 in a gently swinging style as a tribute to Count Basie (Night at the Concord Pavilion).
You left me sad and lonely; Why did you leave me lonely? For here's a heart that's only For nobody but you!
I'm burning like a flame, dear; Oh, I'll never be the same, dear; I'll always place the blame, dear, On nobody but you.
Yes, you, You're driving me crazy! What did I do? What did I do? My tears for you Make everything hazy, Clouding the skies of blue.
How true, Were the friends who were near me to cheer me, Believe me, they knew! But you, Were the kind who would hurt me, desert me, When I needed you!
Yes, you! You're driving me crazy! What did I do to you?