Song of the Day: What a Diff’rence a Day Made by Diana Ross

Former Boardtrack Racer by gem2niki

“What a Diff’rence a Day Made” is a popular song originally written in Spanish by María Grever, a Mexican songwriter, in 1934. Originally, the song was known as “Cuando vuelva a tu lado” (“When I Return to Your Side”). The song is also known in English as “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes”, as popularized by Dinah Washington.


What a diff’rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain

My yesterday was blue, dear
Today I’m part of you, dear
My lonely nights are through, dear
(Since you said you were mine)

What a diff’rence a day makes
There’s a rainbow before me
Skies above can’t be stormy
Since that moment of bliss
That thrilling kiss

(It’s heaven when you find romance on your menu)
What a diff’rence a day made
And the difference is you

(What a diff’rence a day makes)
(There’s a rainbow before me)
(Skies above can’t be stormy)
Since that moment of bliss, that thrilling kiss

(It’s heaven when you find romance on your menu)
What a diff’rence a day made
And the difference is you


The English lyrics were written by Stanley Adams, and was played by Harry Roy & his Orchestra. It was published in late 1934. The most successful early recording, in 1934, was by the Dorsey Brothers.

Dinah Washington won a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance with this song. Her version was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. It also earned her first top ten Pop hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Andy Russell, a Mexican-American singer, recorded the song in 1944 (Capitol #167, paired with “Don’t You Notice Anything New?”).

Vaughn Monroe’s 1955 version reached #60 in the US Music Vendor survey.

Bobby Darin’s version of the song is on his album Winners released in 1964, although he recorded it in 1960.

Dean Martin covered it in his album Dino Latino in 1962.

Little Anthony and the Imperials about 1962,

Ben E. King covered the song on his album Ben E. King Sings for Soulful Lovers in 1962.

Lonnie Johnson covered the song on his album Losing Game.

It was recorded by Diana Ross in 1972, but not released until thirty-four years later when her Blue album was discovered in the Motown vaults and released in 2006.

In 1975, Esther Phillips recorded a disco version which reached number two on the disco charts.

An instrumental version featuring keyboardist Clare Fischer on piano with strings arranged by Jorge Calandrelli was recorded by Etore Stratta and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on their 1993 album Symphonic Boleros.

Natalie Cole recorded the song on her 1996 album Stardust, and later in 2013 a Spanish-English version was included as an iTunes bonus track of her album Natalie Cole en Español.

Barry Manilow recorded the song on his 2006 album The Greatest Songs of the Fifties.

In 2007 R&B/Dance singer Deborah Cox recorded the song for her album Destination Moon. Also in 2007, former Kiss drummer, Peter Criss, covered the song on his album One for All.

China Moses covered the song with Raphael Lemonnier in 2009 in their album This One’s for Dinah in 2009.

Rod Stewart – Fly Me to the Moon… The Great American Songbook – Volume V (2010)

Julie Dawn and Roy Marsh and His Swingtette released a version of the track paired with “I am Going to Love That Guy” (this track bringing together Julie Dawn and Frank Deniz and His Spirits of Rhythm). The exact release date unknown at the moment (Decca 8034 Matrix numbers I 1320 and I 1322).

Other artists who covered the song include Sarah Vaughan, Renee Olstead, Aretha Franklin on her 1964 album, Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington, Eydie Gorme on her 1964 album, Freddy Fender recorded a version for his 1976 LP If You’re Ever in Texas, Eydie Gorme canta en Español con Los Panchos, Bobby Lewis (released on the single “Ace of Hearts 7622” in 1977), Cher performs the song in The Cher Show, Luis Miguel on his 1991 album Romance and Jamie Cullum on his 2003 album, Twentysomething, and Gloria Estefan on her 2013 album, The Standards.

Use in media

The song, as performed by Dinah Washington, is used in the soundtrack of the following films:

  • La fée (The Fairy), directed by Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon (2011)
  • Niagara Motel, directed by Gary Yates (2005)
  • The Best of Youth, directed by Marco Tullio Giordana (2003)
  • Run Lola Run, directed by Tom Tykwer (1998)
  • Faithful, directed by Paul Mazursky (1996)
  • Casino, directed by Martin Scorsese (1995)
  • Chungking Express, directed by Wong Kar-wai (1994)
  • Corrina, Corrina, directed by Jessie Nelson (1994)
  • The song, performed by Tony Bennett, is in the film One Fine Day starring George Clooney.
  • The song, performed by Esther Phillips, is used at the end of the film The Sunchaser, directed by Michael Cimino, starring Woody Harrelson.

The song, as performed by Dinah Washington, is used in the following TV show episodes:

  • “My Case Study”, S02E03 of Scrubs (2002)

Diana Ross

Born Diana Ernestine Earle Ross
March 26, 1944 (age 70)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Singer, actress, record producer
Years active 1959–present
Net worth Increase US$ 250 million (2013)
Spouse(s) Robert Silberstein (1971–77)
Arne Næss, Jr. (1986–2000)
Children Rhonda Ross Kendrick (b. 1971)
Tracee Ellis Ross (b. 1972)
Chudney Ross (b. 1975)
Ross Næss (b. 1987)
Evan Ross (b. 1988)
Musical career
Genres R&B, soul, disco, jazz, pop,dance, Adult contemporary
Instruments Vocals
Labels Lu Pine, Motown, RCA
Associated acts The Primettes, The Supremes,The Temptations, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie

image by gem2niki

This entry was posted in Music and Musicians / Song of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Song of the Day: What a Diff’rence a Day Made by Diana Ross

  1. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks admirably informative and thorough. Never knew song was originally in Spanish. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (plugged in now).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s