While making the film Midnight Cowboy, director John Schlesinger had been using Harry Nilsson's recording of Everybody's Talkin' as an example of the type of song he wanted for the finished film. Harry wrote I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City as his candidate for the final soundtrack, but lost out to himself when Schlesinger decided not to replace Everybody's Talkin'.

The Hudson Brothers (then called The New Yorkers) recorded I Guess The Lord Must Be in New York City and used it to win a contract with Decca. The song was released as a single (Decca 32569) in 1969. Unfortunately, Decca dropped the group soon afterwards.