Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It Came From 1960! (Part Four) The Shirelles - Will you still love me tomorrow

We're up to Number Four on best pop songs of the year 1960. I thought since I did The Belmonts yesterday I'd balance it out with one of the great "girl groups" on the late50's-early 60's.

You likely have heard this song before--another Number One hit on the Billboard Charts. Here's the background to the song, courtesy of Wikipedia.

PS--There are some amusing inserts in this video-can you recognize some of the great players of history's stage many of us might want to forget? And others, of course, many of us will always miss.

"The Shirelles were originally formed in 1958 in Passaic, New Jersey by four friends: Shirley Owens Alston Reeves, Doris Coley Kenner Jackson, Addie "Micki" Harris McPherson, and Beverly Lee. Students at Passaic High School, they christened themselves 'the Poquellos', wrote a song called "I Met Him on a Sunday", and entered their school talent show with it, singing it a cappella. A school friend had them audition for her mother, Florence Greenberg, who ran a small record label; she was impressed enough to become the group's manager, and changed their name to The Shirelles by combining frequent lead singer Shirley's first name with doo-woppers the Chantels."

"The Shirelles' recording of "I Met Him on a Sunday" was licensed by Decca and climbed into the national Top 50 in 1958. Two more singles flopped, however, and Decca passed on further releases. Greenberg instead signed them to her new label, Scepter Records, and brought in producer Luther Dixon, whose imaginative, sometimes string-heavy arrangements helped shape the group's signature sound.

"Dedicated to the One I Love" (1959), a song they learned by heart after seeing The Five Royales perform in a show they did together, and "Tonight's the Night" (1960) both failed to make much of an impact on the pop charts, although the latter was a Top 20 R&B hit and Top 40 Pop hit. However, they broke big time with the Goffin-King composition "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"; released in late 1960, it went all the way to number one on the pop chart, making them the first all-female group of the rock era to accomplish this feat;


  1. Me too Jacquie. Always happy to bring back good memories.:-)

  2. I always tell my date that I will still respect him in the morning. (this song really is a good example of the era it came out in) Great choice for a post!

  3. Very considerate of you on the "respect" thing, Mary Ellen. :-) Thanks for the thumbs up!

  4. This is a true classic, I love this song ...especially this original version by The Shirelles (although the 1964 British cover version by Dusty Springfield I also remember with great affection).

    Great bits of contextualisation in the video too with reminders of the 40th president of the United States Mr Ed and Ronald Reagan the talking horse....oh it takes you back Doug to a Golden Age when terrorism only happened in the Far East and Alabama. Happy Days (there was another great show).

  5. I have always enjoyed this song even though it was a little before my time. They had a great harmony.

  6. Yes, Dusty Springfield had real beauty and a great voice---and a way with just about any song she performed.

    Yes, I think you can see a definate progression from Ed, Talking Horse in the Barn on television to Ronald, Talking Corporate Mouthpiece in the White House. Both got big ratings, and hung arounds for years after their best days were over in re-runs, for reasons still not clear to me. (Maybe you had it right the first time.)

    Yes, they didn't call Birmingham, Alabama, USA "Bombingham" for nothing. I'm a little surprised citizens in your city didn't ask America to changethe name of that city in a copyright infringment case.

    That year seemed like a Golden Age wit hte proviso that progress was finally being made on some fronts. The Civil Rights Bill pased in 1964. And then came the Gulf of Tonkin Incident that same year and the nightmares started again.

  7. A very soothing harmony indeed ,and truly a sound ahead of its time. I was surprised it went back to 1960, Fred--I would have put it closer to '65. Glad you enjoyed it.