♫ Swayin’ to the Music (Slow Dancing) ♫

I really thought that tonight’s song dated back much further than it does, but it is not such an old song after all, having only been released in 1977, the year my youngest son was born … not long ago at all!  I have a treat for you tonight, for I have a video of an interview with the songwriter who explains what inspired him to write the song.

Initially titled Slow Dancing, this a song written by Jack Tempchin for the band Funky Kings (of which Tempchin was a member).  Tempchin also wrote Peaceful Easy Feeling for The Eagles, and co-wrote a number of other songs, and was voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019.  The Funky Kings version reached only #61 on the U.S. charts, but it was Johnny Rivers’ recording of this song that sent it soaring up the charts to ultimately land at #3 in Canada and #10 in the U.S.  As best I can tell, it didn’t chart in the UK, but perhaps they don’t like slow dancing?

Here is the promised interview with Jack Tempchin, followed by the song …

Swayin’ to the Music
Johnny Rivers

It’s late at night and we’re all alone
Just the music on the radio
No one’s comin’, no one’s gonna telephone
Just me and you and the lights down low

And we’re slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
Slow dancin’, just me and my girl
Slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
No one else in the whole wide world just you, girl

And we just flow together when the lights are low
Shadows dancin’ all across the wall
Music’s playin’ so soft and slow
Rest of the world so far away and small

When we’re slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
Slow dancin’, just me and my girl
Slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
No one else in the whole wide world

Hold me, oh, oh, oh, hold me
No never let me go

As we dance together in the dark
So much love in this heart of mine
You whisper to me, hold you tight
You’re the one I thought I’d never find

Now we’re slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
Slow dancin’, just me and my girl
Slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
No one else in the whole wide world

Slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
Slow dancin’, just me and my girl
Slow dancin’, swayin’ to the music
No one else in the whole wide world
Whole wide world

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jack Tempchin
Swayin’ to the Music lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Poor Side Of Town ♫

Have you ever noticed that when you get cracker crumbs or pretzel salt in the keyboard of your laptop, the keys don’t work quite right?  If I didn’t spend the biggest part of my life at the laptop, then I wouldn’t have to do my munching here and my keyboard would be safe from crumbs.  Well, now that I got that out of the way …

I would have sworn I had already played this one by Johnny Rivers, but a search through my archives says otherwise.  I was probably thinking of Elvis’ In the Ghetto.  I was not aware of it, but this was Johnny Rivers’ only U.S. chart-topper.

Rivers co-wrote it with Lou Adler.  Marty Paich, who arranged for Mel Torme and Ray Charles, did the string arrangement.  According to Rivers …

“I had this tune I’d been working on, and I kept playing it for Lou. It took me about 6 months to finish. We cut it with Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborn and Hal Blaine. I did my vocal performances live with the band. I sat and played my guitar and sang. There weren’t any overdubs. So we said it could use some singers and maybe some strings. That’s the time we got together with Marty Paich.”

This was a change of direction for Johnny Rivers, who had tired of the upbeat Go-Go sound that provided him with his early hits. However, he found his record company reluctant to tamper with a winning formula. He recalls …

“Al Bennett and those guys were goin’ Man. don’t start comin’ out with ballads. You’re gonna kill your career. You got a good thing goin’ with this funky trio rock sound, stay with that.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Poor Side of Town
Johnny Rivers

How can you tell me how much you miss me
When the last time I saw you, you wouldn’t even kiss me
That rich guy you’ve been seein’
Must have put you down
So welcome back baby
To the poor side of town

To him you were nothin’ but a little plaything
Not much more than an overnight fling
To me you were the greatest thing this boy had ever found
And girl it’s hard to find nice things
On the poor side of town

I can’t blame you for tryin’
I’m tryin’ to make it too
I’ve got one little hang up baby
I just can’t make it without you

So tell me, are you gonna stay now
Will you stand by me girl all the way now
Oh with you by my side
They just can’t keep us down
Together we can make it girl
From the poor side of town

Oh, with you by my side
This world can’t keep us down
Together we can make it baby
From the poor side of town

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Johnny Rivers / Lou Adler
Poor Side of Town lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Baby I Need Your Loving ♫

The Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote this. After seeing The Four Tops perform at a club in Detroit, Brian Holland invited them to the Motown studios, where they spent the rest of the night recording the song.

The song, released in 1964, was the first of many Motown hits for the group, and the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team.  According to Lamont Dozier …

“We’ve all been together virtually since I was a kid in Detroit and we always had no problem working together. We used to just lock ourselves in the studios with some barbecue ribs and Cold Duck and come up with an album in a couple of days. I would say that they were probably the easiest guys to work with, always professional and polished.”

The Four Tops had been around for 11 years before they broke through with this song. It was their first single for Motown Records, which signed the group in 1963 after they had been touring and recording on smaller labels for a decade. The investment paid off for Motown, and The Four Tops became one of the most successful and enduring acts on the label.

Johnny Rivers recorded the song in 1967, and his version soared to #3 on the charts.  But I still like the Four Tops version the best … perhaps just because I’m addicted to the “Motown Sound”.

Baby I Need Your Loving
Four Tops

Baby, I need your lovin’
Baby, I need your lovin’
Although you’re never near
Your voice I often hear
Another day, ‘nother night
I long to hold you tight
‘Cause I’m so lonely

Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’

Some say it’s a sign of weakness
For a man to beg
Then weak I’d rather be
If it means having you to keep
‘Cause lately I’ve been losing sleep

Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’

Lonely nights echo your name
Oh, sometimes I wonder
Will I ever be the same?
Oh yeah! When you see me smiling
You know things have gotten worse
Any smile you might see has all been rehearsed
Darling, I can’t go on without you
This emptiness won’t let me live without you
This loneliness inside, darling
Makes me feel half alive

Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’
Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’
Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’

Songwriters: Brian Holland / Edward Holland / Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Lamont Herbert Dozier
Baby I Need Your Loving lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC