♫ Endless Love ♫

Tonight there is no song in my heart … and so I turn back to that which I last played 3 years ago … Lionel Richie never fails to put a song where there was none … this one is for … well, you know who you are.


Lionel Richie originally wrote this song and recorded it with Diana Ross in 1981.  Lionel Richie had risen from saxophone player in the Commodores to lead vocalist and primary songwriter in the group. He was still with them when the movie, Endless Love, was being filmed and director Franco Zeffirelli asked him to write an instrumental theme along the lines of Henry Mancini’s theme from the 1971 film Love Story. Richie, who was eager to add “film soundtrack” to his resumé, used a piece of music he had written for the Commodores but was never recorded. But then Zeffirelli decided he wanted lyrics. And that it should be a duet, maybe with Diana Ross. So Richie’s assignment went from devising an instrumental theme song to composing and performing on a fully-formed duet with the most popular female vocalist in America. He was up for the challenge.

The movie did not do well, but the song, recorded under the Motown label, received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and won a Marquee Award in 1982 for Best Original Song.

In 1994, Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross recorded this for Vandross’ album Songs. It became Luther’s biggest hit, going to #2 in the US.  I am a big fan of Luther Vandross, but tonight, as I listened to his and Mariah’s version, I found that I still preferred Lionel Richie and Shania’s.  Somewhere along the line, Kenny Rogers even recorded it … is there a song around that he hasn’t recorded???  I did not listen to Kenny’s version.  Three was enough for me.

Richie and Twain recorded their version in 2011, and the video you are about to watch was recorded in February 2012.

Endless Love
Lionel Richie and Shania Twain

My love
There’s only you in my life
The only thing that’s right
My first love
You’re every breath I take
You’re every step I make

And I
I want to share
All my love with you
No one else will do
And your eyes (your eyes, your eyes)
They tell me how much you care
Oh, yes
You’ll always be
My endless love

Two hearts
Two hearts that beat as one
Our lives have just begun
And forever
I’ll hold you close in my arms
I can’t resist your charms

And I
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(No, you know I don’t mind)
And yes
You mean the world to me
I know I’ve found in you
My endless love

And love
I’d play the fool
For you, I’m sure
You know I don’t mind
(Whoa, you know I don’t mind)
Oh, yes
You’d be the only one
Cause no, I can’t deny
This love I have inside
And I’ll give it all to you
My love (my love, my love)

Songwriters: Lionel B. Richie / Jr.
Endless Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Uptight (Everything’s Alright) ♫

You already know that when I need a lift, I turn to da man, Mr. Stevie Wonder.  Tonight I need a lift, and this song just conveniently popped into my head as I was unloading the dishwasher.  My feet began to tingle, needing to tap, and my head began to sway back and forth just as Stevie’s often does when he sings.  Sadly, tapping feet and a swaying head while hefting a stack of plates into the cabinet may not be the wisest thing!

I knew that Stevie had been something of a child prodigy, but I didn’t realize he had his first #1 hit at the age of only 13!  Blind since birth, Stevie has overcome all obstacles and has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has won 22 Grammy Awards. He was the first Motown artist and second African-American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, for the 1984 film The Woman in Red. Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday in the United States. In 2009, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2014, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Whew!  That’s quite a list of accomplishments … no wonder he had to start young!

StevieThis song was released in 1965 when Stevie was a ripe ol’ 15 years of age, and it was the first single that Stevie co-wrote.  An accompanying album, Up-Tight (1966), was rushed into production to capitalize on the single’s success. It also garnered Wonder his first two career Grammy Award nominations for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance.

The single was a watershed in Wonder’s career for several reasons. Aside from the US number-one Fingertips (1963), only two of Wonder’s singles, Workout, Stevie, Workout (1963) and Hey Harmonica Man (1964) had both peaked inside of the top forty of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #33 and #29 on that chart respectively. And despite receiving a modicum of chart success, the then 15-year-old Wonder was in danger of being let go. In addition, Wonder’s voice had begun to change, and Motown CEO Berry Gordy was worried that he would no longer be a commercially viable artist.

With the top Motown producers passing on Stevie, it was looking bleak until he started working with Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby. Moy had Stevie play her different song ideas he had come up with, but wasn’t impressed with any of them. Pressing to make sure he didn’t have anything else, Wonder reluctantly played her something he had been working on: a ditty where he sang, “Everything is alright, uptight.” Moy likes what she heard and helped him develop the song along with Cosby. The song went to #3 in the US and from that point forward, Wonder was a regular at the top of the charts.

And now, get ready to tap your toes and sway your head, but put the dishes down first!

Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
Stevie Wonder

Baby, everything is all right, uptight, out of sight
Baby, everything is all right, uptight, out of sight

I’m a poor man’s son, from across the railroad tracks
Only shirt I own is hanging on my back
But I’m the envy of every single guy
Since I’m the apple of my girl’s eye
When we go out stepping on the town for a while
My money’s low and my suit’s out of style
But it’s all right if my clothes aren’t new
Out of sight because my heart is true

She says, baby everything is alright, uptight, out of sight
Baby, everything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight

She’s a pearl of a girl, I guess that’s what you might say
I guess her folks brought her up that way
The right side of the tracks, she was born and raised
In a great big old house, full of butlers and maids
She says no one is better than I, I know I’m just an average guy

No football hero or smooth Don Juan
Got empty pockets, you see I’m a poor man’s son
Can’t give her the things that money can’t buy
But I’ll never, never make my baby cry
And it’s all right, what I can’t do
Out of sight because my heart is true

She says, baby everything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight
Baby, everything is all right, uptight, clean out of sight
Baby, everything is all right, uptight, hahahahaha, yeah
Baby, everything is all right, uptight, way out of sight
Baby, everything is all right, uptight-

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Wonder Stevie / Moy Sylvia Rose / Cosby Henry
Uptight (Everything’s Alright) lyrics © Black Bull Music, Stone Agate Music, Jobete Music Co. Ltd., Sawandi Music, Jobete Music Co Inc, Jobete Music Co., Inc.

♫ It’s The Same Old Song ♫

I chose this one for my final song in Black History Month.  Why?  Because I love it and as I was listening to a compilation of Motown songs in a tribute tonight, when this one came on, my feet immediately started tapping and I knew this was the one I wanted.  This song had an interesting inception.  Like so many of the Motown songs, it was written and produced by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland.  The song was reportedly created—from initial concept to commercial release—in just 24 hours!

The story goes, according to SongFacts …

The Four Tops were signed to Columbia Records in 1960, releasing just one single – “Ain’t That Love” (written by their lead singer, Levi Stubbs) – before moving on to Riverside Records and eventually joining Motown in 1963. As “I Can’t Help Myself” was coming off the charts, word got out that Columbia was going to re-release “Ain’t That Love” to capitalize on the group’s sudden success. Motown head Berry Gordy made a big push to thwart this, and put the rush on a new song. Fortunately, Holland-Dozier-Holland were very good at reworking their hits – they did it the previous year when they followed up their Martha & The Vandellas smash “Heat Wave” with the copycat “Quicksand.” The Four Tops were also up for the task, as they were one of the most seasoned Motown acts.

HDH quickly wrote the song, and on Thursday, July 8, it was furiously recorded and pressed. It was delivered to radio stations the next day, and by that Monday, it was in stores.

Columbia did issue “Ain’t That Love,” but it stalled at #93 on the Hot 100.

It’s the Same Old Song
Four Tops

You’re sweet as a honey bee
But like a honey bee stings
You’ve gone and left my heart in pain
All you left is our favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
It used to bring sweet memories
Of a tender love that used to be

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

Sentimental fool, am I
To hear a old love song and wanna cry
‘Cause the melody keeps haunting me
Reminding me how in love we used to be
Keep hearing the part that used to touch my heart
Saying together forever, breaking up never

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
But it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone

Precious memories keep a lingering on
Every time I hear our favorite song
Now you’re gone, left this emptiness
I only reminisce the happiness we spent
We used to dance to the music
Make romance through the music

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland
It’s the Same Old Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Ain’t No Sunshine ♫ (Redux)

Bill Withers was 31 years old, working at a factory making toilet seats for 747s in 1971 when he wrote Ain’t No Sunshine. Casey Kasem reported that when the song went gold, the record company presented Withers with a golden toilet, marking the start of his new career.

Withers was inspired to write this song after watching the 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses. He explained, in reference to the characters played by Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon, “They were both alcoholics who were alternately weak and strong. It’s like going back for seconds on rat poison. Sometimes you miss things that weren’t particularly good for you. It’s just something that crossed my mind from watching that movie, and probably something else that happened in my life that I’m not aware of.”

For the song’s third verse, Withers had intended to write more lyrics instead of repeating the phrase “I know” 26 times, but then followed the advice of Booker T. Jones, who would later become the front-man for Booker T. and the M.G.s, he left it alone.  Graham Nash and Stephen Stills, both of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame, concurred, so …

“I wasn’t going to do that, then Booker T. said, ‘No, leave it like that.’ I was going to write something there, but there was a general consensus in the studio. It was an interesting thing because I’ve got all these guys that were already established, and I was working in the factory at the time. Graham Nash was sitting right in front of me, just offering his support. Stephen Stills was playing and there was Booker T. and Al Jackson and Donald Dunn – all of the MGs except Steve Cropper. They were all these people with all this experience and all these reputations, and I was this factory worker just sort of puttering around. So when their general feeling was, ‘Leave it like that,’ I left it like that.”

Besides Michael Jackson, this has been covered by many artists in a wide range of styles. Paul McCartney, Isaac Hayes, Lionel Hampton, Prince, Sting, Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones and Lighthouse Family have all recorded it.  I cannot recall having heard any of the others, and will someday manage to check out at least the McCartney and Rogers versions, but for tonight, I am tired and longing for my bed.

I debated between playing this song or Just The Two Of Us … I love them both, but this one came to mind first, as I found myself in the kitchen, singing … “I know, I know, I know, I know …” 

Ain’t No Sunshine
Bill Withers

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
It’s not warm when she’s away
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And she’s always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

Wonder this time where she’s gone
Wonder if she’s gone to stay
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away

And I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know,
Hey, I oughtta leave young thing alone
But ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Only darkness every day
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away

Songwriters: Bill Withers
Ain’t No Sunshine – Single Version lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

♫ Where Did Our Love Go ♫ (Redux)

As I said last night, I will be playing Motown tunes for the rest of February … only four days, including today.  Trying to choose from among the hundreds of great Motown tunes tonight, this one actually made my feet start tapping and had me singing along, so … while it may not be Nathan Jones … this is one of my favourites from The Supremes!


Several nights ago I was planning a Supreme’s song, but got side-tracked, and now I cannot remember which one it was that I was planning for that night.  So, after a quick overview of some of their best songs, I settled tonight on this one, Where Did Our Love Go.

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, this one was the first single by the Supremes to go to the number-one position in the U.S. in 1964.  It was also the first of five Supremes songs in a row to reach number one (the others being “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, and “Back in My Arms Again”).

According to Lamont Dozier …

“I originally cut this track with the Marvelettes in mind. In fact, I cut it in Gladys Horton’s key, the lead singer, which was much lower than Diana Ross’. At that time, at Motown, the policy was that the songwriters had to pay for the tracks we cut if it didn’t get recorded by one of their artists. It never entered my mind that the Marvelettes wouldn’t like the song. I had the chorus and went to the office to talk with Gladys and played it for her. She said, ‘Oh, honey, we don’t do stuff like that. And it’s the worst thing I ever heard.’ She was adamant about it. I was shocked.

I knew I was in deep trouble if I didn’t hurry and get someone to do the song because I wasn’t about to pay for the track. I went through the Motown artist roster and went all the way to the bottom of the list and there were the Supremes, better known in those days as the ‘no hit Supremes.’ I told them it was tailor made for them, knowing that they had nothing going on at the time and needed a song. Much to my surprise, they said no. Gladys (Horton of the Marvelettes) told them I was looking for someone to record it. I wasn’t giving up. Brian (Holland), Eddie (Holland) and I finally persuaded them to do it, convincing them that it was their saving grace and they couldn’t refuse it. We had already had Top 40 hits with Martha & the Vandellas but they hadn’t had recordings of any significance yet.

They were so annoyed that they agreed to do it that, in the studio, they had a really bad attitude. Diana (Ross) said it was in the wrong key, that it was too low. (Of course it was – I wrote it in Gladys’ key.) Since the track was already cut, she had to sing it in that key and she’d never sung that low before. It turned out that her bad attitude and the low key were exactly what the song needed! I’d worked out intricate background vocals but the girls refused to learn them. Finally I said, ‘Just sing ‘Baby, baby, baby’.’ It worked to their advantage and worked perfectly.

They didn’t necessarily agree. Diana and I were throwing obscenities back and forth and she went running to Berry (Gordy, Jr.) and told him I said something off-color about him. He came down to the studio to see what was wrong and while he was there, he asked to hear the song. He thought it was really good, but said that he didn’t know if it was a hit, but that he thought it would be Top 10.

The song was released and flew up the charts to #1. From then on, one hit followed another. It was the first of 13 consecutive #1s we did on the Supremes. The next time the Hollands and I saw the girls was at the airport. They were getting off a plane with their Yorkshire terriers, in mink stoles. We started laughing. It was so funny to see them turn into stars overnight.”

Where Did Our Love Go
The Supremes

Baby, baby, baby don’t leave me
Ooh, please don’t leave me all by myself
I’ve got this burning, burning, yearning feelin’ inside me
Ooh, deep inside me and it hurts so bad

You came into my heart (baby, baby) so tenderly
With a burning love (baby, baby)
That stings like a bee (baby, baby)
Now that I surrender (baby, baby) so helplessly
You now want to leave (baby, baby)
Ooh, you wanna leave me (baby, baby)
Ooh (baby, baby)

Baby, baby, where did our love go?
Ooh, don’t you want me?
Don’t you want me no more (baby, baby)?
Ooh, baby

Baby, baby, where did our love go?
And all your promises of a love forevermore!
I’ve got this burning, burning, yearning feelin’ inside me
Ooh, deep inside me, and it hurts so bad

Before you won my heart (baby, baby)
You were a perfect guy
But now that you got me
You wanna leave me behind (baby, baby)
Ooh, baby

Baby, baby, baby don’t leave me
Ooh, please don’t leave me all by myself (baby, baby)
Ooh baby, baby, baby

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland
Where Did Our Love Go lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Just My Imagination ♫ (Redux)

I’ve been remiss this month in writing posts for Black History month, and in making Black History the focus of my music posts, as I meant to do, way back when I still had half of a mind!  So, for the few remaining days of February, I plan to play some of the best of the Best of Motown, starting with this one by the Temptations.  As I’m running late on everything today, this music post is a few hours late, but I hope you’ll enjoy it all the same.


Released in 1971, this was the last single for the Temptations with Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams in the group. Eddie started a solo career and in 1973 scored his biggest hit with Keep On Truckin’. Williams remained on salary as an advisor, but was plagued with personal problems – he was separated from his wife, owed back taxes and was being treated for alcoholism. He committed suicide in 1973 at age 34.

Motown writers Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote Just My Imagination in the late ’60s, but since psychedelic songs were popular at the time, they decided to wait a few years before releasing it. Whitfield pulled it out of the mothballs after the relative failure of The Temptations’ Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite the World), which hit #33 in 1970 (unacceptable by their standards). Whitfield felt they needed to change direction to stay on top of the game, so he steered Temptations away from their string of socially relevant songs and had them record this airy ballad. The strategy worked, and the song rose to #1 in the U.S.

Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)
The Temptations

Each day through my window I watch her as she passes by
I say to myself you’re such a lucky guy,
To have a girl like her is truly a dream come true
out of all the fellows in the world she belongs to me.
But it was Just my imagination,
once again runnin’ away with me.
It was just my imagination runnin’ away with me. Oo
Soon we’ll be married and raise a family (Oh yeah)
A cozy little home out in the country with two children maybe three.

I tell you I can visualize it all
this couldn’t be a dream for too real it all seems;
But it was Just my imagination once again runnin’ way with me.
Tell you it was just my imagination runnin’ away with me.
Ev’ry night on my knees I pray Dear Lord, Hear my plea;
Don’t ever let another take her love from me or I would surely die.

Her love is heavenly, when her arms enfold me,
I hear a tender rhapsody; but in reality she doesn’t even know me.

Just my imagination once again runnin’ way with me.
Tell you it was just my imagination runnin’ away with me.
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, can’t forget her
Just my imagination once again runnin’ way with me.
Tell you it was just my imagination runnin’ away with me.

Songwriters: Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield / Norman J. Whitfield
Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday ♫ (Redux)

Tonight, I am re-playing one that I played three years ago, a Stevie Wonder tune.  It’s not that I don’t have any ideas for new songs — I have a list as long as my arm!  And it’s not that I’m too tired or lazy to do a new post — sleep is a long way off yet.  Rather, it is that I’ve been in a rabbit hole for days now, and tonight I thought to myself, “I want me some Stevie Wonder!”  I thought Stevie would bring a bit of a smile to this tired, empty heart.  Yet, rather than a smile, it brought tears.  But nonetheless, it is a beautiful song and I do love me some Stevie, even when he makes me cry. 


It would be difficult to choose a single favourite musician, but if you held my feet to the fire, it would most likely be Stevie Wonder.  Just watching this man perform gives me chills, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard music by him that I did not like.  Not too long ago I did a post with one of my absolute favourites pairing Stevie Wonder with Paul McCartney in Ebony and Ivory — one that I am likely to repeat from time-to-time, for the meaning of the song should never be forgotten.

Blind since birth, Stevie Wonder was considered a child prodigy and signed with Motown at age 11.  He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists.  He is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

This song, Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday, was released in 1969.  It reached #7 on the pop singles chart and become Wonder’s ninth Top 10 single of the 1960s. The single fared even better on the UK singles chart where it reached #2 in November 1969, and at that time, it was Wonder’s biggest UK hit.

Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
Stevie Wonder

What happened to the world we knew
When we would dream and scheme
And while the time away

Yester-me yester-you yesterday
Where did it go that yester glow
When we could feel

The wheel of life turn our way
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
I had a dream so did you life
Was warm and love was true
Two kids who followed all the rules
Yester fools and now
Now it seems those yester dreams
Were just a cruel

And foolish game we used to play
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
When I recall what we had
I feel lost I feel sad with nothing but
The memory of yester love and now
Now it seems those yester dreams
Were just a cruel

And foolish game we had to play
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
Sing with me
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
One more time

Songwriters: Bryan Wells / Ronald Miller / Ronald N. Miller
Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Indiana Wants Me ♫

A few nights ago, I mentioned to David that there are two state legislators in my state (Ohio) who want to make June 14th a state holiday honouring … that former guy.  I said that if they succeed, I will move out of this state, either to Kentucky or Indiana, which led David to recall this song … Indiana Wants Me.  I haven’t thought of or heard this song in decades, but the minute he mentioned it, the song began playing in my mind, my feet began tapping, and I remembered that I used to love this song!  What surprised the heck out of me, though, was finding out that this actually hit #1 in the U.S. and #2 in the UK … I didn’t think it was the sort of song that would make it big in the United Kingdom!

On early copies of this song, it opens with the wail of a police siren, which is later heard during the instrumental bridge. The siren sounded (for its time) was so realistic that some drivers pulled over to the side of the road when they heard the song on their car radios. When the confusion was discovered, Rare Earth (the record company that Taylor was signed with) gave radio stations (particularly those that were too skeptical and/or scared to play the song) a second version without the siren.

When this song, written, composed and recorded by R. Dean Taylor hit the charts, Taylor become one of the few white artists to score a hit for Motown Records. He was already a successful songwriter for the label, with a hand in writing the hit Love ChildIndiana Wants Me was his only U.S. hit, but in the UK he also scored with Gotta See Jane, There’s A Ghost In My House, and Window Shopping.

Taylor explains the origins of the song …

“I was living in a fleabag hotel and one night I heard these sirens and somebody was breaking in a store below. I looked out and police had surrounded this store and I turned my tape-recorder on. I saw Bonnie and Clyde a couple of times and with those two things that’s how I came to write ‘Indiana’.”

Indiana Wants Me
R. Dean Taylor

Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
I wish I had you
To talk to

If a man ever needed dyin’, he did
No one had the right to say what he said
About you
And it’s so cold and lonely here without you
Out there the law’s a-comin’
I’m scared and so tired of runnin’

Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
I wish I had you to talk to

It hurts to see the man that I’ve become
And to know I’ll never see the morning sun shine on the land
I’ll never see your smilin’ face or touch your hand
If just once more I could see
You, our home, and our little baby

Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there

I wish I had you to talk to

I hope this letter finds its way to you
Forgive me, love, for the shame I put you through
And all the tears
Hang on, love, to the memories of those happy years
Red lights are flashin’ around me
Yeah, love, it looks like they found me

Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
I wish I had you to talk to

Indiana wants me
Lord, I can’t go back there
(Give yourself up)
Indiana wants me
(This is the police, give yourself up)
Lord, I can’t go back there
(You are surrounded)

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: R.d. Taylor

♫ Being With You ♫

Do we ever know why, somedays, we just have a song or an artist in our head that just won’t let go?  I’ve had a Smokey Robinson song in my head all day long … crying out for me to give voice to it, but since I didn’t want to set off another cat fight, I restrained myself and only whistled, rather than singing.  But alas, when it came time to put the song on ye olde blog tonight, I discovered I had played it just last year.  Okay, I’m flexible … I want Smokey Robinson and nobody else will do!

Speaking of Smokey Robinson, did you know that he will celebrate his 81st birthday next month???  So hard to believe!  There are people who are actually older than I am!!!

Robinson wrote this for Kim Carnes after she recorded his song More Love, which was produced by George Tobin. What Smokey didn’t know was that Carnes and Tobin were no longer working together, but instead of explaining that to Smokey, Tobin brought him in and convinced him to record the song himself.

Tobin had his own studio, and floated an unusual idea: he would record and produce the song as a Smokey Robinson solo effort. Robinson, who was one of the top Motown producers, had never been produced before as a solo act, but he went for the idea. They started work on the song that night and were finished the next day. The result was Robinson’s biggest hit as a solo artist, reaching #2 on the Hot 100. It was held out of the #1 spot in the US by Bette Davis Eyes, which was recorded by… Kim Carnes!  Talk about coincidence!

According to Scott Edwards, who played bass on this song …

“George Tobin, he went to Smokey Robinson and he told the Motown Machine that if they let him cover all the expenses for the session, play with the musicians, be totally economically responsible, then he wanted some huge percentage of the profit. And Motown, thinking, ‘This cat doesn’t know what he’s doing,’ and ‘How can we lose?’ they agreed to it. So he went in the studio and cut these tracks on Smokey and one of them was ‘Being With You.’ In the session, he would give us basic guidelines on what he felt different times. We’d throw things at him and he’d say, ‘Yeah, do that.’ So he was not a musical person at all, but he had a helper, a co-producer named Mike Piccirillo who was a guitar player. So between the two of them, they would let you know what they wanted.

He came up with the tune and he said, ‘Do this, Scott.’ So I did it and chordally it worked out. Then later on when I heard it, I said, They knew what they wanted. I didn’t, but they did. And it worked out. But they would give you guidelines and then if you had something better, they would leave you alone and let you go with it.

Smokey wrote the song, but as far as the interpretation of it, it was totally George Tobin and Piccirillo. That turned out to be one of Smokey’s biggest tunes, and Motown had to fork over part of that big percentage that they just knew was not going to work out.”

According to this song’s producer, George Tobin, Motown president Berry Gordy didn’t think this would do very well, but when it started to climb the charts he put a lot of promotion behind it. The song was unusual in that it was released on Motown Records, but through an arrangement with someone outside the company. On the single, it said, “Produced and arranged by George Tobin in association with Mike Piccirillo for George Tobin productions.

The song hit #1 in the UK, #2 in the U.S., and #5 in Canada.

Being With You
Smokey Robinson

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

Honey don’t go, don’t leave this scene
Be out of the picture and off of the screen
Don’t let them say “we told you so”
They tell me you’ll love me and then let me go

I’ve heard the warning voice
From friends and my relations
They tell me all about your heart-break reputation

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say, no
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you

People can change, they always do
Haven’t they noticed the changes in you?
Or can it be, that like love I am blind?
Do I want it so much ’til it’s all in my mind?

One thing I know for sure
Is really really real
I never felt before the way you make me feel

I don’t care what they think about me and
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care what they think, if you’re leaving
I’m gonna beg you to stay

I don’t care if they start to avoid me
I don’t care what they do
I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
Being with you
Being with you

I don’t care about anything else
But being with you, being with you
I wanna be with you

I don’t care if they start to avoid me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: William Smokey Robinson Jr.

♫ It Takes Two ♫

After the events of the evening (the aforementioned cat fight), I was pretty sure there could be no music post tonight, but then … dear David mentioned this song by the wonderful Marvin Gaye, and I knew I had my song for the night!  Thank you, David!

It Takes Two is a hit single recorded in late 1965 by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston for Motown’s Tamla label.

Produced by Weston’s then-husband, longtime Gaye collaborator William “Mickey” Stevenson, and co-written by Stevenson and Sylvia Moy, It Takes Two centered on a romantic lyric that depicted many things in life (dreams, love, wishes, etc.) being better with two people instead of one. The single became Gaye’s most successful duet single to date, later outperformed by Gaye’s duets with Tammi Terrell.

According to Kim Weston …

“Marvin and I went into the studio together to record the album Take Two. We didn’t pick the tracks, they were picked by Mickey Stevenson, my then-husband, and our producer, but ‘It Takes Two’ had been written by him and Sylvia Moy especially for us and it really worked. Being in the studio with Marvin, I saw a new side to him. I’d traveled and shared bills with him so we knew how each other worked. In the studio he was really encouraging. He added little ad libs, intonations here and there and suggested things for the arrangements. I saw the genius shine out of him but also the frustration. You could hear it in his voice. He wanted more control.  It was a shock when they released the song as a single. I’d already left Motown and gone to MGM. I don’t think Motown knew I was going to leave and I was upset that this came out after I’d gone. I regret never having the chance to sing it live with Marvin. I felt my duets with Marvin really paved the way for what he did with Tammi Terrell next. Our songs influenced theirs, and if I’d stayed at the label I think I’d have been singing those songs with him instead.”

Though Gaye had already racked up a number of hits in the US, this was his first Top 40 hit in the UK. The song reached #14 in the U.S. and #16 in the UK … the Canadians apparently didn’t like it, for it didn’t chart there.  

In 1990, the song was covered by Rod Steward and Tina Turner, where it was a Top Ten throughout Europe.

It Takes Two
Kim Weston and Marvin Gaye

One can have a dream, baby
Two can make a dream so real
One can talk about being in love
Two can see how it really feels

One can wish upon a star
Two can make a wish come true, yeah
One can stand alone in the dark
Two can make a light shine through

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby,
Me and you
You know it takes two

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Make a dream come true
It just takes two

One can have a broken heart
Living in misery
Two can really ease the pain
Like a perfect remedy
One can be alone in a bar,
Like an island he’s all alone
Two can make just any place
Seem just like bein’ at home

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Me and you
It just takes two
It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby,
To make a dream come true
It just take two

Just takes two
Just takes two

One can go out to a movie
Looking for a special treat
Two can make that single movie
Something really kind of sweet
And one can take a walk in the moonlight
Thinking that’s it’s really nice
But two lovers walking hand in hand
Is like adding just a pinch of spice

It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
Me and you
Just takes two
It takes two, baby
It takes two, baby
To make a dream come true

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Sylvia Moy / William Stevenson
It Takes Two lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC