(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher

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For songs of a similar title, see Higher and Higher (disambiguation).
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"
Single by Jackie Wilson
from the album Higher and Higher
B-side "I'm the One to Do It"
Released August 1967 (original version)
June 17, 1998 (digitally remastered Dolby Surround version)
Format 7" single, cassette single
Recorded July 6, 1967, Columbia Studios, Chicago, Illinois
Genre Chicago soul
Length 2:59
Label Brunswick Records
Writer(s) Gary Jackson and Carl Smith[1]
Producer(s) Carl Davis
Jackie Wilson singles chronology
"I've Lost You"
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"
"Since You Showed Me How to Be Happy"

"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" is a R&B song, originally performed by Jackie Wilson in 1967.


As the song was originally used as a backing track for Wilson to use later, it was recorded on July 6, 1967 at Columbia's studios in Chicago. Produced by Carl Davis, the session, arranged by Sonny Sanders, featured bassist James Jamerson, drummer Richard "Pistol" Allen, guitarist Robert White, and keyboardist Johnny Griffith; these four musicians were all members of the Motown Records house band The Funk Brothers who often moonlighted on sessions for Davis to augment the meager wages paid by Motown. According to Carl Davis, the Funk Brothers "used to come over on the weekends from Detroit. They'd load up in the van and come over to Chicago, and I would pay 'em double scale, and I'd pay 'em in cash." Similarly two of Motown's house session singers The Andantes, Jackie Hicks and Marlene Barrow, along with Pat Lewis (who was filling in for Andante Louvain Demps), performed on the session for "Higher and Higher".[citation needed]

Davis brought the track to New York City for Wilson to add his vocal; Davis recalls Wilson originally sang the song "like a soul ballad. I said that's totally wrong. You have to jump and go with the percussion...if he didn't want to sing it that way, I would put my voice on the record and sell millions".

After hearing Davis' advisement Wilson cut the lead vocal for "...Higher and Higher" in a single take.[2]


Released in August 1967, the song reached No. 1 in the US Billboard R&B chart and, in November, peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 6.[3] In the UK Singles Chart, Wilson's version was a hit in 1969 (No. 11), 1975 (No. 25),[4] and 1987 (No. 15).

Columbia Records then released an album titled Higher and Higher in November 1967. Its chart peak was No. 163 (Billboard 200) and No. 28 (Billboard R&B Albums chart.)[5]

The track was ranked No. 246 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

A different version[edit]

In 1970, the song was recorded under the title "Higher and Higher" by Canada Goose, a group from Ottawa who'd been discovered by Jerry Ragovoy. This version, with a shared lead vocal by Barbra Bullard and John Matthews, became a hit in Canada (#44) and reached #92 on the Record World 100 Pop Chart.[6][7]

The song was recorded by Bette Midler on her self titled, 1973 album, Bette Midler (album).

(In 2008 the song, still known as "Higher and Higher", charted in Sweden due to Kevin Borg, the eventual winner of season 8 of Idol, performing it in the competition, and downloads of Borg's version secured it a #29 ranking.)[8]

Rita Coolidge version[edit]

"(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher"
Single by Rita Coolidge
from the album 'Anytime...Anywhere'
B-side originally "I Don't Want to Talk About It" replaced on later pressings with "Who's To Bless And Who's To Blame"
Released March 1977
Format 7" single
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:30
Label A&M Records
Writer(s) Billy Davis, Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner and Carl Smith
Producer(s) David Anderle
Rita Coolidge singles chronology
"Mean to Me"
"(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher"
"We're All Alone"

In 1977 Rita Coolidge remade the song as "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher" for her album Anytime...Anywhere. Her version is more mid-tempo than the driving original and largely omits the chorus which is evidenced only in the background vocals sung under the repetition of the first verse with which she closes the song. Coolidge and her sister Priscilla Jones had sung background on a version of the song for a prospective album by Jones' husband Booker T. Jones; when that album was shelved Coolidge asked him if she could cut the song using his arrangement.[9]

Released as a single, her version became Coolidge's first major hit in nine years of recording: the track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Cash Box ranked it at No. 1.[10][11] Both the song and a subsequent release, "We're All Alone", earned Coolidge gold record's as each was a million-record seller.

In the UK it was released as the follow-up single after "We're All Alone" which had reached No. 6, but it only achieved a peak of No. 48 there.[12]

Preceded by
"Best of My Love" by The Emotions
Cash Box #1 on Top 100 Singles chart
September 10, 1977
Succeeded by
"Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac


  1. ^ "Record details at 45.cat". www.45.cat.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Jackie Wilson on Columbia Records". Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 630. 
  4. ^ "ChartArchive – Singles Chart – 14/06/1969". Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Higher & Higher: The Chicago Soul of Jackie Wilson 1966–1976 – Rate Your Music". Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ Canoe.ca. "Canadian Pop Encyclopedia-Canada Goose". Archived from the original on May 9, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2009. 
  7. ^ "100c". Archived from the original on July 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  8. ^ "Sweden Singles Top 60 (December 4, 2008) – Music Charts". Archived from the original on May 10, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Country Music People 10/06". Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 9/10/77". 
  11. ^ Cash Box Magazine (September 10, 1977). "Cash Box Top 100 9/10/77". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  12. ^ "ChartArchive – Singles Chart – 29/10/1977". Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. 
Preceded by
"Funky Broadway" by Wilson Pickett
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
October 7, 1967
Succeeded by
"Soul Man" by Sam & Dave