Happy Together (song)

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"Happy Together"
7" French release
Single by The Turtles
from the album Happy Together
Released February 14, 1967
Recorded January 2, 1967
Genre Sunshine pop, psychedelic pop
Length 2:55
Label White Whale
Writer(s) Garry Bonner, Alan Gordon
Producer(s) Joe Wissert
The Turtles singles chronology
"Can I Get to Know You Better"
(1966)
"Happy Together"
(1967)
"She'd Rather Be with Me"
(1967)

"Happy Together" is a 1967 song from The Turtles' album of the same name. Released in February 1967, the song knocked The Beatles' "Penny Lane" out of the number one slot for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] It was the group's only chart-topper. "Happy Together" reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1967.[2] The song was written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon, former members of a band known as The Magicians.[1] The song had been rejected a dozen times before it was offered to The Turtles, and the demo acetate was worn out.[3]

Composition[edit]

The song is in the key of F-sharp minor, with the chorus in F-sharp major. The song ends on a Picardy third.

Performance[edit]

When performing the song on television, Mark Volman commonly "played" a different instrument not present in the song for each appearance. On Ed Sullivan he "played" a trumpet, on the Smothers Brothers a piano, and on others a French horn. This could be seen as a wink to the audience that they were lip-syncing, a common practice for 1960s television.

Appearances in popular culture[edit]

The Turtles performing "Happy Together", on The Ed Sullivan Show, May 14, 1967.

The song has been featured in many movies, including 1970's The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart, 1983's Heart Like a Wheel, 1987's Making Mr. Right, 1987's Ernest Goes to Camp, 1989's Happy Together, 1988's Naked Gun, 1994's Muriel's Wedding, 1997's Happy Together, 2000's Sorted, 2002's Adaptation., 2002's Cherish, 2002's S1m0ne, 2002's Bubble Boy, 2003's Freaky Friday featured "Happy Together," as well as a cover by Simple Plan, 2004's Ma Mère, 2005's Imagine Me and You, 2006's documentary Blindsight, 2007's Simpsons Movie, 2008's 27 Dresses, and 2009's Stepfather. Frank Alamo's French cover of the song was featured in the 2010 movie Get Him to the Greek and Scared Shrekless. The song appears in the 2014 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

In television, the song has been used in many episodes of The Simpsons including "The Way We Weren't" and "Trilogy of Error", and in episodes of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, That '70s Show (sung by the cast in the episode "That '70s Musical"), The Muppet Show (sung by guest star Florence Henderson with a set of Muppet Monsters and Frackles), Cupid (sung by Lisa Loeb), Scrubs, ER, The Wonder Years, and the My Name Is Earl episode "Faked His Own Death".

In advertisement, the song was used in 1980s Golden Grahams ads. In 1999, the song was used for a Super Smash Bros. ad where Mario, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, and Yoshi are fighting in a field of flowers. Toyota (Toyota New Zealand) used for its promotion of the Toyota Rav4 in 2006; the spot was made by New Zealand based Saatchi & Saatchi.[4] In 2009, Ford used the song for the promotion of Ford Focus. The spot was made by Brazil based JWT São Paulo.[5] However, the Ford commercial featured its "employees" singing the song while they designed and manufactured the car rather than the original version of the song recorded by The Turtles.

Cover versions[edit]

"Happy Together" has been covered by artists as diverse as Weezer, Petula Clark, Captain and Tennille, Jason Donovan, The Nylons, Simple Plan, Caterina Valente, The Dollyrots, Blue Meanies, Donny Osmond, T.G. Sheppard (who would take his version into the country Top 10 in early 1979), Tahiti 80, Filter, MStar, Buck Wild, Flobots and Tally Hall, whose version samples the original. There is also a Spanish cover, sung by Roberto Jordan, called "Juntos y Felices". In 1999, BMI named "Happy Together", with approximately five million performances on American radio, the forty-fourth most-performed song in the USA of the 20th century,[6] placing it in the same league as "Yesterday" by The Beatles and "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel. Frank Zappa's performance on Fillmore East - June 1971 is especially notable: his band at the time included Turtles vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman and bassist Jim Pons. Kaylan and Volman also did a reggae remake of the song for the last Flo & Eddie album Rock Steady with Flo & Eddie. Hugo Montenegro's cover version was released as a single in 1969 and reached number 29 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.[7] More recently, the song has been covered by B. E. Taylor for his latest album, Love Never Fails, and by the Flobots. The song has also been sung by the Red Army Choir and the Leningrad Cowboys, as well as the English rock band Johnny Panic. It was also performed on the show American Idol on February 19, 2008, by David Cook, and on February 20, 2008, by Brooke White. Both performances were released as live singles "Happy Together (American Idol Performance) - Single" on the iTunes Store in 2008. In 2007 the song was used as a sample on the song "Ooh Ooh Baby" from Britney Spears' album Blackout. French singer Frank Alamo also covered the song in 1967 in the French version entitled Heureux Tous Les Deux (Happy Together). On May 5, 2011, it was performed as a group performance by the top 5 contestants on the tenth season of American Idol. In 2013, the song was used in the Dead Rising 3 video game commercial.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 221.
  2. ^ UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
  3. ^ Wayne Wadhams, David Nathan (2001). Inside the Hits. Berklee Press, p. 254. ISBN 0-634-01430-7.
  4. ^ http://adland.tv/commercials/toyota-rav4-happy-together-2006-30-new-zealand
  5. ^ http://advertfan.com/2008/11/new-2009-ford-focus-happy-together-commercial/
  6. ^ BMI.com News Release (December 13, 1999). "BMI Announces Top 100 Songs of the Century". BMI. 
  7. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 66.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Penny Lane" by The Beatles
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 25, 1967 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Somethin' Stupid" by Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra