I Want You to Be My Baby

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"I Want You to Be My Baby" is a jump blues song written by Jon Hendricks for Louis Jordan whose recording - made 28 May 1953 - was an R&B hit that autumn.[1]

In the summer of 1955 "I Want You to Be My Baby" was remade as the debut disc by comedy musical act Lillian Briggs resulting in an expedient cover version by veteran vocalist Georgia Gibbs: producers Hugo & Luigi had Gibbs fly in from her Massachusetts home to New York City on Wednesday 3 August 1955 to cut "I Want You to Be My Baby" that same afternoon; New York City disc jockeys were provided with acetates of the Gibbs' version by the following morning with regular jockey copies being shipped out Friday 5 August 1955.[2] Neither version of the song would reach the Top Ten: Gibbs' version had the higher chart peak at #14 but it was the rough voiced Briggs - whose version peaked at #18 - who had the million seller.

Ellie Greenwich, who as a teenager saw Lillian Briggs sing her hit at Alan Freed's rock and roll shows, chose "I Want You to Be My Baby" as the song to launch her '60s career as a solo recording artist. Produced by Bob Crewe, Greenwich's version reached #83 in the spring of 1967 marking her only US chart appearance as a recording artist (apart from her singles with The Raindrops).

In the UK Annie Ross - John Hendricks' future co-partner in Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - had an October 1955 single release of "I Want You to Be My Baby" recorded with Tony Crombie & His Orchestra: neither this disc nor a 1956 UK single release of "I Want You to Be My Baby" by Don Lang charted. The song became a UK Top 40 hit in the autumn of 1968 via a recording by Billie Davis. Produced by Ready Steady Go! co-host Michael Aldred and arranged by Mike Vickers, Davis' version featured a chorale comprising Madeline Bell, Kiki Dee, Kay Garner, Doris Troy and the Moody Blues. The single's failure to rise no higher than #33 is attributable to a strike at the Decca processing plant, which stopped the pressing of discs. [3]

In November 1970 the Jyve Fyve reached #50 R&B with their remake of "I Want You to Be My Baby".

The song has also been recorded by Jimmy and the Mustangs, Colin James, Lindisfarne, Natasha England and Janis Siegel.[4] A Finnish rendering - "Armaani Sä Silloin Oisit" - was recorded by Wiola Talvikki. It was also a hit for Chinese singer Grace Chang who performed the song in both Chinese (我要你的爱) and English in the late 1950s.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chilton, John (1994). Let the Good Times Roll: the story of Louis Jordan & his music. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-472-10529-9. 
  2. ^ Billboard vol 67 #33 (13 August 1955) p.22
  3. ^ "Miss Billie Davis". Retrieved 7 October 1009. 
  4. ^ "AMG". Retrieved 7 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "From Shanghai with love". South China Morning Post. 31 December 2001.