Someday We'll Be Together

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"Someday We'll Be Together"
Single by Johnny & Jackey
Released November 1961
Format Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded 1961
Genre Doo-wop, rhythm and blues
Length 3:34
Label Tri-Phi
1005
Writer(s) Johnny Bristol
Jackey Beavers
Harvey Fuqua
Producer(s) Harvey Fuqua
Johnny & Jackey singles chronology
"Carry Your Own Load"
(1961)
"Someday We'll Be Together"
(1961)
"Do You See My Love (For You Growing)"
(1962)
"Someday We'll Be Together"
Single by Diana Ross & the Supremes
from the album Cream of the Crop
B-side "He's My Sunny Boy"
Released October 14, 1969
Format Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); June 13, 1969 + additional dates
Genre Pop, soul
Length 3:14 (original release)
3:33 (remastered)
Label Motown
M 1156
Producer(s) Johnny Bristol
Certification Platinum (RIAA)[1]
Diana Ross & the Supremes singles chronology
"I Second That Emotion"
(1969)
"Someday We'll Be Together"
(1969)
"Up the Ladder to the Roof"
(1970)
Cream of the Crop track listing
Music sample
Alternative cover
"Someday We'll Be Together"
Single by Bill Anderson and Jan Howard
from the album Bill & Jan (Or Jan & Bill)
Released June 1970
Format Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded 1969
Genre Country
Label Decca Records
32689
Producer(s) Owen Bradley
Bill Anderson and Jan Howard singles chronology
"If It's All the Same to You"
(1969)
"Someday We'll Be Together"
(1970)
"Dis-Satisfied"
(1971)
"Someday We'll Be Together"
Single by Diana Ross
from the album Diana Extended
Released April 9, 1994
Format CD, Maxi-Single (PROMO)
Recorded 1994
Genre Soul, Pop, Dance
Length 3:04 (Radio Edit)
8:42 (Album Version)
Label Motown Records
Producer(s) Frankie Knuckles (Remixer)
Diana Ross singles chronology
"The Best Years of My Life"
(1993)
"Someday We'll Be Together" (Remix)
(1994)
"Take Me Higher"
(1995)

"Someday We'll Be Together" is a song written by Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers, and Harvey Fuqua and made popular as the last of twelve American number-one pop singles for Diana Ross & the Supremes on the Motown label. Although it was released as the final Supremes song featuring Diana Ross, who left the group for a solo career in January 1970, it was recorded as Ross' first solo single and Supremes members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not sing on the recording. Both appear on the B-side, "He's My Sunny Boy."

The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart for one week. Reaching number-one on the American pop chart in the final 1969 issue of Billboard magazine (dated December 27),[2] the single was not only the final number-one in 12 chart-topping pop hits for The Supremes,[3] but it also holds the distinction of being the final American number-one hit of the 1960s.

Background[edit]

Original version[edit]

The song was written by Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers, and Harvey Fuqua in 1961; and Bristol and Beavers recorded the song together as "Johnny & Jackey" for the Tri-Phi label that same year. "Someday" was a moderate success in the Midwestern United States, but gained little notice in other venues.

Tri-Phi was purchased by Motown in the mid-1960s. Fuqua, Bristol, and Beavers all joined Berry Gordy's by-then famous record company, and "Someday We'll Be Together" became part of Motown's Jobete publishing catalog. Beavers soon departed for Chess Records, although both Bristol and Fuqua stayed on as songwriters and producers for the label.

Supremes version[edit]

In 1969, Bristol was preparing a cover version of "Someday We'll Be Together," to be recorded by Motown act Jr. Walker & the All-Stars. Bristol had already recorded the instrumental track and the background vocals by Maxine Waters and Julia Waters when Berry Gordy happened upon the tracks and heard them. Gordy thought that "Someday" would be a perfect first solo single for Diana Ross, who was making her long-expected exit from the Supremes at the time, and had Bristol sequester Ross into the studio to record the song.

Unable at first to get the vocal performance he desired from Diana Ross, Johnny Bristol decided to try something different: he would harmonize with Ross, helping her to get into the mood needed for the record. On the first take, the engineer accidentally recorded both Ross's vocal and Bristol's ad-libs. Bristol and arranger Wade Marcus liked the results, and Bristol had his vocal recorded alongside Ross' for the final version of the song. Bristol's ad-libs and words of encouragement to Ross can be heard in the background throughout the song. When Berry Gordy heard the completed song, he decided to release it as the final Diana Ross & the Supremes song. Ross' first solo single instead, released in early 1970, became "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)."

While the explicit subject of the song was that of Ross comforting a long-distance lover, "Someday We'll Be Together" allowed for a number of other implications such that Ross and bandmates Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong would one day "be together." Further, in concert, Ross would suggest that "someday, we'll be together" in regard to contemporary troubles like civil rights and the ongoing demonstrations and protests against the Vietnam War.

Release[edit]

"Someday We'll Be Together" was included on the final Diana Ross & the Supremes album, Cream of the Crop. The song was a United States number-one hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 popular singles chart and the R&B singles charts, as well as charting in the top twenty at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart.[4] It also peaked on the Netherlands' MegaCharts at #19 in 1970. "Someday's" B-side, "He's My Sunny Boy," was recorded by Ross, Wilson, and Birdsong for the Love Child album in 1968 and written and produced by Smokey Robinson.

"Someday" charted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 popular singles chart for one week, on December 27, 1969. It also charted at number-one on the Billboard R&B Singles chart for four weeks, from December 13, 1969 to January 3, 1970. "Someday We'll Be Together" therefore appeared in Billboard as both the final Hot 100 and R&B number-one of the 1960s, and as the first R&B number-one of the 1970s.[5]

Notable live performances[edit]

The girl group made their final of several performances throughout the decade with Diana Ross singing lead on the 1960s decennial finale of The Ed Sullivan Show that aired live Sunday, December 21, 1969 on CBS.[6]

"Someday We'll Be Together" was the final number at Diana Ross & the Supremes' farewell concert on January 14, 1970 at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. After the completion of the show, Jean Terrell was presented onstage to the audience as Diana Ross' replacement, and "Diana Ross & the Supremes" officially split apart, becoming the new "The Supremes."

Ross reunited with Wilson and Birdsong in 1983, performing the single for the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special.

Other cover versions[edit]

Bill Anderson and Jan Howard recorded a cover version for the country music market. Their version peaked at #4 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles chart in the summer of 1970. Another cover, credited to the "already-defunct" group (and fellow Motown act) The Marvelettes, was released in 1970 as well, as a track to the group's final album The Return of the Marvelettes. As with the Supremes version, lead vocalist Wanda Young Rogers was the only group member to sing on the track, with The Andantes used as backing vocalists.

In 1992, Janet Jackson sampled the opening riff on her hit song "If" from the 1993 album janet. That same year Diana Ross released a remixed version by legendary DJ Frankie Knuckles. This single peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs.

Other cover versions included those by rock artist Vonda Shepard, Scottish pop singer Jimmy Somerville, orchestra leader Bert Kaempfert, and country singer Lorrie Morgan.

Personnel[edit]

Johnny & Jackey version[edit]

Diana Ross & the Supremes version[edit]

Bill Anderson and Jan Howard version[edit]

The Marvelettes version[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Supremes version[edit]

  • 7" single (14 October 1969) (North America/United Kingdom)
  1. "Someday We'll Be Together" – 3:14
  2. "He's My Sunny Boy" – 2:18

Chart history[edit]

Supremes version[edit]

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 12
U.S. Cash Box Pop Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 13
Preceded by
"Leaving on a Jet Plane" by Peter, Paul and Mary
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
(Supremes version)

December 27, 1969
Succeeded by
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B. J. Thomas
Preceded by
"Baby, I'm for Real" by The Originals
Billboard's Best Selling Soul Singles number one single
(Supremes version)

December 13, 1969 - January 3, 1970
Succeeded by
"I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - The Supremes". Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  2. ^ "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (Nielsen Company) 81 (52): 44. 1969. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Bronson, Fred: The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, page 265. Billboard Books, 2003.
  4. ^ Chart Stats - Diana Ross and the Supremes - Someday We'll Be Together, retrieved 27 March 2010 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 558. 
  6. ^ Guests: Diana Ross & the Supremes (21 December 1969). "The Singing, Soulful Sixties". The Ed Sullivan Show. Season 23. Episode 13. CBS. WCBS. http://www.tv.com/the-swinging-soulful-sixties---diana-ross-andamp-the-supremes-etc./episode/106889/summary.html.

External links[edit]