Keep Growing Strong

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"Keep Growing Strong"
Song by Connie Stevens
Released1970
Recorded1970
GenrePop
Length2:30
LabelBell Records
Songwriter(s)Thom Bell, Linda Creed

"Keep Growing Strong" is a song written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed that was originally recorded by Connie Stevens on the Bell Records label in 1970. The composition later became a hit when it was released by the Philadelphia soul group The Stylistics in 1972 under its better known title, "Betcha By Golly, Wow".[1]

The Stylistics version[edit]

"Betcha by Golly, Wow"
Betcha by Golly, Wow - Stylistics.jpg
Single by The Stylistics
from the album The Stylistics
B-side"Ebony Eyes"
ReleasedFebruary 17, 1972
Format7" single
GenreSoul, Philly soul
Length3:48 (album version)
3:17 (single edit)
LabelAvco
Songwriter(s)Thom Bell, Linda Creed
Producer(s)Thom Bell
The Stylistics singles chronology
"You Are Everything"
(1971)
"Betcha by Golly, Wow"
(1972)
"People Make the World Go Round"
(1972)

A year after Stevens’ original version was released, the group The Stylistics recorded a more successful cover version as an R&B ballad under the name the song is best known today, "Betcha By Golly, Wow". It was the third track from The Stylistics' 1971 debut self-titled album[2]; released as a single in 1972, it reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1][3] Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song for 1972. It also climbed to No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart[3], and reached No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart in July 1972.[4] The Stylistics' recording sold over one million copies globally, earning the band a gold disc[1] The award was presented by the RIAA on April 17, 1972.[1] It was the band's second gold disc.[1] There are two mixes of the song; the 3:17 version released as a single is the one most familiar to listeners, while the 3:48 album version has an instrumental break prior to the song's finale.

Chart performance[edit]

Prince version[edit]

"Betcha by Golly Wow!"
Prince betcha.jpg
UK CD single
Single by Prince
from the album Emancipation
B-side"Right Back Here in My Arms"
ReleasedNovember 13, 1996
FormatCassette single
CD single
RecordedPaisley Park Studios, 1995
GenreSoul
Length3:30
LabelNPG/EMI
Songwriter(s)Linda Creed, Thom Bell
Producer(s)Prince
Prince singles chronology
"Gold"
(1995)
"Betcha by Golly Wow!"
(1996)
"The Holy River"
(1997)

Another version of the song was released by Prince (his stage name at that time being a symbol with no known pronunciation, see cover art) on his 1996 album Emancipation. Prince had stated that he always wanted to release his own version but his record company, Warner Bros. Records, had not permitted it. The CD single was released in two formats in the UK, one with a picture sleeve and one with an orange cardboard sleeve that included a picture disc and a mini-poster. The song was also issued on cassette. All versions of the single had "Right Back Here in My Arms" as the B-side. Both tracks were the album version. The track was released as a promotional single in the US, a music video was also produced.

The song was released on Mayte Garcia's (Prince's then-wife) 23rd birthday. Garcia also appeared in the video; she played herself in the doctor's office, confirming she is pregnant and revealing this to Prince when he walks into the room. One of the backgrounds of the video is Prince's own Paisley Park Studios. It charted fairly well in the US, based on airplay figures (in the US promotional singles were not allowed to chart until late 1998) and almost made the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart.[10]

Chart (1996–97) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[11] 18
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[12] 5
Germany (Official German Charts)[13] 62
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 42
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 27
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 11
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 31
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay 10
US Billboard Rhythmic Top 40 10
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 23
US Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 38

Other versions[edit]

  • The song also appears on the album For You, released in 2002 by the Hawaiian group Three Plus.
  • The song was spoofed by Philippine Comedian, Beethoven Bunagan a.k.a. "Michael V." in 1996.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 351. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^ Lytle, Craig. "The Stylistics". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "The Stylistics | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  4. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 537. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  6. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 14 August 1972
  7. ^ "Adult Contemporary Music Chart". Billboard. 1972-05-13. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  8. ^ [1] Archived September 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 439. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  13. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Prince: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  17. ^ "Hugh Masekela – Almost Like Being In Jazz". Discogs. discogs.com. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Betcha By Golly, Wow on Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2018.

External links[edit]