Betcha by Golly, Wow

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"Betcha by Golly, Wow"
Betcha by Golly, Wow - Stylistics.jpg
Single by The Stylistics
from the album The Stylistics
B-side "Ebony Eyes"
Released February 17, 1972
Format 7" single
Genre Soul, Philly soul
Length 3:48 (album version)
3:17 (single edit)
Label Avco
Writer(s) Thom Bell, Linda Creed
Producer(s) Thom Bell
The Stylistics singles chronology
"You Are Everything"
"Betcha by Golly, Wow"
"People Make the World Go Round"

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

The Stylistics version[edit]

An R&B ballad, it was the third track from The Stylistics' 1971 debut self-titled album[2] and was released as a single in 1972 and reached number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1][3] Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song for 1972. In addition, it also climbed to number 2 on the Billboard R&B chart[3] and reached number number 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"
Released November 13, 1996
Format Cassette single
CD single
Recorded Paisley Park Studios, 1995
Genre Soul
Length 3:30
Writer(s) Linda Creed, Thom Bell
Producer(s) Prince
Prince singles chronology
"Betcha by Golly Wow!"
"The Holy River"

Another cover version 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 a cover 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 playing herself, in the doctor's office, later to reveal Prince walking into the room revealing she is pregnant with their first child. 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.[9]

Chart (1996–97) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[10] 18
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[11] 5
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 62
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 42
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 27
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 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 cover versions[edit]

Angela Bofill, Norman Connors, Grant Green, Ramsey Lewis, Freddie Hubbard, Leah LaBelle, Tuck Andress, Cleveland Eaton, Errol Dunkley, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, Phyllis Hyman, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Aaron Neville, Tweet, Pat Metheny, Horace Andy and the Sugababes have also covered the song.

Ramsey Lewis' version of the song was sampled on the Mariah Carey track "Stay The Night" from her 2005 The Emancipation of Mimi album.

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.

The song was also sampled on the Busta Rhymes track "Salute Da Gods!!" from his 2000 Anarchy album.


  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". Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  6. ^ "Adult Contemporary Music Chart". Billboard. 1972-05-13. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived September 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 439. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  10. ^ " – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  11. ^ " – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  12. ^ " – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  13. ^ " – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  14. ^ " – The Symbol – Betcha by Golly Wow!". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Prince: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 2, 2016.

External links[edit]