Bring It On Home to Me

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"Bring It On Home to Me"
Single by Sam Cooke
from the album The Best of Sam Cooke
A-side"Having a Party"
ReleasedMay 8, 1962
RecordedApril 26, 1962
StudioRCA Studio 1, Hollywood
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Sam Cooke
Producer(s)Hugo & Luigi
Sam Cooke singles chronology
"Twistin' in the Kitchen with Dinah"
"Bring It On Home to Me"
"Somebody Have Mercy"

"Bring It On Home to Me" is a song by American soul singer Sam Cooke, released on May 8, 1962, by RCA Victor. Produced by Hugo & Luigi, and arranged and conducted by René Hall, the song was the B-side to "Having a Party". The song peaked at number two on Billboard's Hot R&B Sides chart, and also charted at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has become a pop standard, covered by numerous artists of different genres. It is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.


"Bring It On Home to Me", like its A-side, "Having a Party", was written while Cooke was on tour for Henry Wynn. The song was initially offered to fellow singer Dee Clark, who turned it down.[1] While in Atlanta, Cooke called co-producer Luigi Creatore and pitched both numbers; Creatore liked the songs, and booked a recording session in Los Angeles, scheduled for two weeks later.[2] The session's mood "matched the title" of the song, according to biographer Peter Guralnick, as many friends had been invited. "It was a very happy session," recalled engineer Al Schmitt. "Everybody was just having a ball. We were getting people out there [on the floor], and some of the outtakes were hilarious, there was so much ad lib that went on."[2] René Hall assembled an eighteen-piece backing group, "composed of six violins, two violas, two cellos, and a sax, plus a seven-piece rhythm section that included two percussionists, two bassists, two guitars, and a piano."

The song is a significant reworking of the 1959 single "I Want to Go Home" by Charles Brown and Amos Milburn,[3][4] and it retains the gospel flavor and call-and-response format; the song differs significantly in that its refrain ("Bring it to me, bring your sweet lovin', bring it on home to me") is overtly secular.[2] The song was the first serious nod to his gospel roots ("[He] felt that he needed more weight, that that light shit wouldn't sustain him," said J.W. Alexander).[1] The song was aiming for a sound similar to Cooke's former group, the Soul Stirrers.[2] The original, unreleased first take includes vocals from Lou Rawls, J.W. Alexander, Fred Smith (former assistant A&R rep at Keen Records), and "probably" the Sims Twins. A second, final take leaves Lou Rawls as the only echoing voice.[2]


"Bring It On Home to Me" was recorded on April 26, 1962, at RCA Studio 1 in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California.[1] The engineer present was Al Schmitt, and the session was conducted and arranged by René Hall. The musicians also recorded "Having a Party" the same day. Credits adapted from the liner notes to the 2003 compilation Portrait of a Legend: 1951–1964.[1]

Later versions[edit]

"Bring It On Home to Me"
Single by the Animals
from the album Animal Tracks (American album)
B-side"For Miss Caulker"
Released9 April 1965[5]
Recorded20 March 1965
GenreRhythm and Blues
Songwriter(s)Sam Cooke
Producer(s)Mickie Most
The Animals singles chronology
"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
"Bring It On Home to Me"
"We Gotta Get out of This Place"
"Bring It On Home to Me"
Single by Mickey Gilley
from the album Gilley's Smokin'
B-side"How's My Ex Treating You"
ReleasedJune 1976
RecordedMay 1976
GenreCountry rock
LabelPlayboy 6075
Songwriter(s)Sam Cooke
Producer(s)Eddie Kilroy
Mickey Gilley singles chronology
"Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time"
"Bring It On Home to Me"
"Lawdy Miss Clawdy"

The most significant later versions of the song include recordings by:

  • The Big Three, 1964 single, Decca Records – the first British recordings of the song
  • The Animals in 1965 as a single, recorded in tribute to the then-recently killed Cooke. It was their last single to include original organist Alan Price. Their version reached number 7 in the UK and number 32 on the US Hot 100. Cash Box said it is performed in "an effective funky, emotion-packed style."[6] Record World said that "British clan gives tough treatment to the terrific Sam Cooke song. They pound out that beat with increasing intensity."[7]
  • Otis Redding and Carla Thomas on their 1967 album King & Queen. John Lennon once said it was his favorite version of the song.[8]
  • Eddie Floyd's version hit number 4 on the R&B charts and number 17 on the Hot 100 in 1968 as a single from his 1968 studio album I've Never Found a Girl.
  • Rod Stewart released this song in 1974 as part of a medley with "You Send Me" and charted it on the UK Singles Chart at number 7 as a double A-side with "Farewell".
  • John Lennon included the song on his Rock 'n' Roll album in 1975. He first heard the song in Liverpool in his early 20s, and liked the song very much, jamming to it frequently. He was hesitant to release his interpretation following so closely on the heels of versions by Dave Mason and Rod Stewart.[8]
  • Jamaican singer Johnny Clarke had local success with his version in 1976.[9]
  • Mickey Gilley hit number one on the country chart in 1976 with his recording taken from his 1976 studio album Gilley's Smokin'.[10] He also reached number 101 on the Billboard Pop chart.[11]
  • The Chicks (originally known as the Dixie Chicks) stripped the song down to vocals, finger snaps and plucked bass fiddle in 1990 on the album Thank Heavens for Dale Evans. Their version, less than two minutes long, revealed their blues-style harmonies.[12]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Original version[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 13
US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)[13] 2
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] Silver 250,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

The Animals version[edit]

Year Chart Position
1965 Pop Singles Chart 32
1965 UK Singles Chart 7
1965 Canada[15] 7
1965 Finland 19
1965 Netherlands 3
1965 Sweden 1

Eddie Floyd version[edit]

Year Chart Position
1968 Black Singles Chart 4
1968 Pop Singles Chart 17
1968 Canada[16] 24

Lou Rawls version[edit]

Year Chart Position
1970 Black Singles Chart 45
1970 Pop Singles Chart 96

Mickey Gilley version[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 1
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[18] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1976) Position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[19] 31

In popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in the second to last scene of 1987 movie, Adventures in Babysitting.

Green Day lifted the song's melody for the verses of their song "Brutal Love."

The song was featured in the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.[20]

The film features the song during the opening scene.

The song is featured in Episode 5 of the 2016 American science fiction thriller miniseries 11.22.63.

The song is featured in a 2018 Walmart Christmas commercial about a teddy bear that wanders the store's aisles at night until he is brought home to a little girl for Christmas.

The TV show Ozark featured the song in episode 1 of season 4, during the pool scene with Ruth, Jonah and Wyatt at the Lazy-O. It also appeared in season 4 episode 14, "A Hard Way to Go".


  1. ^ a b c d Portrait of a Legend: 1951–1964 (liner notes). Sam Cooke. US: ABKCO Records. 2003. 92642.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e Guralnick, Peter (2014). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. Little, Brown. pp. 404–406. ISBN 9780316210973.
  3. ^ Guralnick, Peter (14 December 2008). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316055154 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Anatomy of a Classic: Bring It On Home To Me - The Adios Lounge".
  5. ^ "Chrome Oxide - Music Collectors pages - Animals - 05/12/2018".
  6. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. May 8, 1965. p. 12. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  7. ^ "Single Pick of the Week" (PDF). Record World. May 8, 1965. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-07-21.
  8. ^ a b Somach, Denny (2020). A Walk Down Abbey Road. Crossroad Press. p. 44.
  9. ^ Thompson, Dave (2002). Reggae & Caribbean Music. Hal Leonard. p. 74. ISBN 9780879306557.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 136. ISBN 9780823074990.
  11. ^ Joel Whitburn's Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100 1959-2004
  12. ^ Collins, Ace (2015). All About the Dixie Chicks. St. Martin's Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 9781250097583.
  13. ^ a b "Sam Cooke – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  14. ^ "British single certifications – Sam Cooke – Bring It On Home To Me". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  15. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - June 28, 1965" (PDF).
  16. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - December 2, 1968" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Mickey Gilley Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Mickey Gilley Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Hot Country Songs – Year-End 1976". Billboard. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  20. ^ Shepard, Jack (April 19, 2017). "Tracklist for Guardians of the Galaxy's Awesome Mixtape Vol. 2 revealed". The Independent. Retrieved August 27, 2017.