Chain Gang (song)
|Single by Sam Cooke|
|from the album Swing Low|
|B-side||"I Fall In Love Every Day"|
|Released||July 26, 1960|
|Recorded||January 25, 1960|
RCA Studio A
(New York City)
|Genre||Rhythm and blues, soul|
|Songwriter(s)||Sam Cooke, Charles Cook, Jr.|
|Producer(s)||Hugo & Luigi|
|Sam Cooke singles chronology|
"Chain Gang" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, released on July 26, 1960. The song became one of Cooke's most successful singles, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind both "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own" by Connie Francis and "Mr. Custer" by Larry Verne On the Hot R&B Sides chart, the song peaked at number two as well. Overseas, "Chain Gang" charted at number nine on the UK Singles Chart.
This was Cooke's second-biggest American hit, his first single for RCA Victor after leaving Keen Records earlier in 1959, and was also his first top 10 hit since "You Send Me" from 1957, and his second-biggest pop single. The song was inspired after a chance meeting with an actual chain-gang of prisoners on a highway, seen while Cooke was on tour. According to legend, Cooke and his brother Charles felt sorry for the men and gave them several cartons of cigarettes. Cooke was reportedly unsatisfied with the initial recording sessions of this song at RCA Studios in Manhattan in January 1960, and came back three months later to redo some of the vocals to get the effect he wanted.
Eight years later, in 1968, the song was recorded by the duo of Jackie Wilson and Count Basie. Released on the Brunswick label, this version became a top forty R&B hit and a minor Billboard Hot 100 hit.
Jim Croce medley
|"Chain Gang Medley: Chain Gang/He Don't Love You/Searchin"|
|Single by Jim Croce|
|from the album Down the Highway|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
|Songwriter(s)||Sam Cooke, Charles Cook, Jr., Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, Calvin Carter, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller|
|Producer(s)||Terry Cashman, Tommy West|
|Jim Croce singles chronology|
Jim Croce had his last Hot 100 hit in 1976 when Lifesong Records released "Chain Gang Medley," a medley which included this song as well as "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" and "Searchin'." The medley reached a peak of 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 after spending 9 weeks on the chart.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||63|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary||22|
|U.S. Cash Box Top 100||56|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||29|
|Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary||20|
- "Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. October 3, 1960. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 134.
- Strong, Martin Charles & John Peel Great Rock Discography
- "Chain Gang Medley (song by Jim Croce) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". www.musicvf.com. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Cash Box Top 100 2/07/76 Archived December 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Top Singles - Volume 24, No. 21, February 21 1976". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "Adult Contemporary - Volume 24, No. 20, February 14 1976". Retrieved March 15, 2018.