Do You Love Me

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"Do You Love Me"
Do You Love Me by The Contours US vinyl A-side.png
Single by the Contours
from the album Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)
B-side"Move, Mr. Man"
ReleasedJune 29, 1962 (June 29, 1962)
Recorded1962
StudioHitsville USA (Studio A), Detroit, Michigan
GenreRhythm and blues
Length2:54
LabelGordy
Songwriter(s)Berry Gordy Jr.
Producer(s)Berry Gordy Jr.
The Contours singles chronology
"The Stretch"
(1961)
"Do You Love Me"
(1962)
"Shake Sherry"
(1962)

"Do You Love Me" is a rhythm and blues song recorded by the Contours in 1962. Written and produced by Motown Records owner Berry Gordy Jr., it appeared twice on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, reaching numbers three in 1962 and eleven in 1988.

"Do You Love Me" references the 1960s dance moves the Mashed Potato and the Twist. The song includes a spoken recitation in the intro:

You broke my heart, 'cause I couldn't dance
You didn't even want me around
And now I'm back, to let you know
I can really shake 'em down

Background and recording[edit]

Berry Gordy wrote "Do You Love Me" and earmarked it for the Temptations, who had no Top 40 hits to their name yet.[1] He then decided it would be suitable for the Contours (Billy Gordon, Hubert Johnson, Billy Hoggs, Joe Billingslea, Sylvester Potts, and guitarist Huey Davis); it has been suggested that none of the vocalists in The Temptations had the sound he wanted.[2] The Contours, who were in danger of being dropped from the label after their first two singles ("Whole Lotta' Woman" and "The Stretch") failed to chart, immediately accepted. Instrumental backing was provided by the Funk Brothers: Joe Hunter on piano, James Jamerson on bass, and Benny Benjamin on drums.[3]

Release and charts[edit]

"Do You Love Me" became a successful dance record, built around Gordon's screaming vocals. Selling over a million copies, "Do You Love Me" peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks starting on October 20, 1962, and reached the top position on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.[4] The song is included on the 1962 album Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance).

In 1987 the Contours' recording was included in the film Dirty Dancing. Re-issued as a single from the More Dirty Dancing soundtrack album, "Do You Love Me" became a hit for the second time, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1988.[5] The Contours, by then composed of Joe Billingslea and three new members, joined Ronnie Spector and Bill Medley, among others, on a "Dirty Dancing Tour" resulting from the success of the film.

Legacy[edit]

According to music journalist Dave Marsh, "Do You Love Me" is representative of Gordy's talent as a musician, producer, arranger, and songwriter: "The result is not only classic rock and roll but a tribute to his stature as the greatest backstage talent in rock history."[6] Gordy viewed the song as an example of the musical overlap between rhythm and blues, pop, and rock and roll, telling Billboard in 1963, "It was recorded r. & b. but by the time it reached the half-million mark, it was considered pop. And if we hadn't recorded it with a Negro artist, it would have been considered rock and roll."[7]

As with many American R&B songs of the 1960s, "Do You Love Me?" was recorded by several British Invasion groups. A version by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart.[8] In 1964 it was a hit single for the Dave Clark Five, reaching 11th position in the Billboard Hot 100.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Waller, Don (1985). The Motown story. New York: C. Scribner. p. 109. ISBN 9780684182933.
  2. ^ Waller, Don (1985). The Motown story. New York: C. Scribner. p. 109. ISBN 9780684182933.
  3. ^ The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 2: 1962 [liner notes]. New York: Hip-O Select/Motown/Universal Records
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 133.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 190.
  6. ^ Abbott, Kingsley (2001). Calling Out Around the World: A Motown Reader. Helter Skelter. p. 38. ISBN 1900924145.
  7. ^ Biro, Nick (January 5, 1963). "R & B Roundup". Billboard. p. 16. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 565. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.