Grazing in the Grass

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"Grazing in the Grass"
Single by Hugh Masekela
from the album The Promise of a Future
B-side "Bajabula Bonke (Healing Song)"
Released May 1968
Format 7"
Recorded March 12, 1968
Genre Jazz
Length 2:38
Label Uni, (55066)
Writer(s) Philemon Hou
Producer(s) Stewart Levine
Certification Gold
Hugh Masekela singles chronology
"There Are Seeds to Sow" "Grazing in the Grass"
"Puffin' on Down the Track"

"Grazing in the Grass" is an instrumental composed by Philemon Hou and first recorded by the South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. Released in the United States as a single in 1968, it hit no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1]


"Grazing in the Grass" was inspired by an earlier Masekela recording, "Mr. Bull No. 5". Hou, an actor and singer, came up with the melody while the backing track was already being recorded. The session was held at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood.[2]



Chart (1968) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 1

The Friends of Distinction version[edit]

"Grazing in the Grass"
Single by The Friends of Distinction
from the album Grazin'
B-side "I Really Hope You Do"
Released May 1969
Format Vinyl 7", Single, 45 RPM, 8-Track
Recorded 1969
Genre Pop, R&B, psychedelic soul
Length 2:52
Label RCA Victor
Writer(s) Philemon Hou, Harry Elston
Producer(s) John Florez
The Friends of Distinction singles chronology
"Grazing in the Grass"'
"Going in Circles"

The Friends of Distinction recorded a vocal cover version of the tune in 1969 which was also a Top Ten pop and R&B hit, reaching no. 3 on the former and no. 5 on the latter.[4] The group's Harry Elston penned lyrics for the song and sang lead on it. "Grazing in the Grass" has been recorded by many other musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Chet Atkins, Galapagos Duck, Boney James, Rick Braun, Larry Harlow, Willie Mitchell, The Monitors, The Scofflaws, Meco, and cc: DIVA.


Chart (1969) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles 5

Other cover versions[edit]

"Grazing in the Grass"
Single by Raven-Symoné
from the album The Lion King 1½ and
This Is My Time
Released 2004
Genre R&B, dance-pop, soul
Length 3:08
Label Hollywood
Producer(s) Robbie Buchanan
Raven-Symoné singles chronology
"With a Child's Heart"
"Grazing in the Grass"

The song appeared on Stevie Wonder's 1968 album Eivets Rednow.

In 2004 it was covered by Raven-Symoné; her version was played on Radio Disney but never received a general commercial release as a single for airplay in other venues. The video for her version features her and dancing extras interacting with scenes from The Lion King 1½. It is also a staple in the repertoire of New Orleans brass bands. "Grazing in the Grass" was sampled by the hip hop duo Nice & Smooth on the track "One, Two and One More Makes Three" from their album Ain't a Damn Thing Changed. Also, a sample can be heard in Sugar Ray's 1999 single "Every Morning" Also, jazz saxophonist George Howard did an upbeat version of Grazin' in the Grass on his album When Summer Comes in 1993.

Appearances in other media[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 380. 
  2. ^ Bronson, Fred; Adam White (1993). The Billboard Book of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits. Billboard Books. p. 49. 
  3. ^ Payne, Douglas. "Hugh Masekela Discography 1955-1969". Retrieved August 12, 2009. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 215. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top 40 Hits: 1955-2009. Record Research. p. 256. 
  6. ^ Masekela, Hugh, Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela, Crown Publishers (2004) - ISBN 0-609-60957-2.
Preceded by
"This Guy's in Love with You" by Herb Alpert
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
(Hugh Masekela version)

July 20, 1968 - August 3, 1968 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Hello, I Love You" by The Doors
Preceded by
"I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)" by The Temptations
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
July 13, 1968 – August 3, 1968 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Stay in My Corner" by The Dells