Happy Together (song)

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"Happy Together"
Happy Together (song).jpg
Single by The Turtles
from the album Happy Together
B-side "Like the Seasons"
Released February 1967 (February 1967)
Format 7-inch single
Length 2:50
Label White Whale
Producer(s) Joe Wissert
The Turtles singles chronology
"Can I Get to Know You Better"
"Happy Together"
"She'd Rather Be with Me"
"Can I Get to Know You Better"
"Happy Together"
"She'd Rather Be with Me"

"Happy Together" is a 1967 song from the Turtles' album of the same name. Released as a single in February 1967, the song knocked The Beatles' "Penny Lane" out of the number one slot for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] It was the group's only chart-topper in the United States. "Happy Together" reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1967 and number 13 on Top 100 Singles of 1967 in Canada [4][5] The song was written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon, former members of a band known as The Magicians.[3] The song had been rejected a dozen times before it was offered to the Turtles, and the demo acetate was worn out.[6]


The song is in the key of F-sharp minor, with the chorus in F-sharp major. The song ends on a Picardy third.


  • Howard Kaylan – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Mark Volman – vocals
  • Al Nichol – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Jim Tucker – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Chip Douglas – bass guitar, orchestra arrangement, backing vocals
  • John Barbata – drums, percussion

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Andy Cahan – organ
  • Alan Gordon – songwriting
  • Gary Bonner – songwriting

Chart performance[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The Turtles performing "Happy Together" on The Ed Sullivan Show, May 14, 1967.


The song has been featured in many movies, including:

Frank Alamo's French cover of the song was featured in the 2010 movie Get Him to the Greek and the Halloween TV special Scared Shrekless. The original song was featured in one of the trailers for the 2013 film The Great Gatsby.


The song has been used in episodes of The Simpsons[15] (such as "The Way We Weren't" and "Trilogy of Error") and in episodes of The Wonder Years,[15] The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, That '70s Show (sung by the cast), The Muppet Show (sung by guest star Florence Henderson with a set of Muppet Monsters and Frackles), Oz, Cupid (sung by Lisa Loeb), Scrubs, ER, America's Funniest Home Videos, The Big Bang Theory, the My Name Is Earl episode "Faked His Own Death", and the series finales of Daldalita, Two and a Half Men, and You, Me and the Apocalypse.

The song appeared in the "Bride of Hannibal" promo for the third season of Hannibal, focusing on the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and his psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier.

It also appeared in Masters of Sex at the ending of episode (S04E02), with the background of the complications in the relationship between the Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson's characters.


The song was used in 1980s Golden Grahams adverts. In 1999, the song was used for a Super Smash Bros. advert where Mario, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, and Yoshi suddenly start fighting in a field of flowers. In New Zealand, Toyota used the song for its promotion of the Toyota RAV4 in 2006.[16] In 2009, Ford used the song in Brazil for the promotion of Ford Focus. However, the Ford commercial featured its "employees" singing the song while they designed and manufactured the car rather than the original version of the song. Since the early 2010s, the song has been a feature of Mexican Airline AeroMéxico commercials, both in television and radio advertisements. In 2013, the song was used in the Dead Rising 3 video game commercial. In 2015, the song was covered in advertisements for the Plenti card. In November 2015, Coca-Cola featured the song from the commercial in the Philippines using their revised version. In January 2017, the song is played in the background of a Tim Horton's commercial (Canada) .


"Happy Together" is the official song of football club Melbourne City FC.


In Stephen King's novel Gerald's Game, the psychotic burglar, necrophile, and cannibal Raymond Andrew Joubert is described to the protagonist Jessie Burlingame as singing this song in the back of a police cruiser after being apprehended breaking into a mausoleum.[17]

Cover versions[edit]

"Happy Together" has been covered by artists as diverse as Mel Tormé,[15] Captain and Tennille,[15] The Nylons,[15] The Piano Guys, Weezer, Petula Clark, Jason Donovan, Simple Plan, Caterina Valente, The Dollyrots, Blue Meanies, Donny Osmond, T.G. Sheppard (who would take his version into the country Top 10 in early 1979), Tahiti 80, Filter, Flobots, Tally Hall, Johnny Panic, and Miley Cyrus, whose version samples the original. Frank Alamo covered the song in 1967 in a French version entitled "Heureux Tous Les Deux (Happy Together)". Spanish flamenco duo Las Grecas made a cover called "Los dos tan felices" (We both so happy) in their album "Tercer Album" (1976)[18] and there is also a Spanish cover, sung by Roberto Jordán, called "Juntos y Felices". In 1999, BMI named "Happy Together", with approximately five million performances on American radio, the 44th most-performed song in the United States of the 20th century,[19] placing it in the same league as "Yesterday" by the Beatles and "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel. Frank Zappa's performance on Fillmore East – June 1971 included Turtles vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman and bassist Jim Pons.

Kaylan and Volman also did a reggae remake of the song for the last Flo & Eddie album Rock Steady with Flo & Eddie. Hugo Montenegro's cover version was released as a single in 1969 and reached number 29 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.[20] The song has been covered by B. E. Taylor for his album, Love Never Fails. The song has also been sung by the Red Army Choir and the Leningrad Cowboys. In 2007 the song was used as a sample on the song "Ooh Ooh Baby" from Britney Spears' album Blackout.

It was also performed on the show American Idol on February 19, 2008, by David Cook, and on February 20, 2008, by Brooke White: both performances were released as live singles on the iTunes Store in 2008. On May 5, 2011, it was sung in a group performance by the top 5 contestants on the show's tenth season. On January 21, 2015, the song was featured on the TV series Stalker arranged and performed by the band SPiN.[21]

Copyright lawsuit[edit]

Flo & Eddie, legal successors to the Turtles, filed a lawsuit in the New York Court of Appeals against Sirius XM Radio to establish common law copyright on their original recording of "Happy Together." As the song was recorded in 1967, five years before federal sound copyright was established, the group sought to establish that such recordings were covered under common law copyright, a nebulous form of copyright held at the state level, in the hopes of earning royalties from Sirius XM (as they did not write the song, they could only receive performance royalties). The Court of Appeals had previously ruled that such a common law copyright may exist in New York in the 2005 ruling Capitol Records, Inc. v. Naxos of America, Inc..

On December 20, 2016, the Court ruled that no such common law copyright exists in New York, and that Flo & Eddie could not claim performance rights.[22]


  1. ^ Doyle Greene (March 10, 2014). The Rock Cover Song: Culture, History, Politics. McFarland. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-4766-1507-3. 
  2. ^ Richie Unterberger (April 29, 1999). The Rough Guide to Music USA. Rough Guides. p. 385. ISBN 978-1-85828-421-7. 
  3. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 221.
  4. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1967 in Canada | Canadian Music Blog". Musiccanada.wordpress.com. 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  6. ^ Wayne Wadhams, David Nathan (2001). Inside the Hits. Berklee Press, p. 254. ISBN 0-634-01430-7.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. 
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Happy Together". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "Top 100 1967". top-source.info. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
  11. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 4/08/67". Tropicalglen.com. 1967-04-08. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  12. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.100151&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=dtlhqtcdftn9t40n27r4hds2h0
  13. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1967/Top 100 Songs of 1967". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f Bessman, Jim (April 26, 2003). "Words & Music". Billboard. p. 40. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Toyota Rav4 - Happy Together - (2006) :30 (New Zealand) | Adland ®". Adland.tv. 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  17. ^ "Gerald's Game". StephenKing.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  18. ^ https://www.google.es/#q=tercer+%C3%A1lbum+canciones&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgFuLSz9U3qMgxKCpPVkJia4lmJ1vp55YWZybrJ-YkleZaFefnpRcDAJ5XwxUxAAAA
  19. ^ "BMI Announces Top 100 Songs of the Century". BMI. December 13, 1999. 
  20. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 66.
  21. ^ "Stalker Music - S1E13: "The News"". TuneFind.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  22. ^ Klepper, David (December 20, 2016). "OWNERS OF 1967 HIT SONG 'HAPPY TOGETHER' LOSE COPYRIGHT CASE". Associated Press. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Penny Lane" by The Beatles
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 25, 1967 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Somethin' Stupid" by Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra