Having a Party (song)

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"Having a Party"
Having a Party.png
Single by Sam Cooke
B-side "Bring It on Home to Me"
Released May 8, 1962
Format 7"
Recorded April 26, 1962
RCA Studio 1
(Hollywood, California)
Genre Rhythm and blues, soul
Length 2:23
Label RCA Victor
Songwriter(s) Sam Cooke
Producer(s) Hugo & Luigi
Sam Cooke singles chronology
"Twistin' in the Kitchen with Dinah"
"Having a Party"
"Somebody Have Mercy"

"Twistin' in the Kitchen with Dinah"
"Having a Party"
"Somebody Have Mercy"

"Having a Party" is a song by American singer-songwriter 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 A-side to "Bring It on Home to Me". The song peaked at number four on Billboard's Hot R&B Sides chart, and also charted at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.


"Having a Party", like its B-side, "Bring It on Home to Me", was written while Cooke was on tour for Henry Wynn. While in Atlanta, Cooke called co-producer Luigi Creatore and pitched both numbers; he was sold and booked an immediate recording session in Los Angeles scheduled for two weeks later.[1] 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."[1] "Having a Party" was recorded first, as it was the "lighter" of the two songs, and it was completed in twelve takes. 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."[1] Lou Rawls, former Keen assistant A&R rep Fred Smith and J.W. Alexander join in to provide backing vocals and handclaps to the chorus.[2]

"Having a Party" became the closing song of Cooke's live performances from the time it was recorded to his death.[2] These concerts would typically end with all other acts joining Cooke and company onstage, throwing confetti while Cooke worked the audience to "keep on having that party" after the show is over.[2] A version can be heard on Cooke's posthumous live recording, Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963.


"Having a Party" was recorded on April 26, 1962 at RCA Studio 1 in Hollywood, California.[2] The engineer present was Al Schmitt, and the session was conducted and arranged by René Hall. The musicians also recorded "Bring It on Home to Me" the same day. Credits adapted from the liner notes to the 2003 compilation Portrait of a Legend: 1951–1964.[2]

Rod Stewart version[edit]

In 1993, Rod Stewart covered the song during his session of MTV Unplugged. It was included on the live album Unplugged...and Seated and released as a single. It charted in the US in early 1994 reaching the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at 36, and in the top 10 of the AC chart peaking at 6.

Other versions[edit]

Luther Vandross covered the song during the bridge on his 1982 hit "Bad Boy/Having a Party"; however, only the chorus is sung in this version, and new words were added to it (e.g. the closing line "you can't go"). The Pointer Sisters covered it on their fourth album (1977). Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes covered it on their live album Reach Up and Touch the Sky (1981), and in 2016 still include it in their setlist.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Sam Cooke version[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 17
US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)[3] 4

Rod Stewart version[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Back Bay Books, p. 404–406. First edition, 2005.
  2. ^ a b c d e Portrait of a Legend: 1951–1964 (liner notes). Sam Cooke. US: ABKCO Records. 2003. 92642. 
  3. ^ a b "Sam Cooke – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Rod Stewart - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Rod Stewart - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  6. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1994". RPM. Retrieved November 23, 2017. 

External links[edit]