He's So Fine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"He's So Fine"
Single by The Chiffons
from the album He's So Fine
B-side Oh My Lover
Released December 1962
Format 45 rpm record
Recorded December 1962
Genre Pop, doo-wop
Length 1:53
Label Laurie Records
Writer(s) Ronald Mack[1]
Producer(s) Phil Margo, Mitch Margo, Jay Siegal, and Hank Medress
The Chiffons singles chronology
"He's So Fine"
"Lucky Me"

"He's So Fine" is a song written by Ronald Mack. It was recorded by The Chiffons who topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in the spring of 1963. One of the most instantly recognizable Golden Oldies with its doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang background vocal, "He's So Fine" is also renowned as the plaintiff song in the now-infamous plagiarism case against George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord". Country music singer Jody Miller scored a Top Ten hit of her own in 1971 with her cover of "He's So Fine".

The Chiffons version[edit]


"He's So Fine" was written by Ronald Mack, an acquaintance of the Chiffons' members who set himself up as their manager after overhearing them sing in their high school's lunch room. Mack elicited the interest of Bright Tunes Corporation, a production company run by the Tokens who produced the Chiffons singing "He's So Fine" and two other Mack compositions at Capitol Recording Studios; the Tokens themselves - who'd never previously played on a recording session - provided the instrumentation, with the services of drummer Gary Chester.[2]

Originally, "Oh, My Lover", one of the two other songs, was considered the potential hit but the completed track for "He's So Fine" with its now classic 'Doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang' background vocal - the suggestion of the session's sound engineer Johnny Cue - seemed an obvious smash, although Capitol Records for whom the Tokens were house producers rejected the track: Jay Siegal of the Tokens would recall Capitol president Voyle Gilmore dismissing the track as "too trite...too simple". The Tokens shopped "He's So Fine" to ten labels before placing it with Laurie Records. Siegal - "We played it and they locked the doors and said, 'You're not getting out of here. We want that record.'...Of course, we'd already been turned down by ten companies - give us eighty cents and we'd have given you the record."[3][4]

The Chiffons' two later Top 10 hits both contain echoes of "He's So Fine", although neither song was written by Ronald Mack, who died soon after the Chiffons had recorded his song. "One Fine Day" was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin who had had Little Eva record the song before shopping it to the Chiffons after the group hit with "He's So Fine", and "Sweet Talking Guy" - in which the background vocalists sing: "He's so fine" - was co-written by the co-founder of Laurie Records, Eliot Greenberg. Also after the Chiffons had had hits with "He's So Fine" and "One Fine Day"1 the Tokens especially wrote the song "A Love So Fine" to be their next single: it managed a #40 peak.

  • 1The Chiffons actually had the non-charting single release "Lucky Me" between "He's So Fine" and "One Fine Day".


Released in December 1962, "He's So Fine" entered the national charts in February 1963 attaining the #1 position on March 30 and remaining #1 for a four-week period and also made it to number one on the soul singles chart.[5] Billboard ranked the record as the No. 5 song of 1963.[6] "He's So Fine" was also a #16 hit in the UK.

"My Sweet Lord" lawsuit[edit]

On February 10, 1971, Bright Tunes Music Corporation filed suit alleging that the current George Harrison hit "My Sweet Lord" was a plagiarism of "He's So Fine". The case did not go to trial until February 1976 when the judge ruled on the liability portion of the suit in favor of Bright Tunes, determining that Harrison had committed "subconscious" plagiarism.[7] The suit to determine damages was scheduled for November 1976 but delayed until February 1981, by which time Allen Klein, Harrison's onetime manager who had been his legal adviser in the first phase of the suit, had become the plaintiff by virtue of purchasing Bright Tunes. The final decision was that Harrison himself would purchase Bright Tunes from Klein for $587,000—the amount Klein had paid for the corporation—and although litigation continued for at least ten more years that decision was upheld.[8] In 1975 the Chiffons would record a version of "My Sweet Lord", attempting to capitalize on the publicity generated by the lawsuit. Harrison's "This Song" was written in reaction to the plagiarism suit.

Preceded by
"Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 30, 1963 - April 20, 1963
Succeeded by
"I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March
Preceded by
"Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics
'Billboard' Hot R&B Sides number-one single
April 6, 1963 - April 30, 1963 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Baby Workout" by Jackie Wilson

Jody Miller version[edit]

"He's So Fine"
Single by Jody Miller
from the album He's So Fine
B-side Your Number Two
Released May 12 1971
Format 45 rpm record
Recorded February 17 1971
Genre Countrypolitan
Length 2:35
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Ronald Mack
Producer(s) Billy Sherrill
Jody Miller singles chronology
"If You Think I Love You Now (I've Just Started)"
"He's So Fine"
"Baby I'm Yours"


Jody Miller had a Top Ten C&W hit with her remake of "He's So Fine" recorded in a February 17 1971 session at the Columbia studio in Nashville and issued May 12 1971 as the advance single from Miller's He's So Fine album, that album - released August 1971 - being Miller's second full-length collaboration with producer Billy Sherrill. Miller's remake omits the original's 'doo lang' background vocal. Besides the title cut the He's So Fine album featured Miller's remake of the 1965 Barbara Lewis hit "Baby I'm Yours": Miller's third Sherrill-produced album There's a Party Going On afforded Miller C&W hit remakes of the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and the Teddy Bears' "To Know Him is to Love Him".

Impressed by the 1968 Tammy Wynette hit "Stand By Your Man", Miller had contacted that track's producer Billy Sherrill in the hopes of reviving her own flagging recording career and after Look at Mine, Miller's first album in Sherrill's charge, generated two Top Twenty C&W hits in 1970 Sherrill opted for a new musical direction for Miller who recalls: "He said I didn't phrase my words like a country singer, so we took some old, sexy pop songs and put in a little boppy steel guitar".[9]


Miller's cover version of "He's So Fine" peaked at #5 C&W in July 1971, and crossed over to the Pop charts and also Easy Listening charts with July 1971 peaks of #53 Pop and #2 Easy Listening, the latter stat representing Miller's alltime best chart showing. "He's So Fine" also afforded Miller a Top Ten C&W hit in Canada with a #3 peak, with the track reaching #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for Canada and crossing over to #46 on the Canadian Pop chart. In Australia Miller's "He's So Fine" charted with a #31 peak.

Other versions[edit]

  • Dana Valery made her recording debut with a local cover version of "He's So Fine" for the South African market, with Valery's version reaching the South African Top Ten in June 1963.
  • 1978 saw two disparate remakes of "He's So Fine" chart. First in May Jane Olivor's remake from her album Stay the Night reached #77 on the Hot 100 with an Adult Contemporary peak of #22: this version of "He's So Fine" - in the vein of Cissy Houston's 1971 take on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" - reinvented the girl-group classic as a lush ballad. Two months later an attempted replication of the original "He's So Fine" credited to Kristy and Jimmy McNichol reached #70. The latter version only featured Kristy, the duo credit reflecting the track's parent Kristy and Jimmy McNichol album which was produced by Philip Margo and Mitch Margo who - as members of the Tokens - had produced the Chiffons' original.
  • In 1987 Jonathan King put his 1971 version of "He's So Fine" as the B-side of his remake of the Cat Stevens song, "Wild World". King remade "Wild World" to corroborate his contention that the Pet Shop Boys has plagiarized it with their hit "It's a Sin": he chose "He's So Fine" as the B-side to stress his position due to the songs' involvement in the plagiarism suit described in the Chiffons' section. His version was played in the court room by the Chiffons legal team.
  • "He's So Fine" has also been recorded by the Angels (album My Boyfriend's Back/ 1963), Dionne Bromfield (album "Introducing Dionne Bromfield"/ 2009), the Clifters (fi) (as "Ou lenita" Finnish/ album Sexi on in/ 1989), Allison Durbin (album Born a Woman/ 1976), Birthe Kjær (as "Han er min" Danish/ album Birthe Kjær træffere/ 1971), Daliah Lavi (album Let the Love Grow/ 1973), Sandy Posey, Reparata and the Delrons (album 1970 Rock & Roll Revolution/ 1970), and Dee Dee Sharp (album All the Golden Hits/ 1963).


  1. ^ "HE S SO FINE". ACE Title Search. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  2. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/music5/garychester/disc.html
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Artie Wayne. "Hangin' in: Spectropop presents Hank Medress," Spectropop.com, 2006. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 116. 
  6. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1963
  7. ^ "Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music". Columbia Law School Arthur W. Diamond Law Library Music Plagiarism Project. 2002. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  8. ^ abbeyrd.best.vwh.net
  9. ^ "Blanchard's Jody Miller Prepares to Hit the Road With Daughter". News.OK.com. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 

External links[edit]