I've Gotta Be Me

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"I've Gotta Be Me"
Single by Sammy Davis, Jr.
from the album I've Gotta Be Me
B-side "Bein' Natural Bein' Me"
Released 1968
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Traditional pop
Length 2:53
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Walter Marks
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen

"I've Gotta Be Me" is a popular song that appeared in the Broadway musical Golden Rainbow, which starred Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé. The musical opened in New York City at the Shubert Theatre on February 4, 1968, and closed less than a year later, on January 11, 1969. The music and lyrics for the musical were by Walter Marks and were composed in 1967; the production featured a book by Ernest Kinoy. This song was listed in the musical as "I've Got to Be Me", and it was sung by Lawrence's character Larry Davis at the end of the first act. Lawrence released the song as a single in 1967, and the following year it hit number six on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, with little or no support from traditional Top 40 radio.

Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded the song in 1968 while the musical was still running on Broadway, altering the title slightly to "I've Gotta Be Me", and released it as a single late in the year. This version of the song was a surprise hit for Davis, since the musical was not among the more successful shows on Broadway that season. Produced by Jimmy Bowen, Davis' cover of the song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1969 and remained in the Top 40 for 11 weeks.[1] This is Davis' third highest charting single on the Hot 100 in his career; "Something's Gotta Give" had reached number nine in 1955, while "The Candy Man" hit #1 in 1972. In addition, the song spent seven weeks at number one on the Easy Listening chart.[2] The song appears on Davis' 1968 album, which was also titled I've Gotta Be Me.

Other artists who have recorded or performed "I've Gotta Be Me" include Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Gilbert Price, Della Reese, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Cory Monteith as his Glee character Finn Hudson,[3] and The Temptations.

The song has been featured in at least two soft drink advertising campaigns. It was performed by Welsh pop singer Duffy while riding a bicycle in European television advertisements for Diet Coke beginning in February 2009. The 60" commercial was first aired in the end break of the 2009 BRIT Awards on February 18.[4] A version by Ryan Tedder was used by Dr Pepper in 2012.[5] Sammy Davis Jr's version was used in a 2016 Sky Q advert as well, and in July 2017 the song was used in the trailer for Westworld's second season.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 164.
  2. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 70.
  3. ^ Malkin, Marc (April 21, 2011). "Glee Scoop: Klaine, Finchel, Wemma and More!". E! Online. E!. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Diet Coke uses Brit awards to launch Duffy ad" From guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 02-19-09.
  5. ^ "Dr. Pepper Celebrates Its Legacy Of Originality With The Launch Of The New 'Always One Of A Kind' Advertising Campaign," Dr Pepper Snapple Group press release, Monday, January 9, 2012. Archived October 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

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