Lookin' for a Love

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"Lookin' for a Love"
Lookin' for a Love - The Valentinos.jpg
Single by The Valentinos
B-side"Somewhere There's a Girl"
ReleasedMarch 1962
Format7", 45 RPM
GenreDoo-wop, R&B, soul
Songwriter(s)J. W. Alexander, Zelda Samuels
Producer(s)Sam Cooke
"Looking for a Love"
Looking for a Love - The J. Geils Band.jpg
Single by The J. Geils Band
from the album The Morning After
B-side"Whammer Jammer" (US) "What's Your Hurry" (Intl.)
ReleasedNovember 1971
FormatVinyl record (7")
RecordedRecord Plant West, Los Angeles
GenreBlues rock, Rock and roll
LabelAtlantic Records
Songwriter(s)J.W. Alexander
Producer(s)Seth Justman, Bill Szymczyk
The J. Geils Band singles chronology
"Looking for a Love"
"I Don't Need You No More"
"Lookin' for a Love"
Lookin' for a Love - Bobby Womack.jpg
Single by Bobby Womack
from the album Lookin' for a Love Again
B-side"Let It Hang Out"
ReleasedJanuary 1974
Format7" 45 RPM
GenreR&B, soul, funk
Songwriter(s)J. W. Alexander Zelda Samuels
Producer(s)Bobby Womack

"Lookin' for a Love" is a song written by J. W. Alexander and Zelda Samuels and was the debut hit of the family group The Valentinos, which featured Bobby Womack. The song was a hit for the Valentinos, climbing to number eight on the R&B chart and crossing over to number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962, released on Sam Cooke's SAR label.

The song originally came off from another song, a gospel hymn, "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray", recorded and released in 1961 when they were still known as The Womack Brothers. Sam Cooke produced that session as well as the sessions for "Lookin' For a Love". Following the release of "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" and convinced that 17-year-old Bobby Womack would "go places", Cooke hired his staff writers J. W. Alexander and Zelda Samuels to rewrite the song as a doo-wop dance number, basing the song's chord structure on the melodic motif found in "Pray".

When the brothers were presented with the song, they protested initially fearing a backlash from their minister father, Friendly Womack. However, Cooke convinced them that the song would be a hit and guarantee the Womacks some financial success as well as commercial. Like "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray", the song featured Bobby on lead. Prior to its release, Cooke suggested a name change, thinking the change would do wonders for their career as it had done for him. Cooke settled on The Valentinos and released the song that spring.

After its success, the group opened for James Brown where they won fans. In 1971, rock band the J. Geils Band covered the song as one of its first releases and the song became a top 40 hit for them, peaking at number thirty-nine. In 1973, Bobby used "Lookin' for a Love" as a warm-up song to help loosen up his vocal cords during a recording session. Womack recorded one take of the song - with his brothers again providing background vocals - but had no plans of putting it out as a single. However, after some convincing, he released the song in early 1974 and the song went on to be his most successful single to date, and was his second number-one single on the Hot Soul Singles chart (after "Woman's Gotta Have It" in 1972, which only got to #60 on the Hot 100) and his first and only top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at #10.[1] It also reached #8 on the Cash Box Top 100. The single was later certified gold by the RIAA for sales of one million copies. This resulted in the song later selling more than two million copies. The song's success came bittersweetly, however: the song's background vocalist Harry Womack later died from stab wounds from his girlfriend the week before it hit number-one.


Valentinos original
Chart (1962) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 72
US Billboard R&B 8
US Cash Box Top 100[3] 63
J. Geils Band cover
Chart (1971–72) Peak
Canada RPM Top Singles 25
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 39
US Cash Box Top 100 37

Credits (Bobby Womack versions)[edit]

1962 original[edit]

  • Lead vocal by Bobby Womack
  • Background vocals by The Valentinos: Friendly Womack, Jr., Curtis Womack, Harry Womack and Cecil Womack
  • Instrumentation by SAR Records staff musicians, Bobby Womack (guitar) and Harry Womack (bass)
  • Produced by Sam Cooke

1974 version[edit]


Bobby Womack version


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 634.
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  3. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, September 29, 1962
  4. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  6. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  7. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, April 27, 1974
  8. ^ Bac-lac.gc.ca
  9. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  10. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1974
  • "Lookin' for a Love" song review [1] on Allmusic website

External links[edit]