My Cherie Amour (song)

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"My Cherie Amour"
Swondercherie.JPG
Single by Stevie Wonder
from the album My Cherie Amour
B-side"I Don't Know Why"
ReleasedJanuary 28, 1969
Recorded1967–68
StudioHitsville USA
GenreSoul, pop
Length2:54
LabelTamla (T 54180)
Songwriter(s)Stevie Wonder, Henry Cosby, Sylvia Moy
Producer(s)Henry Cosby
Stevie Wonder singles chronology
"I Don't Know Why"
(1968)
"My Cherie Amour"
(1969)
"Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday"
(1969)
Audio
"My Cherie Amour" on YouTube

"My Cherie Amour" is a 1969 song by Motown singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder. The song reached number 4 on the Billboard pop chart in August to be Wonder's third Top Ten hit. The song was co-written by Wonder, Sylvia Moy, and Henry Cosby; Cosby also served as producer of the song. At the end of 1969, the song was ranked number 32 for the year.[1]

Background[edit]

The kernel of the song, originally titled "Oh, My Marsha" (or Marcia), was written in one hour in 1966 about a girlfriend of Wonder's at the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing, Michigan.[2][3] Tamla Records founder Berry Gordy listened to the song, and he thought it could be improved with more development. Motown songwriters Henry Cosby and Sylvia Moy collaborated on the song with Wonder; Moy came up with the intriguing title, a combination of English and French in a manner reminiscent of the Beatles' "Michelle" which was a massive hit in 1966.[3]

The song's instruments (with the exceptions of the horns and the strings) were recorded on November 8, 1967, at Hitsville USA. On November 17, the horns and strings were added at Golden World Records, one year before it was acquired by Motown. Wonder's vocals were added on January 15, 1968. The song was shelved for a year, first appearing as the B-side of the single "I Don't Know Why", on January 28, 1969, timed to extend the chart performance of Wonder's album For Once in My Life, from which the single came. Motown promoted "I Don't Know Why" enough that it peaked at number 39 on the pop charts in March 1969, but many radio deejays were also flipping over the record and playing "My Cherie Amour".[3] Wonder fell off the Hot 100 chart in April and most of May, but fan response to "My Cherie Amour" was building, and Tamla re-released the song for radio as the A-side. This song entered the Hot 100 on May 31 at number 70.[4] It climbed for two months, and peaked at number 4 in the first week of August.[5] At the same time, the song hit number 4 in the R&B charts.[6] Wonder also released Spanish- and Italian-language versions titled "Mi Querido Amor" and "My Cherie Amor", respectively.

In June and July during the song's chart ascent in the US, Wonder was in the UK on tour. (He was also dating one of the dancers in his backing group, the Flirtations.) Motown saw an opportunity, and released "My Cherie Amour" as a single in the UK.[3] The song entered British pop charts in late July, and five weeks later it had again hit number 4, this time holding position for three weeks straight. The total chart run was 15 weeks in the UK.[7]

Cash Box described it as "a haunting ballad with a slight Latin underbeat."[8]

The success of the song spurred Motown to program an album around it, filled with love songs. The album, My Cherie Amour, was released on August 29, 1969, with the title track leading Side 1. Most of the album is filler material: songs recently made famous by other artists, and some show tunes. But the single "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" performed very well,[9] hitting number 5 on the R&B chart at Thanksgiving 1969,[6] and number 7 on the pop charts two weeks later.[5]

Legacy[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tomko, Andy; Staff (December 27, 1969). "Top Records of 1969". Billboard. Vol. 81, no. 52. p. 16. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ Wilson, Carl (December 18, 2016). "The Sunshine of Our Lives". Slate. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Betts, Graham (2014). Motown Encyclopedia. AC Publishing. pp. 414–415. ISBN 9781311441546.
  4. ^ "Hot 100: Week of May 31, 1969". Billboard. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Hot 100: Week of August 2, 1969". Billboard. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Chart History: Stevie Wonder – Hot R&B / Hip-Hop songs". Billboard. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  7. ^ "My Cherie Amour". Official Charts. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  8. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. May 24, 1969. p. 26. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  9. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Stevie Wonder – My Cherie Amour". AllMusic. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  10. ^ "UK Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  11. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  12. ^ "officialcharts.com". officialcharts.com. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "Stevie Wonder Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/02/69".
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  17. ^ "1969: The Top 100 Soul/R&B Singles". Rate Your Music. Archived from the original on 2016-11-12. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1969". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-05-20.