Oh No Not My Baby

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A-side label of U.S. vinyl single

"Oh No Not My Baby" is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.[1] The song's lyrics describe how friends and family repeatedly warn the singer about a partner's infidelities. The song is regarded as an American standard due to its long-time popularity with both music listeners and recording artists.

The first released version of "Oh No Not My Baby" was by Maxine Brown, according to whom the song had first been recorded by her Scepter Records' roster-mates the Shirelles with the group's members alternating leads, an approach which had rendered the song unreleasable.

Brown says that Scepter exec Stan Greenberg gave her the song with the advisement that she had to "find the original melody" from the recording by the Shirelles: "they [had gone] so far off by each [group member] taking their own lead, no one knew any more where the real melody stood."

Brown recalls sitting on the porch of her one-level house in Queens listening to the Shirelles' track play through her open window. A group of children skipping rope on the sidewalk picked up the song's main hook before Brown herself; hearing the children singing "Oh no not my baby" as they skipped gave Brown the wherewithal to determine the song's melody. Brown recorded her vocal over the Shirelles' track with the group's vocals erased; Dee Dee Warwick provided the harmony vocal on the chorus.[2]

Released in September 1964, Brown's "Oh No Not My Baby" spent seven weeks in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1964 - January 1965 with a #24 peak.

Rod Stewart version[edit]

In 1973 Rod Stewart (backed by his group Faces) charted with "Oh No Not My Baby"; his self-produced version — a single with no parent album — reached #6 UK in September 1973 subsequently reaching #59 on both the U.S. and Canadian charts before the year's end.

Cher version[edit]

"Oh No Not My Baby"
Cheronnmb.JPG
Single by Cher
from the album Greatest Hits: 1965–1992
B-side "Love Hurts"
Released 1992
Recorded 1992
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:12
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Gerry Goffin
Carole King
Producer(s) Peter Asher
Cher singles chronology
"Could've Been You"
(1992)
"Oh No Not My Baby"
(1992)
"Whenever You're Near"
(1992)
Audio sample
file info · help

In December 1992 Cher released "Oh No Not My Baby" as the follow-up to her international hit "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" and likewise produced by Peter Asher; the track became a moderate international hit early in 1993. AllMusic editor J. F. Promis called her cover "gutsy."[3]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1992–93) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 30
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[5] 87
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 52
Spain Top 40 Radio (Promusicae)[7] 35
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[8] 19
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 33

Other cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Manfred Mann — whose version of the Shirelles' "Sha La La" had shared the U.S. Top 40 with Brown's "Oh No Not My Baby" — and that group's version of "Oh No Not My Baby", released 9 April 1965, reached #11 in the UK. Not released as a single in the U.S., Manfred Mann's "Oh No Not My Baby" failed to chart in a Canadian release and charted low in Australia at #67.

Merry Clayton recorded "Oh No Not My Baby" in a 1972 version which featured co-writer Carole King on piano; produced by Lou Adler, this single reached the Billboard Hot 100 at #72 (#61 on Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart) and the Billboard's Bestselling Soul Singles chart at #30. Despite its mild chart impact, Clayton's track earned a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the year 1972.[10]

De Blanc had a minor R&B hit (#70) with "Oh No Not My Baby" in 1976.

Linda Ronstadt recorded "Oh No Not My Baby" for her 1993 Winter Light album; the track reached #35 on Billboard's radio airplay only Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks in 1994.

Prior to Manfred Mann's recording, Dusty Springfield recorded "Oh No Not My Baby" in a 22 January 1965 session at the Philips Studio in Marble Arch which featured the Breakaways vocal group and Big Jim Sullivan on guitar. This track was unreleased, with Springfield recording a subsequent version of "Oh No Not My Baby" for inclusion on her Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty album on 2 July 1965 in a session at the Philips Studio in Marble Arch produced by Johnny Franz, conducted by Ivor Raymonde and featuring Madeline Bell and Doris Troy on background vocals. The latter track was first issued in the U.S. on the You Don't Have To Say You Love Me album released July 1966.

Aretha Franklin recorded "Oh No Not My Baby" for her 1970 Spirit in the Dark album; this version was issued as the follow-up single to "Don't Play That Song" in the UK — where the parent album was released as Don't Play That Song — but failed to chart.

Carole King herself recorded "Oh No Not My Baby" for her 1980 album Pearls: Songs of Goffin and King from which it was issued as the second single — after "One Fine Day" — without charting. King subsequently recorded "Oh No Not My Baby" for her 2001 Love Makes the World album.

"Oh No Not My Baby" has also been recorded by Fontella Bass, Debby Boone, Julie Budd, Eydie Gormé, Odyssey and The 1970s made for TV band The Partridge Family.

The introductory riff to Maxine Brown's version was utilised by Gabriella Cilmi on her single "Sanctuary".

She & Him recorded a version for their 2014 album Classics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oh No Not My Baby Retrieved November 29, 2011
  2. ^ Freeland, David (2001). Ladies of Soul. Jackson MS: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 150–51. ISBN 1-57806-330-2. 
  3. ^ Review by Allmusic Retrieved 15 October 2013
  4. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Cher – Oh No Not My Baby" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  5. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Cher - Top Titel" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  8. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Cher – Oh No Not My Baby". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "Cher: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  10. ^ Billboard 27 January 1973 p.15