Only Sixteen

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"Only Sixteen"
Only Sixteen.png
Single by Sam Cooke
B-side "Let's Go Steady Again"
Released May 1959
Format 7"
Recorded January 4, 1959
Rex Productions
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre Rhythm and blues, soul, pop
Length 2:00
Label Keen 2022
Songwriter(s) Sam Cooke, Lou Adler, Herb Alpert
Producer(s) Bumps Blackwell
Sam Cooke singles chronology
"Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha"
(1959)
"Only Sixteen"
(1959)
"Summertime"
(1959)
"Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha"
(1959)
"Only Sixteen"
(1959)
"Summertime"
(1959)

"Only Sixteen" is a song by American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, released in May 1959. The song was a top 15 hit on Billboard's Hot R&B Sides chart and also charted within the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.[1] It the UK it was covered, and taken to No. 1, by Craig Douglas.[2]

Background[edit]

"Only Sixteen" was inspired by the sixteenth birthday of Lou Rawls' stepsister, Eunice.[3] The song was originally intended for actor Steve Rowland, who often hung around the Keen studio. Rowland asked Cooke to write a song for him, and Cooke borrowed the bridge from an earlier song of his, "Little Things You Do". Rowland's manager disliked the song, and Cooke re-recorded it for himself.[3][4]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts (1959) Peak
position
UK[5] 23
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 28
US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)[6] 13
"Only Sixteen"
Only Sixteen - Dr. Hook.jpeg
Single by Dr. Hook
from the album Bankrupt
B-side "Let Me Be Your Lover"
Released December 1975
Format 7"
Genre Pop
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Sam Cooke
Producer(s) Ron Haffkine
Dr. Hook singles chronology
"The Millionaire"
(1975)
"Only Sixteen"
(1975)
"A Little Bit More"
(1976)
"The Millionaire"
(1975)
"Only Sixteen"
(1975)
"A Little Bit More"
(1976)

Dr. Hook cover[edit]

Dr. Hook released a version of "Only Sixteen" in the winter of 1976. Their version was the most successful chart release of the song. It reached number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the Cash Box Top 100. Dr. Hook's version spent 22 weeks on the charts and became a Gold record. The song was banned by the BBC[citation needed].

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1975–76) Peak
position
Canadian RPM Top Singles[7] 3
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary[8] 9
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[9] 14
US Cash Box Top 100 5

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1976) Rank
Canada[10] 54
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 35

Other cover versions[edit]

Terry Black released a version of the song in Canada in 1965 where it reached number 14.[12] The Supremes recorded it on their 1965 album We Remember Sam Cooke.

E-40 and the click sample it on the first record, he sings the hook in the entro.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes to the 2003 compilation Portrait of a Legend: 1951–1964.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 119. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 167. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ a b c Portrait of a Legend: 1951–1964 (liner notes). Sam Cooke. US: ABKCO Records. 2003. 92642. 
  4. ^ Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Back Bay Books, p. 280-81. First edition, 2005.
  5. ^ "Sam Cooke - Artist - Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Sam Cooke – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 74. 
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 

External links[edit]