Reach out of the Darkness
|"Reach Out of the Darkness"|
|Single by Friend & Lover|
|from the album Reach Out of the Darkness|
|B-side||"Time on Your Side
(You're Only 15 Years Old)"
|Recorded||1967, Nashville, Tennessee|
|Label||Verve Forecast 5106|
|Producer(s)||Bill Lowery, Joe South|
|Friend & Lover singles chronology|
“Reach Out of the Darkness” is a song recorded and released by the American folk duo Friend & Lover. Peaking at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, it was the duo’s most successful single, and they are often regarded as a one-hit wonder for the selection. This is mainly because the duo’s only other Hot 100 entry (“If Love is in Your Heart”) stalled at #86 a few months later. The title never appears as such in the recording, though the nine mentions of “Reach Out in the Darkness” come close.
The song was written and composed by James “Jim” Post, who together with his then-wife Catherine “Cathy” Post nee Conn comprised the duo Friend & Lover. It was recorded in Nashville for the Verve Forecast label. Ray Stevens played keyboards and arranged the strings, with Joe South and Bill Lowery producing. The Verve Records Discography has a completely different account of the song and its flip "Time On Your Side (You're Only 15 Years Old)" being recorded in New York City on 23 August 1967, with the sides reversed, and "If Love Is In Your Heart" recorded the same day. The 1969 follow-up album, also titled Reach Out of the Darkness, was recorded in Atlanta and produced by Buddy Buie.
In popular culture
The song was featured in a 1999 television commercial by Milton Bradley for their Get-Together Games; it can also be heard in the 1988 film 1969 and in the TV series Night Stalker (episode 6) and Beverly Hills, 90210: "The Time Has Come Today" (season 4, episode 25). The track was used in the closing scene and credits on the AMC series Mad Men: "A Man With a Plan" (season 6, episode 7). The scene in question was June 1968, when the news of Robert Kennedy's assassination was breaking on television, with characters watching the story unfold in stunned silence, some weeping. The song continued to play, superimposed over audio of the news reports from the assassination, during the closing credits.
In a concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on 2 September 2007, as the city celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love, Jim Post contradicted Unterberger's album sleeve notes when he claimed that, when he was in New York City, he wrote and composed the song (loosely corroborating the aforementioned Verve Records Discography) and that the song became popular in San Francisco after a Selective Service sit-in there (there was a Selective Service Office protest in San Francisco on 16 October 1967), then went to the Midwest and the South, finally taking off in New York City corresponding to Martin Luther King's assassination in April 1968. However, an extensive search of music surveys currently available on-line shows instead that, depending on the survey, the song had no noticeable exposure until several weeks after that assassination, peaked anywhere from mid May to late July with none of the peaks attributable to any crisis, and in any event possessed essentially none of the claimed behavior. On New York's WABC Music Radio surveys, the song belatedly debuted at number 50 on the week of June 4, 1968 (the day before the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy), rose to #13 the following week and eventually peaked at number 1 the week of July 23 before falling off rapidly.
In October 2013, retail store Target used a new rendition of the track, a collaboration between Canadian singer-songwriter Jocelyn Alice and Los Angeles band Right The Stars, to advertise their Threshold brand on TV.
- "Single: The Billboard Hot 100". Billboard Music Charts. 1968-06-22. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- Unterberger, Richie (2000). "Liner Notes for Friend & Lover's "Reach Out of the Darkness"". Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- "Verve Records Discography 1967". Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- "The Time Has Come Today episode on TV.com". Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- Bonnie Stiernberg (May 13, 2013). "Mad Men Review: 'Man With a Plan' (episode 6.07)". Paste.
- Music from Mad Men, Season 6, Episode 7 Retrieved June 16, 2015
- Mo'Money Soundtrack review | AllMusic.com
- WABC Music Power Survey for Week of June 4, 1968
- WABC Music Power Survey for Week of June 11, 1968
- WABC Music Power Survey for Week of July 23, 1968