Tell Him (Bert Berns song)
|"Tell Her / Tell Him"|
|Single by The Exciters|
|B-side||"Hard Way to Go"|
|The Exciters singles chronology|
Tell Her, or "Tell Him", is a song written and composed by Bert Russell, that is Bert Berns, which was first recorded as "Tell Her" in 1962 by Gil Hamilton aka Johnny Thunder, with Berns producing. "Tell Her" was also a single for Ed Townsend 1962, before Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced the version by the Exciters released—as "Tell Him"—in October 1962. "Tell Him" reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated 26 January 1963. A #5 R&B hit, "Tell Him" was #1 in France for two weeks and reached #5 in Australia. It was covered as "Tell Her" by Dean Parrish 1966, and Kenny Loggins 1989.
In the UK the Exciters' single peaked at #46; a cover version by Billie Davis reached #10. Another UK cover version by Alma Cogan did not chart in the UK but became the singer's breakout hit in Sweden with a #10 peak. In the Netherlands the Exciters, Billie Davis and Alma Cogan singles of "Tell Him" charted in tandem with a #17 peak. Cogan also recorded five alternate versions of "Tell Him" with her vocal being respectively in German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and French: her French rendition of "Tell Him" reached #53 in France, where the Exciters version reached #1 there.
Dusty Springfield was on a stop-over in New York City en route to Nashville to make a country music album with The Springfields in 1962, when she heard the Exciters' "Tell Him" playing while taking a late night walk by the Colony Record Store on Broadway: the experience persuaded Springfield to embark on a solo career with a Pop/Soul direction. She would recall: “The Exciters sort of got you by the throat...out of the blue comes blasting at you 'I know something about love,' and that’s it. That’s what I wanna do.”
"Tell Him" had its highest UK chart hit—#6—via a 1974 remake by Hello whose producer Mike Leander had cut an earlier version with the Glitter Band which he felt could be improved upon. Hello's "Tell Him" also hit #32 in Germany.. "Tell Him" would return to the UK charts in 1996 when Caroline Quentin and Leslie Ash who co-starred in the series Men Behaving Badly hit #25 with their remake credited to Quentin and Ash.
"Tell Him" has also been recorded by Sonny and Cher, Josie Cotton and Vonda Shepard, whose version was heavily featured on the show Ally McBeal. In Shepard's version, the middle of the second verse of the song was changed to "...make your heart sing out."
Laura Branigan recorded the song in 1981 for her proposed debut album. The song was released as a promotional single, but it did not chart, and the album project was aborted. After being unavailable for many years, the song was remastered and included as a bonus track on a 2014 reissue of her 1982 debut album Branigan.
In 1963, it was covered as "Dis-lui" (literally "Tell Her") by French pop singer Claude François, reaching No.1 in the French chart. The same year, Ennio Morricone used the same orchestral intro for Italian singer-songwriter Gianni Meccia's song "Il pupazzo" ("The puppet").
The female regulars the TV show Living Single performed a comic version of this song.
The Revillos covered the song in 1982.
In 1983, The Exciters' "Tell Him" was featured on the soundtrack for the film The Big Chill.
In 1984 in Bulgaria, Rositsa Kirilova, in collaboration with the Brothers Argirovi, recorded a disco version of "Tell Him" titled “Избрах нарочно вас” ("I've Chosen You Intentionally"). The track—whose Bulgarian lyrics are unconnected to the original English version—became a major dance floor hit.
In 1988, The Exciters' "Tell Him" was featured in the Canadian drama Something About Love.
In 1997, The Exciters' "Tell Him" was included on the soundtrack for the film My Best Friend's Wedding.
In 2011, a parody of "Tell Him" was performed on Saturday Night Live in a malt shop setting.