Will You Love Me Tomorrow
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|"Will You Love Me Tomorrow"|
|Single by The Shirelles|
|from the album Tonight's the Night|
|Format||Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)|
Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York, U.S.
|The Shirelles singles chronology|
"Will You Love Me Tomorrow", also known as "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was originally recorded in 1960 by the Shirelles, who took their single to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is also notable for being the first song by a black all-girl group to reach number one in the United States. It has since been recorded by many artists over the years, including a 1971 version by co-writer Carole King.
The Shirelles' version
In 1960, the American girl group the Shirelles released the first version of the song as Scepter single 1211, with "Boys" on the B-side. The single's first pressing was labelled simply "Tomorrow", then lengthened later. When first presented with the song, lead singer Shirley Owens (later known as Shirley Alston-Reeves) did not want to record it, because she thought it was "too country." She relented after a string arrangement was added. However, Owens recalled on Jim Parsons' syndicated oldies radio program, Shake Rattle Showtime, that some radio stations had banned the record because they had felt the lyrics were too sexually charged. The song is in AABA form.
In addition to reaching #1 in the U.S., the song also reached #2 on the R&B chart and #4 in the UK. It reached #3 in New Zealand. This version of the song, with session musicians Paul Griffin on piano and Gary Chester on drums, as of 2009 was ranked as the 162nd greatest song of all time, as well as the best song of 1960, by Acclaimed Music. It was ranked at #126 among Rolling Stone 's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Billboard named the song #3 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.
Bertell Dache, a black demo singer for the Brill Building lyricists, recorded an answer song entitled "Not just Tomorrow, But Always". It has been claimed by some historians that Dache was a pseudonym for Epic recording artist Tony Orlando, whose recording of the original song had not been released as Don Kirshner thought the lyric was convincing only as sung by a woman. However, an ad for United Artists Records which appeared in Billboard during 1961 featured a photo of the singer which indicated that Dache was not Tony Orlando.
The Satintones, an early Motown group, also recorded an answer song called "Tomorrow and Always," which used the same melody as the original but initially neglected to credit King and Goffin. Following a threat of litigation, later pressings of the record included proper credit. Eventually, it was withdrawn and replaced with a different song. The Satintones' versions are included in the box set The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 1: 1959–1961.
Carole King version
In 1971 Carole King, the co-writer of the song, recorded a version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" for her landmark studio album Tapestry, with Joni Mitchell and James Taylor on background vocals. King's version of the song was taken at a considerably slower tempo and with a more contemplative, melancholy feel than in the Shirelles original recording. It gained considerable album-oriented rock airplay due to the large-scale commercial success of the album.
The song became a feature of King's live shows. Taylor recreated his part during their joint arena-based Troubadour Reunion Tour of 2010.
In the 1984 comedy Police Academy Blankes and Copeland dance to the song in the Blue Oyster Bar.
In the 2013 Broadway Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, the song is featured in part four times: once during its writing, once during King recording a demo of it, then with the Shirelles performing it, and then King singing and playing it later during an especially bad time in her marriage with Goffin. No other song is featured as frequently in the musical.
- Additional musicians
- Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar – acoustic guitar
- Russ Kunkel – drums
- Charles "Charlie" Larkey – bass guitar
- Joni Mitchell – background vocals
- James Taylor – acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Brenda Lee released her version in 1961 as a single.
- Helen Shapiro recorded a version for her 1962 album 'Tops' with Me.
- Little Eva released a version on her 1962 album Llllloco-Motion.
- Dusty Springfield recorded the song for her 1964 debut solo album A Girl Called Dusty. She also recorded a version with French lyrics entitled Demain tu peux changer for her 1965 EP Mademoiselle Dusty, which included four songs she had previously recorded in English.
- Cher recorded a version for her 1966 album Chér.
- Jackie DeShannon recorded a version for her 1966 album Are You Ready for This?.
- Sandy Posey recorded the song for her 1968 album Looking at You.
- The Four Seasons had a number 24 hit with the song on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.
- Linda Ronstadt released a version on her 1970 album, Silk Purse. It reached number 98 in Cash Box and (Bubbled Under to) number 111 in Billboard.
- Roberta Flack's version hit number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972 as "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow".
- Melanie Safka reached number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973 and reached the top 40 in the United Kingdom in 1974.
- Smokey Robinson released his cover version in 1973 for his album "Smokey".
- Jody Miller made the charts[vague] with a remake of the song in 1975.
- Morningside Drive released a dance version of the song in 1975, which reached number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Dana Valery recorded a dance version that hit number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976.
- Dave Mason had a number 39 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978 with his remake. It was his final top 40 hit on that chart.
- Barbara Dickson released a version on her 1981 album All For A Song.
- Brotherhood of Man released their version of the song as a single in 1980. It subsequently featured on their Good Fortune album.
- Andy Gibb recorded the song as a duet with P.P. Arnold for his album Andy Gibb's Greatest Hits.
- Laura Branigan recorded a cover of the song on her 1984 album Self Control.
- Joe Walsh recorded the song for his 1992 album Songs for a Dying Planet.
- Cilla Black recorded a cover for her 1993 studio album Through the Years (Cilla Black album).
- Laura Nyro recorded a version in 1994 that was released on her posthumous 2001 album Angel In the Dark.
- The Bee Gees recorded a cover for the Carole King tribute album Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King in 1995.
- Shawn Colvin sang a cover over the closing credits in the series finale (S06E11) of The Larry Sanders Show in 1998.
- Twiggy recorded a version of the song sometime in the Eighties, and it was finally released in 2003 on her compilation album Midnight Blue.
- Inger Marie Gundersen recorded a cover of the song on her 2004 album Make This Moment 
- Amy Winehouse recorded a cover of the song in 2004 for the soundtrack to Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and a further version that was released in 2011 on her posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
- Leslie Grace released a bachata version in 2012 which became her debut single. Her version peaked at number one on the Billboard Tropical Songs chart and number one on the Latin Airplay chart, becoming the youngest female artist to do so.
- Kamasi Washington recorded a cover of the song in 2018 for his companion EP to his album Heaven and Earth (Kamasi Washington album).
- Bronson, Fred, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard Books, 1992
- Covach, John (2005), "Form in Rock Music: A Primer", in Stein, Deborah, Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis, New York: Oxford University Press, p.70, ISBN 0-19-517010-5.
- Flavour of New Zealand, 6 April 1961
- "Acclaimed Music Top 3000 songs". Acclaimedmusic.net. May 27, 2009.
- "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- "Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Ramirez, Rauly (October 16, 2012). "Leslie Grace Youngest Woman To Top Latin Airplay Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 21, 2012.