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)|
|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 an 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 cover 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 1961, the Shirelles took their single "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their version of the song, with session musician Gary Chester on drums, is currently ranked as the 162nd greatest song of all time, as well as the best song of 1960, by Acclaimed Music. The Shirelles version was ranked among Rolling Stone 's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at number 126.
Bertell Dache, a black demo singer for the Brill Building songwriters, recorded an answer song entitled "Not just Tomorrow, But Always". It has been erroneously 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 conclusively proved 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. 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. It is thus the version that many listeners are most familiar with.
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 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
- Dionne Warwick "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", featuring The Shirelles, is a 1983 album track, it was produced by Luther Vandross.
- The Four Seasons had a number 24 hit with this 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.
- Jody Miller made the charts 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.
- Bryan Ferry had a hit in the United Kingdom with his version in 1993.
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes recorded a punk version for their 2001 album, Blow in the Wind.
- Amy Winehouse's version was used in the 2004 romantic comedy film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and was included on the film's soundtrack album.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Acclaimed Music Top 3000 songs". Acclaimedmusic.net. 27 May 2009.
- "Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
- Ramirez, Rauly (2012-10-16). "Leslie Grace Youngest Woman To Top Latin Airplay Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2012-10-21.