Your Old Standby

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"Your Old Standby"
Single by Mary Wells
from the album Mary Wells' Greatest Hits
B-side "What Love Has Joined Together"
Released 1963
Format 7" single
Recorded 1963, Hitsville USA
Genre Soul
Label Motown
Writer(s) Smokey Robinson
Janie Bradford
Producer(s) Smokey Robinson
Mary Wells singles chronology
"Laughing Boy"
"Your Old Standby"
"What's So Easy for Two Is So Hard for One"

"Your Old Standby" is a song written by Motown songwriters Smokey Robinson and Janie Bradford and released as a single by Motown star Mary Wells in 1963.[1] The record marked her third top forty pop single to come out in 1963.

Song information[edit]

In the song, the narrator opens up about a man who is still in a troubling relationship with one woman while having a relationship with another woman. The other woman struggles to comprehend why her lover refuses to leave his past flame so she could "be with him permanently" as she puts it in the end.

Chart positions[edit]

After the successful but modest response to "Laughing Boy", this song was rushed trying to compete with that record's top 15 peak. However, this song got as high as number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 (it did however made number 8 on the U.S. R&B charts).[2] Wells' next Robinson-penned hit, "What's So Easy for Two is Hard for One" would fare better for Wells.



  1. ^ The Complete Motown Singles Vol 3: 1963 [CD liner notes]. New York: Hip-O Select/Motown/Universal Records.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 617.