Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Little Song that Could

If you're lucky enough to find a near mint copy of this
1961 Herald release it could be worth up to $500.
It's the "near mint" part that's the catch.

It’s tiny, but mighty. The number one song in the U.S. on this day in 1960 clocked in at just one minute and 30-something seconds. But what a minute plus it is!

It is reputed that Maurice Williams wrote the song when he was a teenaged boy trying to convince his date to forget about her curfew and---well, “stay, just a little bit longer.” Don’t know if it worked with the girl, but the song certainly has staying power.

I believe Maurice and the Zodiacs still hold the record for the shortest song ever to make the charts in the U.S. There are differing accounts about how long the actual recording is, but all tally up to a minute and 30-something seconds.

In any case this song proves that good things do, indeed, come in small packages. It’s hard to imagine that scene in Dirty Dancing–all the staffer kids from the wrong side of the tracks having their gyration-fest–without Maurice doing the begging.

Later the song would be recorded by the Hollies, by The Four Seasons and other bands. Jackson Browne had a nice crack at it, too. But, in the end, this is definitely a case of “ya gotta dance with the one what brung ya”. So today maybe you’ll let Maurice convince you to stay for a while and just close your eyes and listen. Or get up and dance around your living room. It’s a great way to spend a minute and 37 seconds. But I warn you, this song will get in your head and....STAY.


  1. Oh, that Dirty Dancing scene! I can't count the number of times I've seen it. And of course I love Jackson Brown's rendition. But you're right: there's nothing like the original. Thanks for the memories.

  2. Good to have you back here. Love the history.

  3. Having gone to college in the late 70's, I confess it's the Jackson Brown version that brings up the most memories for me. But I am happy to give Maurice Williams all the credit in the world for coming up with not only an infectious melody but a great tempo and beat. It's an excellent song to raise a glass to and then have just one more.

  4. I'm with Kato - Jackson Browne's version, with Clarence Clemons' growly counterpart, just does me every time, but I think the whole build up to it with The Load Out really makes that cover.

    Definitely a car dancer as well as a dance floor classic!

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