The song was written by music biz heavyweights Teddy Randazzo, who was a longtime friend of Little Anthony & The Imperials, and Bobby Weinstein. The group recorded and released it in 1964, and it went to #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box R&B Chart. On the track were “Little Anthony” Gourdine” (lead vocals), Sammy Strain (first tenor), Ernest Wright (second tenor), Clarence “Wah-Hoo” Collins (baritone/bass). Don Costa directed the orchestra.
There number of covers is legion, which is usually the sign of a good song. Just to list a few, they include The Blossoms, Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Sergio Mendex, Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Christie, The Zombies, Ray Conniff, Earl Grant, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Classic IV, Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Floyd Cramer, Vikki Carr, Lawrence Welk, The Lennon Sisters, Queen Latifah, Luther Vandross, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Delfonics, and The 5th Dimension.
The group was originally called The Imperials. D.J. Alan Freed helped to promote them on the air and gave lead vocalist Jerome “Little Anthony” Gourdine that nickname because of his youthful-sounding falsetto vocals (not to mention his height, which we won’t mention). The nickname became an identifier. Little Anthony and The Imperials, from New York, have enjoyed success and longevity as a group. They have a wide range of material in many genres (e.g., doo wop, r & b, soul) and great performances. Other popular songs from the group include “Tears on My Pillow,” “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop,” “Two People in the World,” “I’m on the Outside (Looking In),” “Hurt So Bad,” “Take Me Back,” and “Better Use My Head.”