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Backstory - Barbara Lewis: Baby, I'm Yours

I received a jewel this morning, a video of the great soul singer, BARBARA LEWIS, singing her 1965 million seller called: BABY I'M YOURS. There's a bit of a story to this song which was produced by the legendary Bert Berns, a name most people don't recognize, but a giant writer/producer during the Brill Building days.

 

The song was written by Van McCoy specifically for Barbara, but she was intimidated listening to the demo he sent because it was so good, and she also didn't think it sounded like a hit. But she went into the Atlantic Records Studio in NYC and recorded it, but her rendition didn't really infuse the recording with much emotion, and hoping Atlantic wouldn't think it wasn't good enough to release.

 

Her manager, Ollie McLaughlin, (who also got a producer credit) called her on that performance and demanded that she go back to her base in Detroit and redo the vocal. Barbara complied, but once again it was a lackluster effort; Then Ollie told her that his young daughter could have done it better, and she got pissed and killed it on the next take.

 

I imagine Miss Lewis is glad that she did because "Baby I'm Yours" peaked at #11 on the Pop Chart and Top 5 on the R&B list, going solid gold. Fun Fact: The song she didn't think would be a hit over the years has been covered by artists including: Peter and Gordon, Cass Elliot, Debby Boone, Tanya Tucker and more, good news for writer Van McCoy who collected hefty residuals for all those recordings.

 

Barbara has also had a Top 5 Hit with self-written: HELLO STRANGER; and had several more chart records during her career. But here she is on TV in '65 doing, "Baby I'm Yours" with decent picture and good sound. Check out the totally together backup singers, too. 

 

@therealdonrocks

 

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