May 19, 2019

20,000 vinyl LPs 185: The Drifters ~ Save the Last Dance For Me & Doc Pomus

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The Drifters ~ Save the Last Dance For Me
vinyl LP front cover
cover photo by Leonard Heicklen
photo of album cover by Styrous®

The Drifters mono album, Save The Last Dance For Me, was my introduction to the group. The songs on the album are wonderful with two by Carole King who wrote Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? and recorded by the Shirelles, with one by Aaron Schroeder. But most of the songs were written by the Pomus-Shuman team with their Save the Last Dance For Me my favorite tune on the album.     


The Drifters ~ Save the Last Dance For Me 
vinyl LP back cover detail
detail photo by Styrous®


Save the Last Dance For Me was recorded on May 19, 1960, by The Drifters. The song by Doc Pomus (lyrics) and Mort Shuman (music) had Ben E. King on lead vocals; it was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The single was released a few months after King left the group, and would go on to spend three non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the U.S. pop chart, in addition to logging one week atop the U.S. R&B chart.  


The Drifters ~ Save the Last Dance For Me 
vinyl LP back cover
photo by Styrous®


Later that year in November, as a soloist, King would record one of my all-time favorite songs, Spanish Harlem.  

Pomus recalls that the single originally had Last Dance designated as the B-side of the record. He credits Dick Clark with turning the record over and realizing it was the stronger song.    

In the lyrics for the song, the narrator tells his lover she is free to mingle and socialize throughout the evening, but to make sure to save him the dance at the end of the night. Pomus had polio and at times used crutches to get around. During an interview on the Elvis Costello show Spectacle, Lou Reed, who worked with Pomus, said the song was written on the day of Pomus' wedding; from his wheelchair he watched his bride dancing with their guests. His wife, Willi Burke, was a Broadway actress and dancer who was in the Broadway musical, Fiorello!. The song gives his perspective of telling his wife to have fun dancing, but reminds her who will be taking her home and "in whose arms you're gonna be."      


Willi Burke & Doc Pomus
date & photographer unknown 


"Save The Last Dance For Me"

You can dance
Every dance with the guy
Who gave you the eye
Let him hold you tight

You can smile
Every smile for the man
Who held your hand
'Neath the pale moonlight

But don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin'
Save the last dance for me, mmm

Oh I know
That the music is fine
Like sparkling wine
Go and have your fun

Laugh and sing
But while we're apart
Don't give your heart
To anyone

But don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin'
Save the last dance for me, mmm

Baby don't you know I love you so?
Can't you feel it when we touch?
I will never, never let you go
I love you oh so much

You can dance
Go and carry on
Till the night is gone
And it's time to go

If he asks
If you're all alone
Can he take you home
You must tell him no

'Cause don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin'
Save the last dance for me

'Cause don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin'
Save the last dance for me, mmm

Save the last dance for me, mmm
Save the last dance for me

        

The Drifters ~ Save the Last Dance For Me 
vinyl LP , side 1
photos by Styrous®







The Drifters ~ Save the Last Dance For Me 
vinyl LP , side 2
photos by Styrous®
 


Tracklist:

Side 1:

A1 - Save The Last Dance For Me, written by Pomus-Shuman
  
A2 - I Count The Tears, written by Pomus-Shuman
  
A3 - Somebody New Dancin' With You, written by Pomus-Shuman
  
A4 - Jackpot, written by Aaron Schroeder, Chuck Kaye
  
A5 - No Sweet Lovin', written by David Baughan, James Oliver (4), William Pinckney
  
A6 - Sweets For My Sweet, written by Pomus-Shuman

Side 2:
  
B1 - Mexican Divorce, written by Bob Hilliard, Burt F. Bacharach*
  
B2 - When My Little Girl Is Smiling, written by Carole King, Jerry Goffin*
  
B3 - Some Kind Of Wonderful, written by Carole King, Jerry Goffin*
  
B4 - Please Stay, written by Bob Hilliard, Burt F. Bacharach*
  
B5 - Nobody But Me, written by Pomus-Shuman
  
B6 - Room Full Of Tears, written by Pomus-Shuman

Companies, etc.

    Published By – Progressive (3)
    Published By – Rumbalero
    Record Company – Atlantic Record Sales
    Mastered At – Atlantic Studios

Credits:

    Arranged By, Conductor – Stan Applebaum
    Producer – Leiber-Stoller*
    Written-By – Pomus-Shuman

Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Rights Society: BMI
    Rights Society: ASCAP
    Matrix / Runout (side A label): 11851
    Matrix / Runout (side B label): 11852
    Matrix / Runout (side A runout etched [except 1]): A11851B AT1 W
    Matrix / Runout (side B runout etched [except 1]): 11852-B 1 AT W 5

The Drifters ‎– Save The Last Dance For Me
Label: Atlantic ‎– 8059
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: US
Released: 1962
Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul, Pop
Style: Rhythm & Blues, Doo Wop

         
Viewfinder links:             
          
The Drifters articles/mentions       
The Drifters lineup: 1953 to 2019       
Lou Reed       
       
Net links:             
       
Song Facts ~ Save the Last Dance for Me    
Trivia People ~ The Story behind the song      
Unca Marvy ~ The Original Drifters                        
Unca Marvy ~ The Drifters (The Early Years)             
Unca Marvy ~ The Later Drifters                     
        
YouTube links:           
   
The Drifters ‎~
            Save The Last Dance For Me     
            Save The Last Dance For Me (live)               
         
         
       
         
         
Styrous® ~ Sunday, May 19, 2019