On this day in music history: October 7, 1967 - “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher” by Jackie Wilson hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #6 on the Hot 100 on the same date. Written by Carl Smith, Raynard Miner, Gary Jackson and Billy Davis, it is the sixth chart topping single for the legendary R&B vocalist know as “Mr. Excitement”. Having racked up an impressive string of hits that include classics like “Reet Petite”, “Lonely Teardrops”, “Doggin’ Around” and “Baby Workout”, Jackie Wilson experiences a major downturn in his career after 1963. With the British Invasion being led by The Beatles, like many American recording artists Wilson finds it nearly impossible to score a hit record during this time. Though with the help of producer Carl Davis, the singer regains his footing in late 1966 with “Whispers (Keep Getting Louder)” (#5 R&B, #11 Pop). Back on track, Davis searches for more songs for Wilson to record to keep the momentum going. Davis finds “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher”, originally written for and recorded by The Dells in mid 1967. Before they can release their version, Gary Jackson one the songwriters show the song (with re-written lyrics) to Davis and Brunswick Records founder Nat Tarnopol. Sensing that the song is a potential smash, Davis quickly arranges to cut the song. The producer uses members of The Funk Brothers, Motown’s legendary house band including James Jamerson (bass), Robert White (guitar), Johnny Griffith (keyboards) and Richard “Pistol” Allen (drums) to record the basic track. One of the Funk Brothers many “moonlighting” sessions during this era (getting paid double scale, and in cash), they drive to Chicago on Friday, July 7, 1967, on a rare day off from Motown’s Studio A in Detroit to cut the track at Columbia Studios in less than an hour. Released as a single in mid August of 1967, “Higher And Higher” is an immediate smash. The single gives Jackie Wilson his biggest hit in years, and becomes one of his signature songs. “Higher” is covered numerous times over the years by different artists including versions by Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Cliff and R.B. Greaves. In 1977, Rita Coolidge scores her biggest chart hit with her cover of the song, taking it to #2 on the Hot 100 in September of that year.
Jackie Wilson said . . . . . I'm in heaven when you smile!
thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves On this day in Music History