Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Will You Love Me Tomorrow

by

The Shirelles



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It's a benignly sexual song with the singer wondering what will happen the day after an encounter with her man. It met with some resistance from radio stations, but not enough to stop it from becoming a huge hit, selling over a million copies.
Goffin and King were a husband and wife songwriting team who worked were signed to Don Kirshner's Aldon music, which along with the Brill building, was the center of the songwriting universe in the early '60s. Kirshner assigned them to write a song for the Shirelles as a follow-up song to "Tonight's The Night." King came up with the music, and Goffin, excited about writing for The Shirelles, quickly came up with the lyrics. Kirshner loved the song, and recognizing that he had something new and different, decided to use it to get in the door at Columbia Records, so he offered it to Columbia for Johnny Mathis, but their label head Mitch Miller politely declined, which Kirshner later said was "The best thing he ever did for me."

Back at Aldon Music, Tony Orlando wanted to record the song, but Kirshner, taking a cue from what he learned when he offered it to Mathis, explained that it was a girl's lyric, and that no teenage boy would say these words. So finally, the song went to The Shirelles, where it was intended all along. Orlando did record an answer song called "Not Just Tomorrow But Always" using the name Bertell Dache.
Don't let anyone tell you that this was the first US #1 hit by an all-female group - The McGuire Sisters hit the top spot 3 times in the '50s. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was, however, the first #1 by a black female group, and the first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which debuted in 1958. From 1955-1958, Billboard had a chart called the Top 100 with different criteria.
Shirelles lead singer Shirley Alston initially disliked the song, dismissing it as "too Country and Western" for the 4-girl group from Passaic, New Jersey. Their producer Luther Dixon convinced her they could do it in their style, and asked King and Goffin if they could add strings and turned it into an uptempo song, which they did.
Carole King played timpani on the Shirelles recording.
Carole King included this on her 1971 album Tapestry. Lou Adler, who produced the album and owned King's record company, explained: "The only thing we reached back for, which was calculated in a way, which of the old Goffin and King songs that was hit should we put on this album? And, that's how we came up with 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow'. I thought that song fit what the other songs were saying in Tapestry. A very personal lyric."
A 1968 version by the Four Seasons hit #24 and was that group's last Top 40 hit of the '60s - they didn't have another for 7 years. Dave Mason brought it back to the charts in 1978, hitting #39. Some of the other artists to record this song include Cher, Laura Nyro, Roberta Flack, Millie Jackson, Bryan Ferry and Neil Diamond.
The B-side of the single was "Boys," which was later covered by the Beatles with a rare Ringo Starr vocal.
First pressings of the single (Scepter 1211) show the title as simply "Tomorrow."
Amy Winehouse recorded a cover for the Bridget Jones: The Age of Reason soundtrack in 2004, slowing down the tempo and using a jazz arrangement. Her version debuted at #62 on the UK singles chart in the week after her death.
The Shirelles
The Shirelles Artistfacts
More The Shirelles songs
More songs written by Carole King

Comments (26):

Concerning Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for the week beginning January 23rd, 1961...
Twenty five percent of the Top 20 records were instrumentals:
#1. WONDERLAND BY NIGHT (Bert Kaempfert)
#2. EXODUS (Ferrante and Teicher)
#3. CALCUTTA (Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra)
#11. LAST DATE (Floyd Cramer)
#19. WONDERLAND BY NIGHT (Louis Prima)
NOTE: The reason I'm posting it here is because none of the five above records are featured on Song Facts and see the next post below.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
On January 23rd 1961, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by The Shirelles was beginning its second week at #4 and it was also the highest charting vocal record on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for that week...
That's because the top three spots were held by instrumentals:
#1. Wonderland By Night (Bert Kaempfert)
#2. Exodus (Ferrante and Teicher)
#3. Calcutta (Lawrence Welk)
The following week the girls would jumped to #1; with "Calcutta" at #2, "Exodus" #3, and "Wonderland By Night" falling to #4.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
in 1966,15 year old French teen star Jocelyne(nee' Journo) recoreded this song as "Reviendra-t-il Encore". There's a clip of her singing it on tv up on You Tube.
- Richard, Calimesa, CA
Hey Andy, I read somewhere that the Beatles "Yesterday" was the most covered song ever, but I would have to think that this song is the most covered. Most people can think of 4 off their head. I can't think of very many covers of "Yesterday". You found 48, very good, I found 555. I have listed them at http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/Carolekingcaroleking/database
If this isn't the most covered pop song of all time, then "You've Got A Friend" by Carole King is.
- Don Hertel, Dover, NJ
If you want to hear an amazing rendition of this song, my personal favorite, listen to it by Dusty Springfield! She's awesome!
- Janetlee, Panama City, FL
After The Shirelles charted with this song; five other artists have made the Top 100 with it; they are The Four Seasons {#24 in 1968}, Roberta Flack {#76 in 1972}, Melanie {#82 in 1973}, Dana Valery {#95 in 1976}, and Dave Mason {#39 in 1978}...
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
An artist by the name of Johnnie Holiday released
an answer record titled "Yes, I Will Love You Tomorrow", it didn't make Billboard's Top 100...
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Motown group the Satintones recorded an answer song called "Tomorrow and Always' using the same music. This single can be found on the first complete Motown singles box set (1959-1961).
- John, Nashville, TN
This song is a clever way of saying "Will you respect me in the morning if I go home with you tonight?" I love the line "Am I a lasting treasure/or just a moment's pleasure?" Brilliant.
- John, Nashville, TN
cliff richard did a really good version of this song in the late sixties and then did a even better version on his 40th annivery tour in 1998
- mark, dublin, Ireland
Check out Bryan Ferry's version of this song....my God....it brings tears to my eyes.
- Nicole, Massapequa, NY
The song's title is actually "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". At least here in Britain, it was released under this title.
- Martin, London, United Kingdom
They're all great - Carole King, Bee Gees, Amy Winehouse, Roberta Flack... But my favourite version is The Shirelles. These girls are so good! And the video is awesome too, for those who enjoy old grayscale movies.
Oh, and this is a very tough question...
- madalina, azuga, Romania
There is a great version of this song by Amy Winehouse. She doesn't cut it up and make it something it's not...simple and acoustic on the version I have.
- Amanda, Chicago, IL
Of course, we tend to first think of the hit version (this one). But, listen to Carole King sing it on "Tapestry". It is one of the most memorable albums of the rock era, and her stunning renditions of this and "Natural Woman" show the power of a great singer/songwriter when she is allowed to interpret her own work. If you never heard "Tapestry", make it your next purchase!
- Jerry, Brooklyn, NY
The Beatles did NOT record this song. Ever. I have every bootleg and album ever made by them and it ain't there. This song is so popular because it addresses the age-old question that every girl must consider when deciding to sleep with a boy. When you add the element of giving up her virginity, it's a very powerful and poignant song.
- Guy, Woodinville, WA
I don't think that the Beatles covered this. I can't find it on any of the album listings. That's not to say that they didn't just cover it and decide not to put it on an album. Steve, where did you find the Beatles version of this? I'd really like to hear it.
- Brittany, Virginia
This was also covered by The Beatles, but the Shirelles version is the perfect vocal on a perfectly produced recording of a perfect song. The singer sounds so vulnerable and the lyrics say so much with just a few lines.
- Steve, Fenton, MO
There are many, many covers of this song, ranging in styles and genres from punk, disco, seventies, country, salsa, etc. from singers such as Andy Gibb, Neil Diamond, Laura Branigan, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, Bryan Ferry, Dione Warwick, etc. Apparantly, this is a question that many share...
- Margaret, Buellton, CA
Roberta Flack's interpretation of this
"Will You Still Love me Tomorrow"
is one of the most sensitive love songs
I ever heard ...
Hese,Finland
- heikki, Raahe, Finland
I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't the most covered song ever.. I've found at least 48 different versions and there's probably a load more.
- Andy, Den Haag, Holland, United States
I have this song on my iPod, and I love it. I like the Frankie Valli version better, though... It is a good song to dance to since it is so graceful.
- Mary C., Chicago, IL
When the song first played on LA stations, jocks got requests for "that violin song," because callers got embarrassed (on the air) when asking "Will you still love me tomorrow?"
- Keith, SLC, UT
An odd choice for a 'first dance' wedding song, wouldn't you think? But it was my aunt and uncle's pick... (go figure)
- Jo, Newcastle, Australia
I believe the song title is "Will You Still Love me Tomorrow" and I think it was 1961, not 1969. The Shirelles were THE first girl group...much earlier than 1969. Check Gusto Records.
- CJ, Cincinnati, OH
Carole King on Tapestry made this song real for me
- Deana, Indianapolis, IN
You have to to post comments.
Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkJanis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York
Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.
90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV
Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.
Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"
The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.
Dean PitchfordDean Pitchford
Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."