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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Neil Sedaka

Album: Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest HitsReleased: 1962Charted:
  • A doo-wop pop song, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" finds Sedaka pleading with a girl, asking her to remember the good times, as he knows he'll be in misery if she leaves.
  • Although Sedaka had had eight Top-10 hits in the US to this point, this was his very first #1. Howie Greenfield penned the lyrics at Sedaka's urging, and then it was presented to Barry Mann (of Mann and Weil) for appraisal. Mann didn't think much of it, so Sedaka then added the opening "dooby-doo" part.
  • The 1975 re-release of this song at a slower tempo, on the album Hungry Years, was just an afterthought. But when it charted all over again at #8, that was his 18th Top 40 Billboard hit out of a career total of 21.
  • This song also charted for the Happenings (1968 #67 in US), Lenny Welch (1970 #34 in US) and the Partridge Family (1972 #28 in US and #3 in UK).
  • According to Sedaka, the song was inspired by the Showmen's song "It Will Stand."
  • One lucky shot that this song had was debuting on June 30th, 1962. This placed it in the perfect spot to start getting heavy airplay during the July 4th weekend, with vacationing teens at the parks and beaches requesting the song over and over again. Note to song promoters: Release your single right before a holiday weekend.
  • Shortly after this song came out, Sedaka married his longtime sweetheart Leba Strasberg. Now, the next part is unexpected enough that we have to cite Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear: When Neil proposed over the phone, Leba didn't believe him. So she asked him to put Howie Greenfield on the line. Howie came on and soberly advised her that Neil Sedaka was serious and that he really did want to marry her. They were married September 11, 1962. Around this time, Sedaka was second only to Elvis Presley in record sales. Paul and Leba are still together.
  • In 2010, Sedaka released Waking Up is Hard to Do, a collection of his hits reinterpreted as children's songs.
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Comments: 16

In 1984, Bob Rivers and the American Comedy Network released a parody of this entitled "Breaking Up Is Hard On You," with lyrics expressing displeasure over the breakup of the Bell Telephone System.Ekristheh - Halath
CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. & Mrs. Sedaka, married 53 years ago today on September 11th, 1962!
And on the day of their wedding Neil's "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" was at #11 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and the song certainly does not apply to Leba and Neil.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On June 28th 1962, Neil Sedaka started a tour of South American with a concert in Lima, Peru...
And back in the U.S.A. his "Breaking Up In Hard to Do" was in its first week on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #66; six weeks later it peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks...
Between 1959 and 1980 he had thirty Top 100 records, nine made the Top 10 with three reaching #1, his two other #1 records were "Laughter in the Rain" for 1 week in 1975 and "Bad Blood" for 3 weeks in 1975.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
The slow version is great. I remember dancing to it in the mid 70's with a beautiful older woman I had met in my apartment building. We had a brief, but wonderful romantic relationship.Dt - Perdido Beach
On January 4th 1970, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" by Lenny Welch entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for a four week stay, peaking at #83...
Neil Sedaka's original version reached #1 on August 12th, 1962; the #2 record was "The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva, and the girl group The Cookies sang back-up on both records...
In 1975 Mr. Sedaka released the slower version of the song; and on February 7th, 1976 it peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
Mr. Sedaka will celebrate his 75th birthday in two months on March 13th, and Mr. Welch turns 76 come May 15th.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
I would love to know who the girls are singing in the background (of the original). A lot of great 60's girl groups came out of the Brill Building.Rich - Bethpage, Ny
There were several cover versions, including a slow cover version by Sedaka himself in 1975. However, I believe the first cover version of all was from Shelley Fabares. Her version has the EXACT same arrangement as Sedaka's original, and it came out the same year as Sedaka's original fast version, 1962. So I believe Shelley's was the first of many cover versions, and there WERE many.Christopher - Charlotte, Nc
I think this song was on an Allstate commercial about how if you switch to Allstate, then Allstate will call your previous insurance company to let them know that you are switching to Allstate.Michael - Staten Island, Ny
I am trying to locate the 1975 piano sheet music for the remake of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. It is the slow version. Does anyone have a copy of that arrangement? I have been looking for years. Any help would be most appreciated.Arlene - Warrington, Pa
This song was featured in the 1985 teen movie "Better Off Dead" starring John Cusack. Having been dumped by his girlfriend, Cusack's character (Lane Meyer) is cruising through town and flipping through channels on the radio. Songs heard include "She's Gone" (Hall & Oates), "Hurts So Bad" (Linda Ronstadt), and so on - followed by this song. The scene ends with the radio (trailing wires from the dashboard) being tossed out the window.Robert - Houston, Tx
When I was in High School - there was a story circulating that Neil Sedaka could not believe the money he made off this song. His ran to show his mother his first royalty check exclaiming "Look, Ma - $6,900". His mother looked at the check and said "Neil, this is actually a check for $69,000" (proven to be a true story)Michael - Chicago, Il
I have to disagree. I think the original version was annoying. The remake was much more sexy melodic.Bevy - Rialto, Ca
The 1962 version of "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", was the best. The 1976 version however, was horrible. The song was perfect as is. Mr. Sedaka should have left it alone.Farrah - Elon, Nc
Hey Kevin you can get a copy on Time Life CD's (Mellow Hits of the 70's) of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, it entered Billboard Charts Dec 13, 1975.Alf - Kingston, Canada
I'm looking for the 1978 remake version of Breaking up is Hard to do by Neil Sedaka, but have had no luck in finding it. Can somebody tell me what album that version is on, or where I may be able to find ? I would truly appreciate it very much !! thanks!
Kevin - San Francisco, Ca
There was also a remake by The Partridge Family in early 1972.Howard - St. Louis Park, Mn
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