Charlene originally recorded this in 1976, and it got to #97 in the American charts. Six years later, it was re-released after a Florida radio station started playing it to great public acclaim, by which time Charlene had moved to England and was working in an Ilford, Essex sweet shop. The re-release became a huge hit in England as well. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
The song was originally written from a male perspective but was rewritten by Ron Miller for Charlene. The use of the line "I've been to crying for unborn children" was not written about abortion. The line refers to a woman who is at a point in her life that she wished she had taken the time to have children.
There are many misconceptions about this song. The spoken bridge in the song was not about or did it mention abortion - it was deemed too feminist and when Charlene's first album was re-released in 1977, the spoken bridge had been deleted. When the song became an unexpected hit in 1982 it was the version WITH the spoken bridge intact that was released. It has also been widely reported that the 1982 single was a re-recording, it is not. (thanks, Shawn - Los Angeles, CA)
Charlene was signed to Motown Records, but this was her only hit.
When this song was first released in America in 1976, Charlene's full name was Charlene Duncan through her marriage to record producer Larry Duncan, but when the song was released for a second time in 1982, her name was then Charlene Oliver because of her marriage to Englishman Jeff Oliver. (thanks, Terry - Northampton, England)
This was used in the 1994 movie The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert.
There have been several cover versions of this song by both male and female artists, including Nancy Wilson, Randy Crawford, The Temptations, Walter Jackson and Howard Keel.
Charlene filmed the video for the song at Blicking Hall, Norfolk, England in the very same dress that she got married in. (thanks, Terry - Northampton, England)