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I Only Have Eyes For You by The Flamingos

Album: Greatest HitsReleased: 1959Charted:
  • This song was written by Henry Warren and Al Dubin. The first recording was probably made by Ben Selvin in 1934. The Flamingos recorded it in 1959 for the musical Dames starring Joan Blondell, and it also appeared on the American Graffiti soundtrack from 1973.
  • Frank Sinatra recorded this in 1962 with the Count Basie Orchestra, and Johnny Mathis named an album after this song in 1976. The Count Basie Orchestra did it again in 1990 with George Benson; Art Garfunkel made a very romantic version on his 1975 Breakaway album, The Lettermen did a version in 1966, and Jerry Butler covered it in 1972. (thanks, Ragnar - Horten, Norway, for above 2)
  • The Flamingos honed their vocals at the Church of God and Saints of Christ in Philadelphia, where there were no musical instruments, just voices. The songwriter/producer Phil Hurtt, who also attended this church, told us: "If you listen to the harmonies of The Flamingos, you can hear one of the things that separated them from a lot of the Doo-Wop groups was their sound. Flamingos' sound was a smoother, accurate harmony. Their blend was awesome."
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Comments: 29

On May 20th 1960, at a concert at the Tivoli Theater in Chicago, IL; the Flamingos and the Crests were the opening acts for headliner Sam Cooke*...
At the time the Flamingos' "Nobody Loves Me Like You" was at #38 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, while at #39 was the Crests' "Step by Step"...
The following week "Nobody Loves Me Like You" would peak at #30 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the Top 100 for 10 weeks...
It reached #23 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart…
Between 1956 and 1970 the Flamingos, a Chicago-based quintet, had nine records make the R&B Singles chart; with two making the Top 10, "I'll Be Home" at #5 in 1956 and "I Only Have Eyes for You" at #3 in 1959...
They were inducted into the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' in 2001 and into to the 'Vocal Group Hall of Fame' in 2000, and no surprise here, in 2004 they entered the 'Doo-Wop Hall of Fame'...
* Sam Cooke was the composer of "Nobody Loves Me Like You".
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Always wondered what the background vocals were saying...drove me crazy for years, my imagination went wild, so I'm glad I finally gave in trying to crack the code on my own, swallowed my pride (what little there is), and came here. Always thought it was "do what you want" or "Charles Schwab". So either a little subliminal messaging trying to get us to follow our hearts or invest more wisely. Fine line between the 2, I guess...Justin - Virginia
On August 17th 1975, "I Only Have Eyes For You" by Art Garfunkel entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #87; and on November 23rd, 1975 it peaked at #18 {for 1 week} and also spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
On October 5th, 1975 it reached #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
The week it peaked at #18 on the Top 100, six positions higher at #12 was "My Little Town" by some duo named Simon and Garfunkel...
Between 1973 and 1997 he had nine Top 100 records with one making the Top 10; "All I Know" peaked at #9 {for 1 week} on November 4th, 1973...
Arthur Ira Garfunkel will celebrate his 73rd birthday in three months on November 5th {2014}.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
I had a dream last night with this song playing while dancing with the girl of my dreams. Great song!Matt0 - St Peters, Australia
If I am not mistaken this was also used in the Robert De Niro film "A Bronx Tale".Joel Hugh Mchaggis - Wick, United Kingdom
In 1959 The Flamingos released their version of Gershwin's "Love Walked In"; it only peaked at #88 but it's a great rendition of the George & Ira classic..Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
For Charlie in Albuqueurque,Barry in Lancaster,PA,
regarding the background Rhythmn Vocables: they say, My love must be a kind of blind love.
I can't see anyone but you.
(She-bop-she bop, de-bop-she-bop,)
(De-bop-she-bop, de-bop-she-bop.)

Are the stars out (de-bop-she-bop) tonight?
I don't know if it's cloudy (de-bop-she-bop,or
I only have eyes for you, dear.

The moon may-(de-bop-she-bop,)-be high.
But i can't see a thing (de-bop-she-bop,)in the
I only have eyes for you.
(Ooo-oo, oo-ooo-oo, oo-oo.)

I don't know if we're in a garden,
Or on the crowded avenue-ooo.

You are here, (de-bop-she-bop,)and so am I.
May be millions of people (de-bop-she-bop)go by,
But they all disappear from view.
(Ooo,oo-oo-oo-oo, oo-oo,oo,ooo.)
And I only have eyes for you

(De-bop-she-bop, de-bop-she-bop, de-bop-she-bop,)
(De-bop-she-bop, de-bop-she-bop, de-bop-she-bop.)
Bruce - Rockwall, Tx
I suspect that the Flamingos may be responsible for their own piece of the baby boom, just from this one hit.

"Getting Lucky" never had a better soundtrack.
William - Los Angeles, Ca
Art Garfunkel also sings this song.Ginny - New York Mills, Mn
The background doo-wop)vocals vary during the intro before the verse.
1st line = sh-bomp sh-bomp.
2nd line = dwomp sh-bomp
3rd line = dmomp sh-bomp

For the remainder of the song, the background remains the same, dwomp sh-bomp
Charlie - Albuquerque, Nm
I, too, remember a contest with our local radio station. I never did find out what the background words were. Does anyone know? Even hearing it in person, at a doo-wop concert, didn't help. It sounds like chlop-chlop.Lois-anne - New Castle, De
I like this song really very much.

Maybe 'cause I'm falling in love exactly like a young boy, but next april 2009 I'll be 59 years old.

It's happening exactly what the song lyrics describes: I Only Have Eyes For Her.

Wonderful musics and lyrics, perfectly mixed.

Really lovable. The unbelievable thing is that I knew this song only a few weeks ago.
Giuseppe - Pescara, Italy
I have loved this song from the first time I heard it back in 1960. I don't know that they get any better than this. If so, please bring them on!Joe - Philadelphia, Pa
The musician (and i use that term very loosely!) Eamon used this beat in his song "I love dem hos"... which I find extremely ironic!Evin - Cork, Ireland
I used to think the background singers were saying, "Jehosaphat."N.i. - Baltimore, Md
One of my all time favorites, such a great lovely song...Patrick - Lokeren, --
I agree with each of Barry's comments. A timeless classic & "de-bop-she-bop."Guy - Woodinville, Wa
Back ground singers are saying(de-bop-she-bopBarry - Lancaster, Pa
This was used in an Australian tv mini-series called 'Changi' about Australian prisoners in Changi during WWII, and their reunion in the present. A number of songs from the period were used, and were a powerful counterpoint to the hell they were living in.Nick - Brisbane, Australia
From a musical historical perspective, the Flamingos version has to be one of the top ten songs ever recorded.Keith - York, Pa
This song has such a wonderful dreamy quality to it. So surreal and haunting. I also like "Lovers Never Say Goodbye."Barry - Greenville, Nc
To me, the repeated phrase in the background sounds something like, "She bop She Bop", sung in a moderately fast motion.Annabelle - Eugene, Or
A Denver radio station had a contest, when I lived there, for people to call in and speculate on what the background singers are saying. The best guess entry: "Dump Truck".Tom - Tucson, Az
This is a wonderful song but I would like to know what the background singers are saying/singing?Sharon - Winona, Mn
what are the background singers saying??Joseph - Phila, Pa
Man............what a nicer than nice song man, nothing like those old Classics i tell you. It's ashame how the music has changed so much, but these all time classics shall never die i tell you man!!!!!!!Robert - Glendale , Ca
What words are being repeated behind the lead singer?Mel - Tucson, Az
The songfact above is incorrect. The Flamingos did *not* record this in 1959 for the movie Dames. Dames came out in 1934; there is an extensive (and bizarre!) Busby Berkeley dance sequence set to this music. Dick Powell sings this song as he's falling in love with Ruby Keeler.

It took the genius of Flamingos lead guitarist and vocalist Terry Johnson to transform this Harry Warren song from an upbeat 1930's dance tune into the world's greatest pop nocturne. A romantic song for the ages...

By the way, the Flamingos follow up song, "Till The End of Time," sounds almost exactly like this song in terms of structure and production. A case of attempting to repeat success with the same formula, I guess.
Wes - Springfield, Va
this song was also used in an episode of Buffy (the title of the episode also being the title of the song) in series 2. It involves Buffy having flashbacks to the 1950s before a prom night (the flamingos version was used even though technically it hadnt been recorded at the time some of the episode was set).

it was also mine and my boyfriends favourite song
Catherine - London, England