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Do You Know the Way to San José by Dionne Warwick

Album: Dionne Warwick in Valley of the DollsReleased: 1968Charted:
  • Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote this. They discovered Dionne Warwick and wrote many of her hits.
  • Warwick: "I thought it was a really silly song. Obviously Hal David had a great affinity for San Jose as I believe he was stationed there during his time in the Navy and he loved the place and he wrote a song about it. I just giggled all the way to the bank, what can I tell you?"
  • This won a Grammy for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Female. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA, for all above
  • Burt Bacharach (from Record Collector magazine): "Dionne did not want to record that song. She didn't like it. But we talked her into it and she did it. Her mind changed once it was a hit (laughs). I knew it was a pretty special song and I knew it was a different kind of song, too."
  • The song title is a question famously put without a question mark, indicating it is more rhetorical.
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Comments: 6

Way back in '68 I had graduated college & was working in Kansas City, Mo. when this record was big. I loved Warwick's voice & still do. It was all over the KC radio station back then & I recall seeing her on TV shows like Ed Sullivan & American Bandstand singing various hits. I think it was in the early 2000s when I heard her do a NPR interview for radio & she did admit to disliking this song, but recorded it anyway. I'm glad she did. Even though it peaked at #10 on the Hot 100, she got a gold record award for it anyway. I prefer her later hits, but this one is really catchy. Kind of bouncy & upbeat for that time.Aiken Nutz - Tahlequah Ok
I saw Dionne interviewed on UK TV a few years ago and she professed to absolutely hating this song, and needed to be convinced in order to record it! However, the public loved it - it became one of her biggest hits!!!Melissa - London, United Kingdom
Yes, San Jose has inherited many of L.A.'s difficulties, that this song pans. But, San Jose doesn't have the same feeling of hopelessness and negativity that, L.A. can generate and hit you in the face with! Even though San Jose has lost much of its' "agricultural" open space, just like L.A. did in the Sixties. It still is a much more humane and liveable city than poor L.A. can be. This song still has as much as truth to it, as it did 40 years ago in my opinion!Nicholaus - Tracy, Ca
This was one of Dionne Warwick's biggest hits.Howard - St. Louis Park, Mn
The line "Put a hundred down and buy a car," shows how old this song is. If the song were to be covered in current times, that line would have to be changed.Mike - Santa Barbara, Ca
I read in an interview that it was actually Burt Bacharach that was station at Fort Ord, which was an Army Base, now closed, stationed south of Monterey. They would take their leave and head north towards S.F. They would eventually come to party in San Jose (now the Capital of Silicon Valley)which is 50 miles south of S.F. This was around '56,'57. The Irony is now San Jose is alot like L.A. traffic and freeways, but it's still beautiful!........Beto.Bob - San Jose, Ca
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