After the 19-year-old Dan Hill failed to win the heart of the 22-year-old object of his affection with this song, he took it to his music publisher, who had him work with the songwriting legend Barry Mann. Says Hill: "We tried to write together, but I wasn't used to collaborating. I'd always written by myself. Barry, who'd written songs like 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
,' 'On Broadway
,' 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
,' was way out of my league. He was coming out with melodies here, there, and everywhere, expecting me to write lyrics right off the spot. And I'd come from this world where I thought that songs had to come from this deep place of soulful inspiration. I believed that sexual torment was the only way to write really great songs. So I was striking out big time.
So I said to Barry, 'Look, I really can't write like this. I'm not an experienced collaborator. But I have a lyric I brought in my guitar case. What do you think? Here it is. If you like it, write music to it. If you don't, don't worry about it.' I didn't want to tell him I'd actually written an entire song, because I was afraid that he would think that I was giving him my castoffs. So I left the little Sony ATV piano room to call for a cab to pick me up. When I finished reaching the cab, calling the cab, hung up the phone, Barry's standing in front of me, smiling shyly like a little boy. He says to me, 'Dan, I think I've got something for your chorus.' Takes me back into the piano room, sings (singing), 'And sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much.' And I wasn't sure. You know, I was so used to my own music that I didn't really know what to think. So I said something kind of diplomatic and then left.
And then he tracked me down a couple of days later. I was breakfasting at the Polo Lounge Hotel. Tracked me down right at the hotel. They gave me this little pink phone, and he played me the entire song over the phone. And then I knew, when he played it to me over the phone in its entirety, I knew that there was something special to do with that song. Of course, no one ever knows when you've stumbled onto a classic song. Now I feel the song is bigger than me. It's really not mine anymore. You know, I'm proud of the song, and I feel really fortunate that it's opened up so many doors for me so that I could write with so many brilliant writers, work with so many great artists. Because it was my calling card, my key."