This was just the second Top 10 pop hit that was written and performed by the same woman, following "Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)
" by Carla Thomas. Doris Troy, born Doris Higginson in New York City, was an R&B singer/songwriter who first recorded as Doris Payne. When she was 16 years old, she got a job at the famous Apollo Theater, which featured many legendary black performers.
In a 1970 interview with Blues & Soul
magazine, Troy explained: "I had the uniform and a flashlight and everything, and when I saw them stars up there performing I said to myself 'that's where I want to be someday,' and I started to spend my off-duty hours in this restaurant in New York where out-of-work artists and composers hung out. I'd written 'Just One Look' and needed to make a demo. Well the demo got made, and it was the demo that was released. I was performing at the time, but I'd never looked on myself as ready for making hit records. I'd had a previous release out on Everest under the name of Doris Payne, but it didn't mean a thing.
We'd taken the demo to Atlantic to sell the song, and as soon as they heard it they flipped and said they'd rush release it at once. I was on the road at the time touring with Chuck Jackson who was big then, and since I had no time to go in the studio and re-record it they issued the record straight off the demo-dub I'd had made. Wasn't that a bitch? Well, the record took off so damn fast that it sold like crazy, and it was really lucky for me to be touring at the same time since Atlantic were able to arrange all sorts of promotional stints and interviews to tie in with the local radio stations where I was visiting."