Save Your Heart for Me

Album: A Session with Gary Lewis and the Playboys (1965)
Charted: 2

Songfacts®:

  • This was originally recorded by Brian Hyland in 1963, and released as the B-side of his single "I'm Afraid To Go Home." Hyland worked with producer Snuff Garrett, who also produced Gary Lewis & the Playboys. The group had two hits under their belt: "This Diamond Ring" and "Count Me In," so Garrett revived this song for their third single.

    Lewis told Songfacts: "'Save Your Heart For Me' was originally put out by Brian Hyland, and it went nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. Did just nothing. So Snuffy said, 'I want to try this one again. You've had two big hits now, I want to try that one again, slowing it down. Change the pace.'"
  • This was written by Peter Udell and Gary Geld, who wrote many of Brian Hyland's songs, including "Sealed with a Kiss," which Gary Lewis & the Playboys also recorded. The team also wrote "Hurting Each Other" by the Carpenters and "The Tear of the Year" by Jackie Wilson.
  • Lewis was 19 years old when he recorded this song. When we asked if he drew from personal experience to relate to the songs he performed, he said, "In 'Save Your Heart For Me,' I was never hurt by a girl going away for the summer and liking some other guy and then coming home and saying, 'Oh, it was just a fling and I'll hang with you, I'll stay with you.' That stuff never happened. But I guess it does happen to people who take their kids on family vacations to different parts of the country, and they probably find boyfriends there or girlfriends. And then come home and they'll never see that person again. I can relate to that stuff, but it's not personal experience."
  • The Playboys played on this song and all other tracks by the band, but overdubs and solos were done by the top L.A. studio musicians who backed up most of the major west coast singers at the time. On this song, they needed a special performer, however: a whistler. Lewis tried doing the whistling part, but couldn't do it - he couldn't keep a straight face with the guys in the booth looking at him. Their arranger Leon Russell gave it a shot, but he couldn't do it either. After producer Snuff Garrett failed in his attempt, they got someone from the musician's union. "We looked up whistlers from Local 47 in Los Angeles. And there were two guys," said Lewis. "He came in and did it. Just an old guy, very straight-laced: 'This is my job and I'm going to do it.'"

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 28th 1965, the New York City disc jockey Murray the K's television special, 'It's What's Happening, Baby!', was aired on the CBS-TV network...
    One of the eighteen acts to appear on the show were Gary Lewis and the Playboys; at the time the group's "Save Your Heart for Me" was at #80 on Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart, just over seven weeks later on August 15th, 1965 it would peak at #2 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 11 weeks...
    Between 1965 and 1969 the group had fifteen Top 100 records; seven made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "This Diamond Ring" for two weeks on Valentine's Day in 1965...
    * The week "Save Your Heart for Me" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "I Got You, Babe" by Sonny and Cher.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Actors With Hit SongsMusic Quiz

Many actors have attempted music, but only a few have managed a hit. Do you know which of these thespians charted?

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")Song Writing

Nick made some of the biggest videos on MTV, including "The Final Countdown," "Heaven" and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)."

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.