I Will Follow Him

Album: I Will Follow Him (1963)
Charted: 1
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Songfacts®:

  • This was originally a French song called "Chariot" composed by two famous French musicians, Paul Mauriat and Frank Pourcel. Mauriat's pseudonym is Del Roma and Frank Pourcel's is J.W. Stole on this song.
  • The music was adapted by Arthur Altman ("American Beauty Rose," "Don't Gild The Lily Lily") and English lyrics were added by Norman Gimbel ("Bluesette," "Girl From Ipanema," "Killing Me Softly With His Song"). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cengiz - Istanbul, Turkey, for above 2
  • March was 15 when she recorded this. To this day, she holds the record for being the youngest female singer to have a #1 hit all over the world. This song not only reached #1 in the US, but also in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Scandinavia. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
  • This was produced by Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, aka Hugo & Luigi, a popular songwriting/producing duo who worked out of New York City's famed Brill Building. Aside from this tune, they produced the hits "Twistin' The Night Away," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and "Shout," and co-wrote Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love." Peggy March was thrilled to be teamed with the duo, who were getting a lot of press at the time.

    In a 2010 interview with blogcritics, she recalled her meeting with the producers: "I vividly remember walking into Hugo & Luigi's office and seeing 'I Will Follow Him' on their desk. It was really as simple as, 'This is your next recording." We went in and recorded it right away in December, and it was out a month later. There was a huge orchestra, at a studio on 23rd Street in New York, with timpani and strings. Everyone at that time recorded together; we didn't do separate tracks - except the male and female voices came in the next day. But everything else, including me in an isolation booth in the middle of the orchestra, recorded at the same time."

    She continued: "The song was range-y. I had worked with bands before, but certainly not that big. My reaction was, 'Wow, these people are all here for me. This is kinda cool!' But I was there to work. I had my Coca Cola next to me. Every time they called for another take, I said, 'Okay.' At that time, I was a freshman in high school. My Latin tests were a lot harder than doing this song 15 or 20 times. The next day, if it wasn't a weekend, I most likely had some English test. I had a dual life going on - I absolutely loved it. I was on TV a lot in the Philadelphia area. That part wasn't new to me, but getting on The Perry Como Show was an extremely big deal."
  • This was part of the inspiration for "Guilty Conscience" by Eminem and Dr. Dre. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ekristheh - Halath
  • March wrote a follow-up called "I Still Follow You" for her 2010 album, Always and Forever.
  • This was used in the 1992 comedy Sister Act, with Whoopi Goldberg leading a chorus of nuns. March was busy traveling at the time and didn't know about the movie until a friend clued her in. After she saw it - and loved it - she learned the filmmakers had tried to contact her. "The right people didn't know where to get a hold of me, " she explained. "Not that they needed my permission - but I wouldn't have minded playing one of the nuns!"

Comments: 14

  • Michał from PolandThe story of one song
    Answering the question posed by Reg from Kemptville, On

    "I will follow him" (originally "Chariot")

    The original version was instrumental and was played by "Franck Pourcel And His Orchestra" in 1961 (authors Franck Pourcel and Paul Mauriat).

    First instrumental cover in 1961 by "The Four Dreamers".

    The first song to this music was sung by Petula Clark, and the song appeared on the album "Petula" in 1962. According to another version, the first band was "Les Satellites" who played and sang this song (also in French) in 1961. Unfortunately, but I can't verify it for now, I need sources.

    The version we currently know, popularized and sang in English by the fifteen-year-old "Little" Peggy March in March 1963. The authors of this version were Arthur Altman, Norman Gimbel, Jacques Plante, Del Roma, J.W. Table.

    Ricky Nelson recorded the song in May 1963.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaHer voice is richer than Sandy Posey's version.
  • Bernard from LavalAccording to Fr.Wikipedia it was Clarke who released it 1st, in '62. Percy Faith did an instrumental version in '62. Ricky Nelson did a vocal version.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyLuigi Creatore, who with his cousin Hugo Peretti, produced hits for Sam Cooke, Perry Como, the Stylistics, 'Little' Peggy March*, the Isley Brothers, and Jimmie Rogers, died of pneumonia on Sunday {December 13th, 2015} in Boca Raton, Florida at the age of 93...
    The two, along with George Weiss, also co-wrote Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love" and were co-owners at one time of Roulette Records before founding Avco Records...
    May he R.I.P.?
    * He was the co-producer of 'Little' Peggy March's #1 record "I Will Follow Him".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 24th 1963, Little Peggy March performed "I Will Follow Him" on the NBC-TV program 'The Perry Como Show'...
    One month earlier on March 17th, 1963 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 at position #90...
    And on the day she appeared on the 'Como' show she had reached #1 two days earlier on April 21st; the song remained at #1 for three weeks...
    On May 19th, 1963 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
    The song "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul succeeded it at #1 on both the Top 100 chart and the R&B Singles chart...
    R.I.P. Mr. Como (1912 - 2001) and Ms. March, born Margaret Annemarie Battavio, celebrated her 66th birthday last month on March 8th.
  • Christopher from Charlotte, NcThe first recording of this song was in 1961 by Franck Pourcel and His Grand Orchestra. It was done as an instrumental recording(
    not even the original French Lyrics had been written yet) It appeared on his 1961 European release LP Amour Danse Et Violons No. 17. The first cover also an instrumental was by The Four Dreamers. The first vocal version by by Les Satellites with Paul Mauriat's Orchestra.
  • Reg from Kemptville, OnWhich was released first -- Petula Clark's "Chariot" (in French) or "I Will Follow Him" in English by Little Peggy March?
  • Matthew from Milford, Ma...Hello?
  • Matthew from Milford, MaThis song makes me think of Amy Rose from the Sonic the Hedgehog series... I think that the Sonic fans out there will know what I'm talking about!
  • Lester from New York City, NyGilda Radner (as Emily Litela) sang 'I Will Swallow Him' on SNL
  • Taja from Slov. Konjice, United StatesWHERE CAN I GET NOTES ?FOR THIS SONG(I WILL FOLOW HIM)
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkMadeline Kahn sang this song in a SNL skit back in the 1970s, I think.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoA favorite of Church of Satan leader Anton LaVey.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnI remember hearing the song in the Whoopi Goldberg movie Sister Act.
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