(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right

Album: If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want to Be Right (1972)
Charted: 3
Play Video


  • This is one of the most passionate and soulful ever written about cheating. Written by the Stax songwriters Homer Banks, Ray Jackson and Carl Hampton, the song finds a married man with two children enthralled with his mistress. Despite warnings from his friends, he just can't help the way he feels, and is compelled to be with the other woman.
  • Banks, Jackson and Hampton wrote the song in the middle of the night sometime around 1970. The had the Stax girl-group The Emotions record the song, but their uptempo version didn't work and the song sat on the shelf until the R&B singer Luther Ingram found the tape while visiting the studios. He took the tape and worked out a more mournful arrangement with a gospel feel. Then he recorded the song at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama, utilizing a Wurlitzer piano with an Echoplex unit and also a Hammond organ. The song became a #1 R&B hit for Ingram.
  • Millie Jackson used this song as the basis for her landmark album Caught Up, where she sung the first side of the album from the perspective of the mistress and the second side as the wife who was being cheated on. In our 2010 interview with Millie Jackson, she said: "When I write a story like that, I like to balance it out so people on both sides can see what's going on. That's why I did the wife and the girlfriend. And when I do my live performances, the women were always my biggest fans, but now I do both. I talk about the women, and then I go and I talk about the men, which the women expect me to do, but then I'll talk about the men and the women, so it can be balanced out that way. Try to keep it on an even keel."
  • Other big names to cover this song include Isaac Hayes, Barbara Mandrell, Rod Stewart and Cassandra Wilson. Mandrell's version charted at #31 in the US in 1979.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 11th 1979, ("If Loving You is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" by Barbara Mandrell entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #88; and eleven weeks later on May 27th, 1979 it would peak at #31 {for 2 weeks} and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on April 8th, 1979 it reached #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart, and it was the second of her six #1s that she would have on the chart between 1978 and 1983...
    Barbara Ann Mandrell is a Christmas baby, and this December 25th {2015} she will celebrate her 67th birthday.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Famous Singers' First Films

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.

Todd Rundgren

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin Popoff

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.