Two Lovers

Album: Two Lovers and Other Great Hits (1962)
Charted: 7
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Songfacts®:

  • "Two Lovers" was the third collaboration between Motown hit-makers Mary Wells and Smokey Robinson, following "The One Who Really Loves You" and "You Beat Me to the Punch."

    The 1962 hit plays on a risqué theme of a woman torn between two lovers, one who's sweet and kind and one who makes her cry - and she "ain't ashamed." But the surprise ending saved the song from the censors: "you're a split personality, and in reality, both of them are you."
  • Smokey Robinson said that this song was inspired by his then-wife, Claudette Rogers, who also performed with him in the Miracles.
  • The song was also inspired by an old movie that Smokey was watching on TV one night. He recalled to Mojo: "This woman had these two men that she loved. And see, people think that love is exclusive, 'How can you love somebody else if you love this person?' That's just the way love is. Love doesn't have no boundaries, no formulas, and no rules, love doesn't know that."

    "So I thought, OK she's got these two lovers, she loved them both, and in the movie I think one guy died or something, but I thought about it. What if she has two lovers but they're the same person? So I wrote the song."

Comments: 8

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaIn many ways we all have two sides to us. Thanks Smokey for the idea you can love more than one person at a time, but not necessarily in the same way.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 31st 1962, the Motown Revue played a New Year's Eve concert at the Michigan State Fair in Detroit, MI...
    One of the Motown acts* to perform was Mary Wells, and at the time her "Two Lovers" was at #15 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart…
    Three days earlier on Dec. 28th she performed the song on ‘American Bandstand’…{See the third post below}
    * Other acts to appear were Marvin Gaye, Martha & the Vandellas, the Contours, the Miracles, the Supremes, and 'Little' Stevie Wonder.
  • Aiken Nutz from Tahlequah OkI got this 45 rpm single (Two Lovers) around the end of 1962 when I was in junior high school. I got it for my girlfriend at the time. I always loved Mary Wells' voice & she had a lot of hits on the pop and R&B charts. I think she and Dee Dee Sharp (Cameo Records) were the biggest Pop and R&B stars out there in the 1962/1963 period. But in later years, I heard she was treated like dirt by the Motown boss Berry Gordy Jr. Heard a lot of crude stories about how bad he treated some of the stars of his own company! Like Mary Wells & Flo Ballard (The Supremes). I think she decided to leave Motown because of this & Gordy treated her even worse before she left for 20th Century Fox Records. She will always be part of my great memories of my youth and The Sixties.
  • Babbling Babette from Tulsa Ok"Two Lovers" was such a smash hit in Tulsa in 1962/1963. I loved Mary Wells' voice & combined with those brass horns it really sounded great. Had to dance to it. What a beat. I recall seeing Mary Wells on "American Bandstand" in Dec. '62. Those lyrics and the message were so cool, especially with the twist at the ending. You think she's got two guys on the line, but it's really one guy with a "split personality." Mary passed on from lung cancer in '92. She went too soon. RIP Mary. You're a true star.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 28th 1962, Mary Wells performed "Two Lovers" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    One month earlier on November 25th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on January 13th, 1963 it peaked at #7 (for 2 weeks) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100 (with 4 of the weeks in the Top 10)...
    And the week it peaked at #7 on the Top 100 it reached #1 (for 4 weeks) on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    It was composed by Smokey Robinson; and the song that knocked it out of the #1 spot on the R&B chart was also composed by him ("You've Really Got A Hold On Me" by The Miracles)...
    R.I.P. Ms. Wells (1943 - 1992) and Mr. Robinson, born William Robinson, Jr., will celebrate his 74th birthday in two months on February 19th.
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, Ok"Two Lovers" was a big Top Ten hit in late 1962. But I do recall that late at night I'd get an R&B radio station (AM) in New Orleans that ranked this song as #1. Can't remember their call letters now, but I loved to listen to them late at night. Mary Wells was riding high in the music world and this was her 3rd consecutive hit. I bought "Two Lovers" just before we had one of our worst snow storms that winter of 1962/1963. Me & neighborhood kids would take a record player out on the back porch & play records & dance there. Even thru the worst snow storm we had in 5 years! Two Lovers, Limbo Rock, He's A Rebel, LocoMotion, Big Girs Don't Cry, Monster Mash, and Mashed Potato Time! R.I.P. Mary Wells----a true star!
  • Thomas from Charlotte, NcA # 1 R&B SONG DURING THE CHRISTMAS OF 1962
    WAS PLAYING ON EVERY PICALOW (JUKEBOX)
  • Marina from Seattle, Wathe boyfriend isn't schizophrenic, it's just that he has two very different sides to his personality.
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