Written by Sam Cooke, this is a classic goodtime song where he sings about a wholesome gathering with friends, dancing and music. The song was essentially a sequel to Cooke's previous hit, "Twistin' The Night Away."
Cooke would later write songs with Herb Alpert and Lou Adler, who cite this song as an example of his natural talent for bringing out the best in a song. Said Alpert: "Sam had great instincts. He was just one of those guys that had a feel - I mean, if he walked in and showed you the lyrics that he had, you'd kind of wonder what it's all about. But as soon as he picked up his guitar and played 'Having a Party,' the whole thing came to life. So he had this very personal way of expressing himself that was very touching."
Lou Adler added: "He wrote with conversation. He said you have to be having a conversation, you have to be able to talk it. Then, you've written a good lyric."
This was released as a single with "Bring It On Home To Me
." Both songs featured a young Lou Rawls on backup vocals.
The songs Cooke asks the DJ to play are "Soul Twist" by King Curtis and "I Know" by Barbara George.
Popular covers of this song were recorded by The Ovations, The Pointer Sisters, and The Supremes. Rod Stewart released an acoustic version with Ronnie Wood on his 1994 Unplugged... And Seated album that went to #36 in the US.