Just Between You and Me

Album: Greatest Hits (1957)
Charted: 8
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Songfacts®:

  • "Just Between You and Me" is a song typical of The Chordettes' style, close harmony in a cappella with minimal instrumental accompaniment. Other songs by them in the same style, which you're sure to recognize, include "Mr. Sandman" and "Lollipop."
  • This song was written by Jack Keller and Cathy Lee, of legendary Brill Building fame. Keller would go on to sign an exclusive contract with the then-new Aldon music. Cathy Lee is not to be confused with any of the other Cathy Lees you know, including Gifford, Crosby, or Irwin.

    Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear has a fascinating history of this song's writing: Producer Jack Benanti of Barton Music was the first to give the young Keller a break. Benanti also produced for Frank Sinatra, and Keller's first job was to take sheet music brought in by songwriters and play them for Benanti, who would then decide based on that whether to send them on to Sinatra.

    Benanti turned this song down, however, so the duo insisted on taking the song to other publishers. One producer name of George Paxton offered to buy it for $50, and another $50 if it ever got produced. Keller and Lee sold the song at that point and forgot about it.

    Keller almost gave up on a songwriting career, taking a job as a banker in Manhattan to ensure a steady paycheck. He would call his mother every day before coming home from work. His mother, who'd always encouraged him to keep at songwriting, asked "Did you hear your song on the radio?" It was news to Keller, who wasn't even informed. But The Chordettes had recorded it and made his name along with the song's, as he listened on the radio and watched in the ensuing months as it climbed to the #8 spot on the Billboard charts.

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 8, 1957, the Chordettes were guests on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'*...
    At the time their "Just Between You and Me" was at #19 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, just over two weeks earlier on Sept. 15th it peaked at #8 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Most Played by Jockeys chart and it spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1954 and 1961 the Wisconsin quartet had thirteen records on the Top 100 chart, four made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Mr. Sandman", and on December 12th, 1954 it was at #1 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's Best Sellers in Stores, Most Played by Jockeys, and Most Played on Jukesboxes charts...
    Besides "Mr. Sandman", their three other Top 10 records were "Born to Be With You" {#5 in 1956}, the above "Just Between You and Me", and "Lollipop" {#2 for 1 week in 1958}...
    The week "Lollipop" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Tequila" by the Champs...
    * Just the day before on October 7th the quartet appeared on 'America Bandstand Prime Time', the program was at 7:30 on Monday evenings, wasn't very popular and last for only 13 episodes.
  • Howard Goodman from Edgewater Park NjMy favorite Chordettes song. The guys singing background are The Playmates ("Joann," "Beep Beep").
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