A cappella group The Persuasions began singing together in Brooklyn, New York in the mid-1960s. This single was released in 1972, the year after it appeared on their Street Corner Symphony album. "When we did this song ["Good Times"] we were singing about this one particular lady that you wanted to be with," original member Jimmy Hayes told Billboard magazine in 2015. "Everything is gonna be alright -- I ain't got no money in my pockets, they don't jingle, but as long as we can get together everything is gonna be alright. We're gonna have good times."
The song was sampled by English musician Jamie xx for his 2015 track, "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" after he came across the tune during a crate-digging mission in Detroit.
The lyrics for "Mary, Did You Know?" were written by Christian singer and comedian Mark Lowry, after his pastor asked him to write a Christmas musical for their church. Southern gospel musician Buddy Greene later added music to his words.