Will You Love Me Tomorrow

Album: Tonight's the Night (1960)
Charted: 4 1
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  • "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was written by the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It's a benignly sexual song with the singer wondering what will happen the day after an encounter with her man. It met with some resistance from radio stations, but not enough to stop it from becoming a huge hit, selling over a million copies.
  • This was the first hit written by Goffin and King, who became one of the top writing teams in music history. They were signed to Don Kirshner's Aldon music, which along with the Brill building, was the center of the songwriting universe in the early '60s. Kirshner assigned them to write a song for the Shirelles as a follow-up to "Tonight's The Night," which reached #39 in October 1960, the biggest hit for the group to that point.

    King came up with the music, and Goffin, excited about writing for The Shirelles, quickly came up with the lyrics. Kirshner loved the song, and recognizing that he had something new and different, decided to use it to get in the door at Columbia Records, so he offered it to Columbia for Johnny Mathis, but their label head Mitch Miller politely declined, which Kirshner later said was "the best thing he ever did for me."

    Back at Aldon Music, Tony Orlando wanted to record the song, but Kirshner, taking a cue from what he learned when he offered it to Mathis, explained that it was a girl's lyric, and that no teenage boy would say these words. So finally, the song went to The Shirelles, where it was intended all along. It went to #1 in January 1961.

    Tony Orlando ended up recording an answer song called "Not Just Tomorrow But Always" using the name Bertell Dache.
  • Don't let anyone tell you that this was the first US #1 hit by an all-female group - The McGuire Sisters hit the top spot three times in the '50s. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was, however, the first #1 by a black female group, and the first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which debuted in 1958. From 1955-1958, Billboard had a chart called the Top 100 with different criteria.
  • Shirelles lead singer Shirley Alston initially disliked the song, dismissing it as "too Country and Western" for the four-girl group from Passaic, New Jersey. Their producer Luther Dixon convinced her they could do it in their style, and asked King and Goffin if they could add strings and turned it into an uptempo song, which they did.
  • Carole King played timpani on the Shirelles recording.
  • Carole King included this on her 1971 album Tapestry. Lou Adler, who produced the album and owned King's record company, explained: "The only thing we reached back for, which was calculated in a way, which of the old Goffin and King songs that was hit should we put on this album? And, that's how we came up with 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.' I thought that song fit what the other songs were saying in Tapestry. A very personal lyric."
  • A 1968 version by the Four Seasons hit #24 and was that group's last Top 40 hit of the '60s - they didn't have another for seven years. Dave Mason brought it back to the charts in 1978, hitting #39. Some of the other artists to record this song include Cher, Laura Nyro, Roberta Flack, Millie Jackson, Bryan Ferry and Neil Diamond.
  • The B-side of the single was "Boys," which was later covered by the Beatles with a rare Ringo Starr vocal.
  • First pressings of the single (Scepter 1211) show the title as simply "Tomorrow."
  • Amy Winehouse recorded a cover for the Bridget Jones: The Age of Reason soundtrack in 2004, slowing down the tempo and using a jazz arrangement. Her version debuted at #62 on the UK singles chart in the week after her death.
  • Goffin and King were proud of their breakthrough hit and had their New Jersey home's doorbell "pretentiously and expensively" modified to play it. "The ring is out of rhythm, with all the notes incorrectly timed as quarter notes: do do mi mi re re re do," King recalled in her memoir, A Natural Woman.
  • This was used in the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. It wasn't included on the original soundtrack album, but was added to 20th anniversary edition.
  • Taylor Swift sang this to open the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony before inducting Carole King.

Comments: 29

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 10th 1970, Linda Ronstadt performed "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" on the ABC-TV program 'The Johnny Cash Show'...
    The song her first release after she left the Stone Poneys; it reached #111 on Billboard's Bubbling Under the Top 100 chart...
    Later in 1970 her first solo charted record, "Long Long Time", would entered the Top 100 on August 9th at #82...
    Linda Maria Ronstadt will celebrate her 69th birthday in four months on July 15th {2015}...
    May God bless and watch over Ms. Ronstadt.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 21st 1961, the Shirelles performed "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and twenty-two days earlier on January 30th, 1961 it had peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    It would reached #2* {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart; and the two weeks it was at #2 the #1 record for both those weeks was "Shop Around" by the Miracles...
    Between 1958 and 1967 the quartet had twenty-six Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with two reaching #1; their other #1 record was "Soldier Boy" for 3 weeks in 1962...
    * The girl's next two releases would also peak at #2 on the R&B Singles chart; "Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Mama Said".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 16th 1972, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by Roberta Flack entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; it spent five weeks on the chart, peaking at #74...
    It was also her debut record on the Top 100 as a solo artist*...
    In 1960 when the Shirelles released the original version of the song, the word 'Still' was not included in the title of their version...
    * A year earlier in 1971 she charted twice in duets with Donny Hathaway; "You've Got a Friend" {#29} and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" {#71}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyConcerning Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for the week beginning January 23rd, 1961...
    Twenty five percent of the Top 20 records were instrumentals:
    #1. WONDERLAND BY NIGHT (Bert Kaempfert)
    #2. EXODUS (Ferrante and Teicher)
    #3. CALCUTTA (Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra)
    #11. LAST DATE (Floyd Cramer)
    #19. WONDERLAND BY NIGHT (Louis Prima)
    NOTE: The reason I'm posting it here is because none of the five above records are featured on Song Facts and see the next post below.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 23rd 1961, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by The Shirelles was beginning its second week at #4 and it was also the highest charting vocal record on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for that week...
    That's because the top three spots were held by instrumentals:
    #1. Wonderland By Night (Bert Kaempfert)
    #2. Exodus (Ferrante and Teicher)
    #3. Calcutta (Lawrence Welk)
    The following week the girls would jumped to #1; with "Calcutta" at #2, "Exodus" #3, and "Wonderland By Night" falling to #4.
  • Richard from Calimesa, Cain 1966,15 year old French teen star Jocelyne(nee' Journo) recoreded this song as "Reviendra-t-il Encore". There's a clip of her singing it on tv up on You Tube.
  • Don Hertel from Dover, NjHey Andy, I read somewhere that the Beatles "Yesterday" was the most covered song ever, but I would have to think that this song is the most covered. Most people can think of 4 off their head. I can't think of very many covers of "Yesterday". You found 48, very good, I found 555. I have listed them at http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/Carolekingcaroleking/database
    If this isn't the most covered pop song of all time, then "You've Got A Friend" by Carole King is.
  • Janetlee from Panama City, FlIf you want to hear an amazing rendition of this song, my personal favorite, listen to it by Dusty Springfield! She's awesome!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAfter The Shirelles charted with this song; five other artists have made the Top 100 with it; they are The Four Seasons {#24 in 1968}, Roberta Flack {#76 in 1972}, Melanie {#82 in 1973}, Dana Valery {#95 in 1976}, and Dave Mason {#39 in 1978}...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAn artist by the name of Johnnie Holiday released
    an answer record titled "Yes, I Will Love You Tomorrow", it didn't make Billboard's Top 100...
  • John from Nashville, TnMotown group the Satintones recorded an answer song called "Tomorrow and Always' using the same music. This single can be found on the first complete Motown singles box set (1959-1961).
  • John from Nashville, TnThis song is a clever way of saying "Will you respect me in the morning if I go home with you tonight?" I love the line "Am I a lasting treasure/or just a moment's pleasure?" Brilliant.
  • Mark from Dublin, Irelandcliff richard did a really good version of this song in the late sixties and then did a even better version on his 40th annivery tour in 1998
  • Nicole from Massapequa, NyCheck out Bryan Ferry's version of this song....my God....it brings tears to my eyes.
  • Martin from London, United KingdomThe song's title is actually "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". At least here in Britain, it was released under this title.
  • Madalina from Azuga, RomaniaThey're all great - Carole King, Bee Gees, Amy Winehouse, Roberta Flack... But my favourite version is The Shirelles. These girls are so good! And the video is awesome too, for those who enjoy old grayscale movies.
    Oh, and this is a very tough question...
  • Amanda from Chicago, IlThere is a great version of this song by Amy Winehouse. She doesn't cut it up and make it something it's not...simple and acoustic on the version I have.
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyOf course, we tend to first think of the hit version (this one). But, listen to Carole King sing it on "Tapestry". It is one of the most memorable albums of the rock era, and her stunning renditions of this and "Natural Woman" show the power of a great singer/songwriter when she is allowed to interpret her own work. If you never heard "Tapestry", make it your next purchase!
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaThe Beatles did NOT record this song. Ever. I have every bootleg and album ever made by them and it ain't there. This song is so popular because it addresses the age-old question that every girl must consider when deciding to sleep with a boy. When you add the element of giving up her virginity, it's a very powerful and poignant song.
  • Brittany from VirginiaI don't think that the Beatles covered this. I can't find it on any of the album listings. That's not to say that they didn't just cover it and decide not to put it on an album. Steve, where did you find the Beatles version of this? I'd really like to hear it.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoThis was also covered by The Beatles, but the Shirelles version is the perfect vocal on a perfectly produced recording of a perfect song. The singer sounds so vulnerable and the lyrics say so much with just a few lines.
  • Margaret from Buellton, CaThere are many, many covers of this song, ranging in styles and genres from punk, disco, seventies, country, salsa, etc. from singers such as Andy Gibb, Neil Diamond, Laura Branigan, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, Bryan Ferry, Dione Warwick, etc. Apparantly, this is a question that many share...
  • Heikki from Raahe, FinlandRoberta Flack's interpretation of this
    "Will You Still Love me Tomorrow"
    is one of the most sensitive love songs
    I ever heard ...
  • Andy from Den Haag, Holland, United StatesI'm beginning to wonder if this isn't the most covered song ever.. I've found at least 48 different versions and there's probably a load more.
  • Mary C. from Chicago, IlI have this song on my iPod, and I love it. I like the Frankie Valli version better, though... It is a good song to dance to since it is so graceful.
  • Keith from Slc, UtWhen the song first played on LA stations, jocks got requests for "that violin song," because callers got embarrassed (on the air) when asking "Will you still love me tomorrow?"
  • Jo from Newcastle, AustraliaAn odd choice for a 'first dance' wedding song, wouldn't you think? But it was my aunt and uncle's pick... (go figure)
  • Cj from Cincinnati, OhI believe the song title is "Will You Still Love me Tomorrow" and I think it was 1961, not 1969. The Shirelles were THE first girl group...much earlier than 1969. Check Gusto Records.
  • Deana from Indianapolis, InCarole King on Tapestry made this song real for me
see more comments

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