For today’s #RomanticTuesday song, we’re going to go back to the “one song, x number of ways” post. Today’s song was a huge Pop hit twice over, but it took a while for it be a hit for the first time.
The song “Dedicated To The One I Love” was written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass, and was originally recorded by the pioneering R&B group the “5” Royales. Produced by Bass, the song failed to chart in its initial release in 1957. Two years later, the girl group the Shirelles took a crack at the song, but it couldn’t get any higher than #83. Fast forward to 1961, and the Shirelles version is re-released in the wake of the group’s success with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” This time, the song finally hit, making its way to #2 on the R&B chart and #3 on the Pop chart. In the wake of the Shirelles’ success, the “5” Royales version of the song was re-released, but could only climb as high as #81 on the Pop chart.
The biggest hit version of the song was yet to come. In 1967, the Mamas & The Papas released a cover version of the song that went up to #2 on the Pop charts. This version was also notable for being the first song where group member Michelle Phillips sung the lead. Female leads for the group were usually taken by Cass Elliot, but this one proved that Phillips could step out front and give the group a hit. The group’s great harmonies remain intact on the song.
The final version of the song to be featured in this post was done by male vocal group The Temprees in 1972. Recorded on the Stax subsidiary label We Produce, the Temprees version was made in the vein of similar male R&B groups of the era, such as the Stylistics, the Delfonics and many others. It proved to be the group’s biggest R&B hit, placing at #17. It also appears on Quiet Storm radio programs from time to time. It usually is played in its longer, 7-minute version, but the edited version is featured here. The long version features the group repeating the same line over and over to the fade for about three minutes!
My mother would probably be familiar with all three versions, but I would guess she would be especially fond of the Temprees version; since her love of groups of that era is well-known to me. However, all three of these versions have their charms, and the song has been covered by quite a few more artists since 1972. Linda Ronstadt even has a version that she did back in 1996. Other artists that have covered the tune include Wilson Phillips, Johnny Preston, The Lettermen and Bernadette Peters. No matter which version you choose, it is a song that has lasted through the test of time, and certainly meets the requirement for #RomanticTuesday.
It also happens to be the Morning Groove for today. If you have a preference, or any reaction at all to the song, please leave your thoughts in the comments. As always, thanks for reading and listening.