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By: The Shirelles, formed in 1958 by high school friends Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Addie "Micki" Harris, and Beverly Lee in Passaic, New Jersey.
The Shirelles were the first girl group to have a #1 US hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Their other hits include "Baby It's You" (written by Burt Bacharach/Mack David/Barney Williams,) "Mama Said," "Foolish Little Girl," and "Soldier Boy" (Luther Dixon/Florence Greenberg.)
Other songs by the Shirelles became hits when covered by British groups: "Sha La La" was an international hit when covered by Manfred Mann, "Boys" (with Ringo Starr singing lead) and "Baby It's You" (with John Lennon singing lead) were covered by the Beatles on their album Please Please Me.
In 1996, the Shirelles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them #76 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In 1960, when first presented with the song, lead singer Shirley Alston refused to sing it because she thought it to be "too country and western." She was convinced to sing it, and warmed to it after producer and arranger Luther Dixon completely redid the song's arrangement, most notably with the "sha-la-la-sha"'s and its signature string orchestration.
The song's co-writer, Carole King, plays piano.
At the time of its release, some radio stations banned "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow".
Chart position: #1 (US), #2 (US R&B), #4 (UK).
It was #1 in the US for two weeks in January and February 1961. It was preceded and succeeded at #1 by two instrumentals: "Wonderland by Night" (Bert Kaempfert) and "Calcutta" (Lawrence Welk).
The Top Ten Songs: February 6, 1961 (US Billboard Hot 100).
- "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (Shirelles)
- "Calcutta" (Lawrence Welk)
- "Exodus" (Ferrante and Teicher)
- "Shop Around" (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)
- "Calender Girl" (Neil Sedaka)
- "Wonderland by Night" (Bert Kaempfert)
- "Angel Baby" (Rosie and the Originals)
- "Emotions" (Brenda Lee)
- "My Empty Arms" (Jackie Wilson)
- "Rubber Ball" (Bobby Vee)
The husband-and-wife songwriting duo of Goffin and King also wrote such songs as "One Fine Day", "Take Good Care of My Baby", "The Loco-Motion", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Porpoise Song", "Up on the Roof", "Chains", "Don't Say Nothing Bad About My Baby", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "I'm into Something Good", and "Go Away Little Girl".
In 1990, Goffin and King were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category for their songwriting achievements.
King's 1971 album "Tapestry" (which included this song, retitled, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow") stayed on the album charts for more than 5 years, selling over 10 million copies in the US, and close to 22 million copies worldwide.
In 1960, Goffin and King worked at the Brill Building for Don Kirshner's Aldon company. They were assigned to write a song for the Shirelles as a follow-up song to first Top 40 hit "Tonight's The Night." Upon hearing the demo version of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", Kirshner recognized the potential of it immediately, and gave Goffin and King each advances of over $10,000. It became the first song Goffin and King wrote that sold over 1 million copies.
Also by: The Four Seasons, whose version reached #24 (US) in 1968.
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