"Save the Last Dance for Me" is a song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, first recorded in 1960 by American musical group the Drifters with Ben E. King on lead vocals. It has since been covered by several artists, including Dalida, the DeFranco Family, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Michael Bublé.
In a 1990 interview, songwriter Doc Pomus tells the story of the song being recorded by the Drifters and originally designated as the B-side of the record. He credits Dick Clark with turning the record over and realizing "Save the Last Dance" was the stronger song. The Drifters' version of the song, released a few months after Ben E. King left the group, would go on to spend three non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart, in addition to logging one week atop the U.S. R&B chart. In the United Kingdom, the Drifters' recording reached No. 2 in December 1960. This single was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two noted American music producers who at the time had an apprentice relationship with a then-unknown Phil Spector. Although he was working with Leiber and Stoller at the time, it is unknown whether Spector assisted with the production of this record; however, many Spector fans have noticed similarities between this record and other music he would eventually produce on his own. Damita Jo had a hit with one of the answer songs of this era called "I'll Save The Last Dance For You".
In the song, the narrator tells his lover she is free to mingle and socialize throughout the evening, but to make sure to save him the dance at the end of the night. During an interview on Elvis Costello's show Spectacle, Lou Reed, who worked with Pomus, said the song was written on the day of Pomus' wedding while the wheelchair-using groom watched his bride dancing with their guests. Pomus had polio and at times used crutches to get around. His wife, Willi Burke, however, was a Broadway actress and dancer. The song gives his perspective of telling his wife to have fun dancing, but reminds her who will be taking her home and "in whose arms you're gonna be."
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The title is pretty symbolic, and the image you get from it is actually what is projected in the song itself. If it can get everyone to dance is not something we can verify right away. But as we noted at the outset, the song has got us and we are cool with vibing with it.
Like Mike and Kasango make a great team, and although neither of them is pretty regular on our orbit, they have put together a song worth the listening time anyway, and we expect it to resonate with music lovers generally in spite of their genre devotions. 781b155fdc