Oh, my love, my darling I've hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
Time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love I need your love
God speed your love to me...
Ghost. Yes. We know.
Arguably one of the most popular songs in history -- with approximately 500 different recorded versions to date -- this epitome of romantic yearning was originally written by Alex North. North would ultimately go on to become a celebrated film composer (crafting A Streetcar Named Desire, Spartacus and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, among others), but at the time he was just a struggling young songwriter looking for a break.
He first offered the then untitled tune to crooner Bing Crosby... who turned him down flat. Further efforts to get the song recorded also went by the wayside. While other successes would soon come North's way, it wasn't until almost twenty years later that he and lyricist Hy Zaret were finally able to dust off the still untitled jewel of a song and use it as the theme for the 1955 prison film Unchained.
One added "Melody" later, the meaningful tune finally got its famous title... and its due. With baritone Todd Duncan on vocals, it was nominated for a 1956 Academy Award for "Best Original Song", and although it ultimately did not go on to win Oscar gold, no matter. The world of music -- and eventually, pottery making -- would never be the same.
As North himself said of his work:
"My music is written to be played, to be functional and to catch the spirit of the American people."
Famous footnote: Unchained was filmed in the modern Chino, California correctional facility where jazz legend Dexter Gordon was serving time for drug possession. He has a small, uncredited role in the film as -- shockingly! -- a saxophone player in the prison jazz band.
All of which brings us to 1965, producer Phil Spector, and the dulcet tones of Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield.
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