Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Song - The Shangri-Las' "Remember Walking in the Sand"

softly, softly we'd meet with our lips ...

It's The Shangri-Las and their earliest moment in the sun with the wonderful "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" back in 1964.

Such amazing vocals!

Another tale of a cad who stole a young gal's heart, went away but never came back ("it's been two years or so since I saw my baby go".)

A simple (it's unlikely to win any literature prizes!) yet evocative story of young love destroyed ("this letter came for me; it said that we were through.")

All she's got are memories of walking on the beach that night he took her innocence away ... "Remember then he touched my cheek, with his fingertips softly, softly we'd meet with our lips."

The song was the first ever written by George "Shadow" Morton, and came about as a sort of fuck you to an established songwriter Jeff Barry he'd met while visiting his girlfriend at the legendary Brill Building.

Before even wrting the thing, Morton hired an unknown teenage group from Queens, The Shangri-Las, to sing. Realizing that he did not have a song yet, he immediately wrote "Remember (Walking in the Sand)".

There are several stories as to how it was written. One is that immediately upon his realization of not having a song, he stopped his car on the spot next to the ocean beach and there wrote the song.

He used The Shangri-Las on the demo, which he himself produced. (a then unknown Billy Joel is said by Morton to have played the piano chords that open the song.

Jeff Barry was impressed and used his contacts to get Red Bird Records involved. The label picked up the song for release and signed Morton and The Shangri-Las to contracts.

The song was released as the band's debut single and became a number five hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

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