Save the Last Dance for Me

Save the Last Dance for Me

Infobox Single
Name = Save the Last Dance for Me

Cover size =
Border =
Caption =
Artist = The Drifters
Album =
B-side = "Nobody But Me"
Released = 1960
Format = 7" (45 rpm)
Recorded =
Genre = R&B, Pop
Length =
Label = Atlantic Records
Writer = Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman
Producer = Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller
Audio sample? =
Certification =
Last single = "Lonely Winds"
This single = "Save the Last Dance for Me"
Next single = "I Count the Tears"
Misc =
"Save the Last Dance for Me" is the title of a popular song, written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, that was first recorded in 1960 by Ben E. King and The Drifters.

The Drifters' version of the song spent three non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the U.S. pop chart, in addition to logging one week atop the U.S. R&B chart. [Whitburn, Joel (1996). "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits", 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)] In the UK, the Drifters' recording reached #2 in December 1960. [ [ Drifters UK Singles chart data at] ] This single was produced by Jerry Lieber 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 Lieber 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. [Bronson, Fred (2003). "The Billboard Book of #1 Hits", 5th Edition (Billboard Publications)]

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 one dance at the end of the night. The song is likely based on the personal experience of songwriter Pomus, who had polio and used crutches to get around and could not dance. His wife, however, was a Broadway actress and dancer. The song gives his perspective of plaintively telling his wife to have fun dancing, but reminds her who will be taking her home and "in whose arms you're gonna be." []

Other versions

*Later in 1960, American female R&B singer Damita Jo recorded an "answer record" to "Save the Last Dance for Me". Her song, entitled "I'll Save the Last Dance for You", peaked at #22 on the "Billboard" pop chart in December 1960. [ [ Damita Jo Hot 100 chart data at] ]

*The song was subsequently covered by Ike and Tina Turner on the Phil Spector-produced 1966 album "River Deep, Mountain High", with the lyrical point of view changed to be that of the female instead of the male.

*The Beatles had recorded the song for their 1970 album "Let It Be", but it was later decided not to include the song on the album by the time of its release.

*Singer Harry Nilsson recorded the song and included it on his album, "Pussy Cats", in 1974; this version was produced by John Lennon.

*Also in 1974, the Canadian group The DeFranco Family reached #18 on the "Billboard" pop chart with their version of "Save the Last Dance for Me", with lead vocals sung by the 14 year old group member Tony DeFranco. [ [ DeFranco Hot 100 chart data at] ]

*In 1978, country music singer-songwriter Ron Shaw recorded the song on Pacific Challenger Records; this version reached the Top 40 on the "Billboard" country music chart.

*Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton also each recorded versions of the song (Harris in 1979 after learning that Shaw's version had been successful, and Parton in 1984); both singers' recordings reached the top ten on the U.S. country singles charts.

*Actor and sometimes singer Bruce Willis has also performed a cover of this song.

*The French diva Dalida has performed a French version of the song, Garde bien la dernier dance pour moi.

*In 2005, Canadian pop standards singer Michael Bublé recorded a version of "Save the Last Dance for Me" that was included on his album, "It's Time". This version of the song first made the American music charts as a dance recording that was listed as being remixed by "Ralphi Rosario and Eddie Baez". The remixes peaked at #22 on the "Billboard" dance chart in September 2005. [ [ Bublé Dance Club Play chart data at] ] In early 2006, the album version of the song was released to radio, and it peaked at #5 on the "Billboard" adult contemporary chart [ [ Bublé Adult Contemporary chart data at] ] as well as reaching #99 on the Hot 100 chart. [ [ Bublé Hot 100 chart data at] ] Bublé also sings the song at the end of the 2005 film "The Wedding Date", which starred Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney.

*In 2007, dance group S.H.Y. recorded a dance version of "Save the Last Dance for Me".

Cultural references

*The original version of "Save the Last Dance for Me" as performed by the Drifters is featured in the first season finale of the North American version of "Queer as Folk". In a memorable scene from this episode, Brian Kinney dances with Justin Taylor to this song at Justin's senior prom, which is immediately followed by Justin being attacked by a fellow student in a parking garage.

*The song was also covered by New Zealander John Clarke, in character as Fred Dagg.Fact|date=August 2007

*The song ranked #182 on "Rolling Stone"'s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, making it the second-highest charting Drifters song on the list, behind "Up on the Roof".


External links

* [ Save the Last Dance for Me lyrics at Dolly Parton On-Line]

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