What Song Was Number One When I Was Born Top 10 Jerry Butler Hits

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Top 10 Jerry Butler Hits

Jerry Butler was born in Sunflower, Mississippi in 1939. His family moved to Chicago in 1944. His interest in singing developed from singing in church groups and the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers. Curtis Mayfield was also a member of that group.

Butler and Mayfield joined the R&B group, The Quails. But, in 1957, he and Mayfield joined another vocal group, The Roosters, along with Sam Gooden and brothers, Arthur and Richard Brooks. In 1957, they changed their name to The Impressions and had only one big hit with them. Butler left the group in 1958 to pursue a solo career. Mayfield would continue with The Impressions and have several hits.

He was nicknamed “The Iceman” by Philadelphia disc jockey, Georgie Woods, who saw Butler perform there.

Butler also wrote several songs, including co-writing “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” with Otis Redding.

Jerry Butler’s solo career would go on to be successful, scoring twenty-nine hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On Billboard’s R&B chart, he would have three number one hits.

Take a look at Jerry Butler’s ten biggest pop hits, according to the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart.

1. Only the strong survive – 1969 – Written by Butler and Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, their biggest pop song would go to number one on the R&B charts. Elvis Presley and Billy Paul would do cover versions of the song.

2. give it to me – 1964 – Here, Jerry worked with soul singer Betty Everett. Previously released by the Everly Brothers in 1960, the song was first recorded in 1955 as a French song called “Je t’appartiens”.

3. He will break your heart – 1960 – Written by Butler and Curtis Mayfield, Tony Orlando and Don took the song to number one in 1975 and changed the title to “He Don’t Love You (Like I Do)”.

4. Moon River – 1961 – Although Butler’s version reached number eleven on the pop charts, this Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer tune won the Academy Award for Best Original Song sung by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Andy Williams never released the song as a single, using it as his signature song.

5. For your precious love – 1958 – Butler’s only hit with The Impressions was ranked #335 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs of All Time in 2010. He re-recorded the song in 1966, but it did not chart well on the weekly Top 100 charts.

6. Hey, West Union Man – 1968 – This was Butler’s second number one single on Billboard’s R&B chart. It peaked at #16 on the pop charts.

7. Never give you up – 1968 – Covered as “Never Gonna Give You Up” by The Black Keys in 2010, from his “The Iceman Cometh” album.

8. Make it easy on yourself – 1962 – Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it was originally recorded by Dianne Warwick, but her label didn’t want to release it. Warwick heard the track and Butler used the same arrangement as his first solo hit. In 1965, The Walker Brothers also had a Top 20 hit.

9. What is the use of braking – 1969 – From his “Ice on Ice” album, the flip side of this top twenty hit was “Brand New Me” which never cracked the top 100 chart, but was a huge hit for Dusty Springfield.

10. Melo doesn’t understand – 1971 – Jerry teamed up with artist Brenda Lee Ager for this soulful tune. Eager was the lead singer with Butler’s backup singers and recorded several songs together, but none were as successful as this one.

Today, Jerry Butler continues to perform while serving as a Cook County Board Commissioner. He won re-election in 2014. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife Annette, who is one of his backup singers. He is the host on a PBS TV music special featuring several Doo Wop and R&B groups.

In 1991, Jerry Butler was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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