1001 Songs Challenge,  1960s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #137: Do You Love Me (1962)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


The Contours – Do You Love Me (1962)

After enjoying one of the early girl groups yesterday, we continue in the US today with a spot of R&B and a bit of soul. Berry Gordy, owner of Motown label Gordy, wrote the song Do You Love Me and was confident it would be a big hit. Gordy went looking for The Temptations as his group of choice but they were nowhere to be seen. As luck would have it, Gordy ran into The Contours and offered them the song instead. They were extremely grateful and seized this opportunity for success with both hands.

Do You Love Me begins with a spoken segment from the narrator about someone who broke his heart because he couldn’t dance. Seems a bit harsh. She wouldn’t favour me, dear reader, I can tell you! Anyway, the narrator has now made a comeback and wants her to know that he is a different person now. What has he done though? Well, he can dance and he can dance really well, he’ll have you know. He can do the twist, he can really move, he’s in the groove, the dude has soul and he is working that dancefloor. The narrator is shouting out loud to the one that broke his heart and is saying look at me now, look what I can do, and asks them the question, do you love me? What the unnamed heartbreaker’s reply is we’re not sure but surely they’re a smidgen impressed by all that dancing, right?

I’ve known this song for many years. Although released in 1962, it was given a new lease of life thanks to its inclusion in the 1987 film, Dirty Dancing, the one with Patrick Swayze and not putting someone in the corner. You may remember it. I wasn’t familiar with the back story to the song but The Contours certainly took their chance when offered the song. Their rendition is terrific with lead singer, Billy Gordon, channelling the likes of Little Richard as he screams his way through the number. Sublime. A classic then and a classic to this day.


Favourite songs so far:

Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)

Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)

Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)

Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)

Peggy Lee – Fever (1958)

The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)

The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow (1960)

Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (1960)

Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)

The Contours – Do You Love Me (1962)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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