Nobody Sings ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’ Better Than ‘The Drifters’ Did Back In 1958

Nothing moves people more than music. A music that makes one person cry has the potential to make another joyful. “Save the Last Dance for Me” is a powerful tune that can do both.

The famed American blues musician and songwriter Doc Pomus wrote this tune on the back of his own wedding invitation. As a polio survivor, he was forced to watch from a wheelchair as everyone else danced at his wedding celebration. He created these songs while longingly watching his wife, a Broadway dancer and actress, perform with his brother. This terrible narrative gives a new layer to this popular song.

At the time, Ben E. King was the lead singer of the group called the Drifters, even though he had already left the group by the time the song was released to the public. By then, the group had been around for years, and this was no surprise. The group was well-known for switching their performers quite often. Despite their quick turnaround of vocalists, the Drifters released many popular songs well into the 1970s.

The Drifters’ version had a beautiful arrangement with a Latin dance flare to it. Ben E. King’s voice was perfect for the song since his warm tenor voice was able to convey both love and caution at the same time. The other members of the group added light harmony and staccato accents throughout the song.

Over the years, numerous different performers have recorded their own versions of “Save the Last Dance for Me.” The most popular versions are by Dolly Parton, Michael Bublé, and Leonard Cohen, but the Drifters’ rendition of “Save the Last Dance” peaked at number one on the US pop charts on October 17, 1960, and remained there for three weeks in a row. It was clearly the most successful of the variations.

No matter who sings the song, if you keep the background in mind, it will certainly move you. Another excellent illustration of how timeless a song can be.

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