|"Heart and Soul"|
|Song by Larry Clinton & his Orchestra, with Bea Wain|
"Heart and Soul" is a popular song composed by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Frank Loesser. In 1938, it was performed by Larry Clinton and his orchestra with vocals by Bea Wain. In 1939, three versions reached the music charts: Larry Clinton (No. 1), Eddy Duchin (No. 12), and Al Donahue (No. 16). A version by The Four Aces with the Jack Pleis Orchestra reached No. 11 in 1952, and a version by Johnny Maddox reached No. 57 in 1956. In 1961, The Cleftones version reached No. 18 and the one by Jan and Dean reached No. 25. "Play That Song," a single by the band Train that incorporates portions of the melody, reached No. 41 in 2016.
The song's A-section is often simplified as a repeating I-vi-IV-V progression and taught to beginning piano students as an easy two-hand duet (example (help·info)). Much like the piece "Chopsticks", this (somewhat inaccurate) version became widely known, even to those who never studied piano. The chord progression, often referred to as the "50s progression", was employed in the doo-wop hits of the 1950s and 1960s.
|"Heart and Soul"|
|Single by The Cleftones|
|"How Do You Feel?"|
|Released||April 17, 1961|
|Recorded||1959, Rochester, New York|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues, doo-wop|
|The Cleftones singles chronology|
The Cleftones succeeded with a rhythm and blues rearrangement of the song in 1961. After the release on April 17, 1961, "Heart and Soul" reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of that year, making this song The Cleftones' most popular work. In 1973, the song was used in American Graffiti.
In 1959, the Cleftones' manager, George Goldner, convinced the group that their future resided in re-recording existing songs with an established popularity. By this time, Charles James had grown more proficient on the guitar, and the group and Goldner used that to develop a new arrangement of the piece.
At that time, a local prominent disc jockey set up a recording session in Rochester, New York, to record "Heart and Soul" and, arranged for singer Pat Spann's boyfriend Panama Francis to play drums and 15-year-old/future Grammy Award winner Duane Hitchings to play keyboards. At the recording session, the group was presented with a rearrangement of "Heart and Soul" that was more formal than they had practiced. The group added unexpected rhythms to give the song a syncopated feel.
"Heart and Soul" sat undistributed until 1961. In early April of that year, Roulette Records president Morris Levy reactivated New York-based American record label Gee Records as a division of Roulette Records and made "Heart and Soul" the reactivated label's first release. That same month, American news magazine Billboard Music Week review panel listed "The Cleftones; Heart and Soul (Famous, ASCAP) (1:52) Gee" as one of seventeen "Pick Hits" from all songs released in the week of April 17, 1961. Under its "Spotlight Winners of the Week" column, Billboard identified the song as having the strongest sales potential of all records reviewed for the week, commenting on The Cleftones and "Heart and Soul,"
This was a hit group a few seasons back and this rendition could bring them back into action. It's the standard tune and it's done in rocking, teen-slanted fashion with a swinging beat. This could happen. Flip is "How Do You Feel" (Tyrol, BMI) (2:00)Gee 1064."
On July 3, 1961, "Heart and Soul" reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 R&B chart. The recording eventually sold approximately 350,000 copies for Gee/Roulette.
In 1973, the song was used in American Graffiti.
Music critic Terry Atkinson of the Palm Beach Post noted in 1990 that "Heart and Soul" is the song for which the Cleftones are best remembered. In 1999, American music critic Dave Marsh listed The Cleftones' "Heart and Soul" as number 913 in his book, The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made.
In 2012, American author and essayist Ray Schuck noted that the lyrics, "Well, I know that you're in love with him, 'cause I saw you dancing in the gym/You both kicked off your shoes - man, I dig those rhythm and blues." --from Don McLean's song "American Pie might be a vague reference to the Cleftones' 1961 rhythm and blues song, "Heart and Soul." In his essay, Schuck argued that such as reference would "segue nicely into the verses comprising the remainder of this stanza, albeit with a disappointing outcome."
Jan and Dean covered the song at the same time as the Cleftones's record was on the chart. They intended for it to be released on Liberty Records, who balked, and it was released on Gene Autry's Challenge Records instead. It reached No. 25 on the charts. Liberty, noting the success, signed them, and Jan and Dean went on to make five top-ten singles for the label ("Surf City", "Honolulu Lulu", "Drag City", "Deadman's Curve", and "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena").