the Door To Yesterday Masthad Vol 3, No. 22. Alan Warner. 2019

 

 

 

THE SONGS OF Bert Berns. SHAKE IT UP BABY. Alan Warner. THE DOOR TO YESTERDAY.

 Even if you’d never heard of Bert Berns, sample a few of the YouTube audio clips I’ve included below 

and you’ll begin to realize that these compositions were the work of a remarkably talented songwriter.


 From the heartbreaking soul ballads CRY BABY, PIECE OF MY HEART and ARE YOU LONELY FOR ME BABY 

to the rock classic TWIST AND SHOUT, the jukebox favorite HANG ON SLOOPY and the beat-propelled party song 

I WANT CANDY, he created a formidable catalogue of hits that have undeniably stood the test of time.


In a few short years, New York-born songwriter/producer and occasional singer Bert Berns (aka Bert Russell

was significantly prolific in the recording studio. He was highly rated by fellow songwriters, producers 

and musicians yet for some reason, his influence and accomplishments were not recognized by 

the public until years later. Sadly, he died of heart failure in December 1967 at the age of 38.


Following a string of successes for Atlantic Records, Bert had partnered in ‘65 with the label’s 

Ahmet & Neshui Ertegun and Jerry Wexler to form a music publishing company called Web IV

 along with a subsidiary record label titled Bang. The ad below ran in Billboard magazine that May

 (Julie Rifkind was the label’s general manager) and Bert then added an R&B label which he called Shout.

I Want Candy. Bert Berns. The Door To Yesterday. 2019. Alan Warner.

He was also successful producing records 

of other composers’ works but this blog salutes 

Bert Berns the songwriter and the following is

an alphabetical listing of key charted recordings 

of his own compositions and collaborations…


AM I GROOVING YOU (Bert Berns/Jeff Barry) 

by Freddie Scott/Arr: Gary Sherman

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Shout: 1967) 

https://youtu.be/etLwU8B5pmo 

US #25 R&B, #71 Pop  

(Credits shown here are as they appeared 

on the original record releases where  arranger 

Garry Sherman’s name was often misspelled.)


ARE YOU LONELY FOR ME (Bert Berns) 

Aka ARE YOU LONELY FOR ME BABY by 

Freddie Scott

Arr: Gary Sherman

Pro: Bert Berns (Shout: 1966)  

https://youtu.be/9x-u3eWJa5E  

US #1 R&B & #39 Pop both in '67   

by Chuck Jackson

Pro: Clay McMurray (Motown: 1969) US #27 R&B 

BABY COME ON HOME (Bert Berns) 

by Solomon Burke

Arr & Cond: Roy Glover

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Atlantic: 1966) US #31 R&B


BABY DON’T YOU WEEP 

(Bert Berns/Norman Meade)

by Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters

Pro: Jerry Ragovoy

A Bert Berns Prod. (United Artists: 1963) https://youtu.be/2e4WTJNNoK8

   US #11 R&B, #30 Pop


BABY LET ME TAKE YOU HOME 

(Bert Berns/Wes Farrell)

by The Animals

Pro: Mickie Most 

(UK Columbia: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/Z0EImNzg9AQ

UK #21

(Song originally released as 

BABY LET ME HOLD YOUR HAND 

by Hoagy Lands 

on Atlantic in ’64)

Garnet Mimms. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019.

 CRY BABY 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Ragovoy) 

by Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters

Arr: Garry Sherman

Pro: Jerry Ragovoy

 (United Artists: 1963)

  https://youtu.be/fo1nidIA1vg

  US #1 R&B, #4 Pop

by Janis Joplin

Pro: Paul Rothchild 

(Columbia: 1971) 

https://youtu.be/VfGSd-tikH4  

US #42 Pop

by Melissa Etheridge & Joss Stone 

(in a medley w/PIECE OF MY HEART):

 (Grammy: 2005)

US #32 Pop


Among Bert’s finest work at Atlantic

 were his sessions with the renowned gospel-influenced 

soul singer Solomon Burke including CRY TO ME 

which Bert later re-cut at a slower, sultry tempo

 with the equally powerful Betty Harris.  

 

Solomon Burke. The Door to Yesterday. 
Alan Warner. 2019

 CRY TO ME 

(Bert Berns) 

by Solomon Burke

Arr & Cond: Klaus Ogermann

Pro: Bert Berns & Jerry Wexler

 (Atlantic: 1962

) https://youtu.be/UmnvPnDZUI8

   US #5 R&B, #44 Pop

by Betty Harris

Arr & Cond: Garry Sherman

Dir: Bert Berns

A Leiber & Stoller Prod. 

(Jubilee: 1963) https://youtu.be/lDmf7l70hGk 

  US #10 R&B, #23 Pop

by The Pretty Things 

(UK Fontana: 1965)

 https://youtu.be/gsRZs1PWE6s   

UK #28

by Freddie Scott/\

Arr & Cond: Gary Sherman

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Shout: 1967) 

US #40 R&B, #70 Pop  

by Betty Harris 

(Jubilee: 1969 re-issue of ’63 version)

 US #44 R&B 


DOWN IN THE VALLEY

 (Bert Berns/Solomon Burke) 

by Solomon Burke 

(Atlantic: 1962) 

US #20 R&B, #71 Pop, #19 AC


EVERYBODY DO THE SLOOPY

 (Bert Berns/Wes Farrell)

by Johnny Thunder

Arr: Artie Butler

A Web IV Production

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Diamond: 1965) 

US #67 Pop


EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY TO LOVE 

(Bert Berns/Solomon Burke/Jerry Wexler) 

by Solomon Burke

Arr & Cond: Phil Medley

A Bert Berns Prod. 

(Atlantic: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/tmkeyzZ91sI  

US #4 R&B, #58 Pop

by Wilson Pickett 

(Atlantic: 1966)

 US #19 R&B, #29 Pop in ‘67

by The Blues Brothers

Pro: Bob Tischler (

East West: 1990) UK #12 

(The Blues Brothers’ version 

featuring John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd

 was from the soundtrack of the

  1980 “Blues Brothers” movie).


GET HIM 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller/Ray Passman)

by The Exciters

Arr & Cond: Teacho Wiltshire

Pro: Leiber-Stoller 

(United Artists: 1963) US #76 Pop


GOODBYE BABY (Baby Goodbye) 

(Bert Berns/Wes Farrell) 

by Solomon Burke

Arr & Cond: Gary Sherman

A Bert Berns Prod. (Atlantic: 1964) https://youtu.be/P8sPijM6zug 

US #8 R&B, #33 Pop

the McCoyes. Bert Berns. Alan Warner. . The Door To Yesterday.

  HANG ON SLOOPY 

(Bert Berns/Wes Farrell) 

by The McCoys

Arr & Cond: Bassett Hand

A Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer Prod.

(Bang: 1965) 

https://youtu.be/Nuw8GJbqx94  

US #1 Pop, UK #5

by The Ramsey Lewis Trio

Pro: Esmond Edwards (Cadet: 1965

)https://youtu.be/2P60cttemzY  

 US #6 R&B, #11 Pop, #18 AC

by The Lettermen

Arr: Perry Botkin Jr.

Pro: Al De Lory (Capitol: 1970) 

US #18 AC

by The Sandpipers

Arr: John Altman

Pro: Henry Hadaway & The Sandpipers

 (UKSatril: 1976) UK #32

Song originally titled MY GIRL SLOOPY

 (see below)


HEART BE STILL 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Ragovoy)

by Lorraine Ellison

Arr & Cond: Garry Sherman

Pro: Jerry Ragovoy 

(Loma: 1967) 

US #43 R&B, #89 Pop


HERE COMES THE NIGHT 

(Bert Berns)

by Lulu/Mus Dir: Mike Leander

Pro: Bert Berns 

(UK Decca: 1964) https://youtu.be/1zm7RDGo_Dw  

UK #50

by Them

Pro: Bert Berns

 (UK Decca/Parrot: 1965) 

https://youtu.be/aXD1B2651X8

UK #2, US #24 Pop (

Both versions by Lulu and Them

 featuring Van Morrison 

were recorded by Bert in London).


HIS KISS 

(Bert Berns/Mike Stoller) 

by Betty Harris

Arr & Cond: Gary Sherman

Pro: Bert Berns

A Leiber & Stoller Prod. 

(Jubilee: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/yk8_sDxLGOk  

US #15 R&B, #89 Pop


I DON'T WANT TO GO ON WITHOUT YOU 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Wexler)

by The Moody Blues

Pro: AM/PW 

(UK Decca: 1965)

 https://youtu.be/wTiOS5Pqgm8 UK #33 

(Song originally released 

by  The Drifters on Atlantic in ’64).

I GOT TO GO BACK (And Watch That Little Girl Dance) (Bert Berns/Jeff Barry) 

by The McCoys

A Berns & Barry Prod. 

(Bang: 1967) US #69 Pop


I WANT CANDY 

(Bert Berns/Bob Feldman

Jerry Goldstein/Richard Gottehrer)

by The Strangeloves

Arr & Cond: Bassett Hand

A Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer Prod. 

(Bang: 1965) 

https://youtu.be/G6Vw9RGm1tM 

US #11 Pop  

(The Strangeloves were Messrs.

 Feldman, Goldstein & Gottehrer).

by Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

Pro: Mike Smith for Strand Records 

 (UK Decca: 1965) UK #25

by Bow Wow Wow

Pro: Kenny Laguna for Jett Lag Inc.

 (RCA: 1982) 

https://youtu.be/JoXVYSV4Xcs 

UK #9, US #62 Pop, #36 Dance, 

#22 Mainstream Rock 

by Candy Girls Feat. Valerie Malcolm

Pro: Paul Masterson & Rachel Auburn

(UKFeverpitch: 1996) UK #30

by Aaron Carter

Pro: Timmy Allen (UK Jive: 2000) UK #31

by Melanie C/Pro: Stephen Hogue (UK Red Girl: 2007) https://youtu.be/3Yqx_4kCPh4 

UK #24 

I'LL TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Ragovoy) 

by Garnet Mimms

Arr & Cond: Gary Sherman

A Jerry Ragovoy Prod. (United Artists: 1966) 

https://youtu.be/ALmUNdpmXKM  

 US #15 R&B, #30 Pop


I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU (Bert Berns) 

by Tami Lynn

Arr: Ray Ellis

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Atco: 1965) https://youtu.be/AeaZ3DEQEyo 

UK #4 in ‘71


IF I DIDN'T HAVE A DIME (To Play The Jukebox) 

(Bert Berns/Phil Medley) 

by Gene Pitney

Arr & Cond: Chuck Sagle

A Schroeder-Gold Prod.

(Musicor: 1962)

 https://youtu.be/SZqquTZBcts 

US #58 Pop


IT'S ALL OVER 

(Bert Berns/Mike Leander)

by Ben E. King

A Bert Berns Prod. 

(Atco: 1964) 

US #40 R&B, #72 Pop  


KILLER JOE

(Bert Berns/Phil Medley/Bob Elgin)

by The Rocky Fellers

Arr: Alan Lorber

An S.M.N. Prod. 

(Scepter: 1963) US #16 Pop


A LITTLE BIT OF SOAP 

Bert Berns) 

by The Jarmels

Arr & Cond: Glen Stuart

Pro: Bert Berns & Gene Schwartz (Laurie: 1961) https://youtu.be/a0wQU7fJEVQ 

US #7 R&B, #12 Pop

by Garnet Mimms

Arr & Cond: Garry Sherman

A Jerry Ragovoy Prod.  \(United Artists: 1965) US #95 Pop

by The Exciters

Arr & Cond: Artie Butler

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Bang: 1965)

 US #58 Pop in ‘66    

by Paul Davis/Pro: Ilene Berns & Paul Davis 

(Bang: 1970) 

US #27 AC

by Showaddywaddy

Eng: John Acock

Pro: Showaddywaddy 

(Arista: 1978) UK #5

by Nigel Olsson

Pro: Paul Davis 

(Bang: 1979)

 https://youtu.be/DuBI5L-K4SY 

US #9 AC


LOOK AWAY

 (Bert Berns/Norman Meade) 

by Garnet Mimms

Arr & Cond: Garry Sherman/A Jerry Ragovoy 

Prod.  (United Artists: 1964) 

US #14 R&B, #73 Pop 


MOJO MAMA 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Wexler) 

aka MOJO MAMMA

by Wilson Pickett

Pro: Tom Dowd & Tommy Cogbill

 (Atlantic: 1967). 

Song sampled in TWENTY-FIVE MILES

 (see below) 

MY BLOCK 

(Bert Berns/Jimmy Radcliffe/Carl Spencer)

by The Four Pennies (aka The Chiffons)

Arr & Cond: Sammy Lowe

Pro: Bright Tunes Prods. 

(Rust: 1963) 

US #67 Pop

MY GIRL SLOOPY

(Bert Berns/Wes Farrell) 

by The Vibrations

Arr & Cond: Teacho Wiltshire

An Award Music Prod.

Dir: Bert Berns 

(Atlantic: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/V_Uwbi6VqKc 

US #10 R&B, #26 Pop. 

by Little Caesar & The Consuls

Stan Klees Prod. 

(Mala: 1965) 

US #50 Pop

Song later re-titled HANG ON SLOOPY

 (see above)


ONE GIRL

 (Bert Berns/Norman Meade) 

by Garnet Mimms

Arr & Cond: Garry Sherman/A Jerry Ragovoy Prod. 

 (United Artists: 1964) 

US #31 R&B, #67 Pop


ONE MORE TIME 

(Bert Berns/Phil Medley/Ray Passman) 

by Arthur Prysock (Old Town: 1961) 

US #30 R&B, #67 Pop 


ONE WAY LOVE

 (Bert Berns/Jerry Ragovoy) 

by The Drifters

Arr & Cond: Garry Sherman

A Bert Berns Prod.  

(Atlantic: 1964) 

https://youtu.be/s5f2H-WlYjQ 

US #12 R&B, #56 Pop

by Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers

Pro: John Burgess 

(UK Parlophone: 1964) UK #9  

Johnny Moore sang lead on the Drifters’ original. 

Erma Franklin. The Door To Yesterday.Alan Warner. 2019

 PIECE OF MY HEART 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Ragovoy) 

by Erma Franklin

Arr & Cond: Gary Sherman

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Shout: 1967)

https://youtu.be/L5zAZjmcWyA 

US #10 R&B, #62 Pop

by Big Brother & The Holding Company Feat. Janis Joplin

Pro: John Simon 

(Columbia: 1968) 

US #12 Pop

by Etta James

Pro: Jerry Wexler 

(Warner Bros: 1978) 

US #93 R&B

by Sammy Hagar

Pro: Keith Olsen 

(Geffen: 1982) 

US #73 Pop, UK #67

by Sandy Croft

Pro: Joe Wilson

 (Capitol: 1985) US #68 Country

by Faith Hill

Pro: Scott Hendricks 

(Warner Bros: 1993)

 https://youtu.be/WMBO2_6GbO0 

US #1 Country in ‘94

by Shaggy Feat. Marsha

Pro: Robert Livingston & Shaun ‘Sting’ Pizzonia 

(Virgin: 1997) 

US #57 R&B, #72 Pop, UK ##7

by Melissa Etheridge & Joss Stone

 (in a medley w/CRY BABY): 

(Grammy: 2005) 

US #32 Pop

by Beverley Knight

Pro: Jimmy Hogarth 

(UK Parlophone: 2006)

 UK #16 

PUSH PUSH

 (Bert Berns/Phil Medley)

by Austin Taylor 

(Laurie: 1960) 

US #90 Pop


TELL HIM 

(Bert Berns)  

by The Exciters

Orch Cond: Teacho Wiltshire

Pro: Leiber & Stoller 

(United Artists: 1962)

https://youtu.be/G2sH6h0ViDg 

US #5 R&B, #4 Pop & UK #46 all in '63

by Billie Davis

Mus Dir: Charles Blackwell

Pro: Robert Stigwood 

(UK Decca: 1963) UK #10 

by Hello

Pro: Mike Leander 

(UK Bell: 1974) UK #6

by Pia Zadora

Pro: Ray Ruff 

(Warner/Curb: 1979) 

US #98 Country

by Quentin & Ash

Pro: Jon Astley & Phil Chapman 

(UK EastWest: 1996) 

UK #25

(Song originally titled TELL HER 

of which the first released version was

 by Gil Hamilton on Capitol in ’62.)

 

THAT'S WHEN IT HURTS 

(Bert Berns/Jerry Wexler) 

by Ben E. King

Arr & Cond: Seymour Barab

A Bert Berns Prod. 

(Atco: 1964) US #17 R&B


TWENTY-FIVE MILES (Johnny Bristol/Harvey Fuqua

Edwin Starr/Bert Berns/Jerry Wexler) 

Aka 25 MILES

by Edwin Starr

Pro: Johnny Bristol & Harvey Fuqua (Gordy: 1969)

 https://youtu.be/v6fTlPnR4g4 

US #6 Pop, #6 R&B, UK #36.

by The Three Amigos 

(UK Wonderboy: 2001) 

UK #30

TWENTY-FIVE MILES 

contained a sample of MOJO MAMA (see above). 

(The Three Amigos version was titled 25 MILES 2001 

and it featured a sample of Edwin Starr’s version).

Isley Brothers Tiwsh and Southerner’s. The Door to Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 TWIST AND SHOUT 

(Bert Berns/Phil Medley) 

by The Isley Brothers

Arr: Teacho Wiltshire

Pro: Bert Berns 

(Wand: 1962) 

https://youtu.be/M7xKa6RV0t4

 US #2 R&B & #17 Pop in ’62, UK #42 in ‘63

by Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

Pro: Mike Smith 

(UK Decca: 1963) UK #4 

by The Beatles

Pro: George Martin 

(Tollie: 1964) 

US #2 Pop in ‘64

by The Beatles

Pro: George Martin 

(Capitol: 1986 re-issue of ’64 version)

 US #23 Pop

by Salt-N-Pepa

Pro: Hurby ‘Love Bug’ Azor 

(Next Plateau: 1989) 

https://youtu.be/_Tgbhmq646Q 

US #45 R&B in ’89, UK #4 in ‘88          

by Chaka Demus & Pliers 

Feat. Jack Radics & Taxi Gang/

Pro: Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare 

& Lloyd ‘Gitsy’ Willis

 (Mango: 1995) 

UK #67.

(The first released version of TWIST AND SHOUT 

was by The Top Notes on Atlantic in ’61). 

image73

 YES I DO 

(Bert Berns) 

by Solomon Burke

Arr & Cond: Ray Ellis

A Bert Berns Prod. 

(Atlantic: 1964) 

US #38 R&B


The story of Bert Berns was told in the 2014 book 

Here Comes The Night: The Dark Soul Of Bert Berns 

And The Dirty Business Of Rhythm & Blues

 by renowned music critic and journalist Joel Selvin;

 it’s published by Counterpoint and also contains a fascinating and detailed discography.


Bert’s songs and history were celebrated

 in the stage musical

 “Piece Of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story

 by Daniel Goldfarb which premiered

 Off Broadway at the Pershing Signature Center 

in July 2014. 


This was followed two years later by

 the release of the award-winning documentary film 

BANG! The Bert Berns Story” directed by Bert’s

 eldest son Bret Berns along with Bob Sarles.


 Narrated by Steve Van Zandt, it includes 

contributions from a wide range of personalities including Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Solomon Burke

and Keith Richards.


 


Three  recommended “The Bert Berns Story” CD’s are available from Ace Records of London 

and the Official Soundtrack to “Bang: The Bert Berns Story” is a double vinyl LP on Sony Legacy.


US Chart positions quoted above are as published originally in Billboard magazines; researched and compiled by 

Joel Whitburn in his series of Chart Books published by Record Research Inc. His books are available thru their website 


www.recordresearch.com



Rock on.


Alan Warner



Additional songwriter lists appear 

in the following previous editions of

 "The Door To Yesterday": 


Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson: Vol.3, No.3

Dave Bartholomew: Vol.2, No.19

Thom Bell: Vol.3, No.9

Charles Brown: Vol.2, No.25 

Gerry Goffin: Vol.3, No.16

Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil: Vol.2, No.6

Neil Sedaka: Vol.3, No.6

Leon Ware: Vol.3, No.12

Tony Joe White: Vol.2, No.13  

 

Please send any comments or suggestions to 

thedoortoyesterday@gmail.com