Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
Remembering a song and moment that shaped me musically.
In 1960, The Shirelles released a song written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. The song was called Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.
It was the first song performed by an all female group to reach #1 in the US. It's listed in Rolling Stone as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
It's an awesome song. One of my all time favorites. It's a staple in American popular culture.
That song plays a pivotal part in my musical journey.
Chances are, I heard it a bunch of times before said pivotal moment. My mother listened to a radio station called Oldies B97 here in Columbus, Ohio that (for-sure) played that song. She listened to it all the time. I attribute her record collection and listening to that station to my affinity for Sun Records, Motown, etc.
My mother passed when I was young. In a blog... I don't really know how else to say that. I don't say it in a "woe is me" type of way... it's just a fact. It makes the big memories I have of her a little more interesting. They're a little more foggy at times. Sometimes, I remember them more by the emotion rather than by other indicators... place, time, etc. This one is a little of both.
I was in her car. I was in kindergarten(ish). We were at some sort of drive-thru. I think I was eating french-fries out of a paper cup with blue and purple stripes on it. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow came on the radio. My mom began singing along.
Now, developmentally... I was in that stage where it was hard to tell what was real from what was pretend... or art... or whatever. Allow me to illustrate --- Thomas The Tank Engine has a face... do all trains have faces? Those dogs from Homeward Bound talk, but humans can't hear them... do all animals actually talk? That baby on Full House has 2 names in the opening credits... do all TV babies have 2 names? (I'm stretching the Olsen twins reference for comedic effect... you're welcome).
So my mom is singing the song. She sang the title line, which basically serves as the refrain. Will you still love me tomorrow? I remember thinking...
... Of course I will.
Somewhere along the way, I think I've come to realize how much that moment changed me. I already loved music, but that moment made me want to be a musician.
I don't remember how good she "delivered" the song vocally. I barely remember what we were doing in the car. I do, however, remember that she sang the song so convincingly that it elicited a pure, emotional response from me. In some way, she meant it.
I don't claim to be the best musician in the world, but I still (in part) get to be a musician for a living. Whether I'm helping people dance, sing, worship, cry, reflect, whatever... I hope that at least from time to time, I deliver emotionally as well as my mom did that day over 20-some years ago... french fries in a cup or not.