Song of the Day: The Four Tops, “Bernadette”

"Bernadette" was written by Motown’s main songwriting and production team, Lamont Dozier and brothers Eddie and Brian Holland, better known as Holland-Dozier-Holland. It was recorded by The Four Tops in 1967 and reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart, their last Top 10 song in the ’60’s, as well as peaking at #8 in the UK. The song is notable for having a false ending, where the instruments stop and the backup singers (Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, Lawrence Payton, and The Andantes: Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps) hold a chord before going silent, then lead singer Levi Stubbs shouts "Bernadette!" and the music starts again. Wikipedia informs us that the critic Maury Dean said that false ending might have been the reason the record sold so well.

12 thoughts on “Song of the Day: The Four Tops, “Bernadette”

  1. ah, yes! The Four Tops! They were such a great group. This was exactly what I needed to hear this afternoon. Now, I’m off to search for a playlist to listen to while I catch up on some computer work.


  2. I’ve actually seen them a few times, most recently 2 years ago at the Mountain Winery and even though only “Duke” is left, they still had great sound..


  3. Can’t say enough good about this one. Those soul groups were quality through and through. It gave people an alternative to the British invasion.


    1. Thanks! This year I decided that maybe I should focus on the R&B and soul artists, because they added so much to the Top 40 in the ’60’s and ’70’s, so I checked with Mary and she said “knock yourself out.”

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