When was it recorded? Jul. 16, 1963
When was it first released, and on which album? Nov. 30, 1994 on “Live at the BBC”
Who wrote it? Phil Spector
Have I heard this song before? Just the original
What my research dug up:
Phil Spector wrote “To Know Him is to Love Him” based on the epithet on his father’s tombstone (“To know him was to love him”). For as much as I needle him on this blog, Spector was a profoundly influential American record producer and songwriter. According to Wikipedia, “At the height of his career, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s girl-group sound, and produced more than twenty-five Top 40 hits from 1960 to 1965, writing or co-writing many of them.” (Sadly, I know him more for his infamous 2009 murder trial/conviction.) Spector has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone also ranked him #63 on their list of the Greatest Artists of All Time.
Spector’s music group The Teddy Bears first recorded “To Know Him is to Love Him” and released it as a single in Sept. 1958. I actually posted this song four entries ago for reference (Day 243: “This Boy”), but here it is again with more relevance.
“To Know Him” quickly reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As a popular number, it was also covered by many artists of the time.
The Beatles were (obviously) among this camp, flipping the titular gender. It was one of the numbers performed during their Jan. 1, 1962 Decca Records audition. Quoth the Beatles Bible, “The Decca version was faster than the BBC one, but the recording was an early indication of the skillful vocal harmonies that would later become a Beatles trademark. Sadly, the recording – which features Pete Best on drums – is only available on bootleg.”
“To Know Her is to Love Her” also appeared in the band’s early live shows. Here’s a version from Dec. 1962 recorded at the Star-Club in Hamburg.
The Fab Four’s only official release of this cover though was recorded Jul. 16, 1963 for Aug. 6’s edition of “Pop Go the Beatles.”
It’s a cute song. I do like listening to how the Beatles evolved their cover version from early 1962 to 1963. Not that it varies too much from time to time, but I do like how it’s slightly sped up for the Decca audition.