“Happy, Happy Birthday Baby
” is a 1957 song written by Margo Sylvia & Gilbert Lopez. “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” was originally performed by The Tune Weavers, who had their only hit with this song. Both Margo Sylvia and Gilbert Lopez were members of
The Tune Weavers
. The single went to number four on the R&B chart and went to number five on the Hot 100. The B-side of “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby, was The Tune Weavers version of “Ol’ Man River”
The inspiration for the song came from Margo’s then-boyfriend, Donald Clements, who was a member of a group called the Sophomores. When he broke up with her, Margo came up with the lyrics to express how she wanted to stay with him. “The words came so easily. It was real,” she recounted to Wayne Jancik in The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders. Margo and the rest of the Tune Weavers recorded it and “Ol’ Man River” in an 18-hour session on March 7, 1957, in Boston, with Margo eight months pregnant. Seven months later, the song reached its peak of popularity in the United States.
Based on the similarities in melody, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” appears to have inspired two future Top 20 hits. I’m On The Outside (Looking In) by Little Anthony and the Imperials (#15 1964) appears inspired by the main tune of this song, and Wasted Days and Wasted Nights by Freddy Fender (#8 1975) appears inspired by the chorus of this song.
The track was originally released on the Casa Grande label. It was later re-released on the Checker label, but this later version omitted the final four saxophone notes (at the coda) which were part of the song’s signature.