On this day October 17, 1956 in New York, Mickey and Sylvia recorded "Love Is Strange."
"Love is Strange" was a crossover hit by American rhythm and blues duet Mickey & Sylvia, which was released in late November 1956 by the Groove record label.
The song was based on a guitar riff by Jody Williams. The co-writers of the song are of some dispute. The song has also been recorded by Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley, among others. The guitar riff was also used by Dave "Baby" Cortez in his 1962 instrumental song "Rinky DinK",
At a concert at Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. Mickey & Sylvia heard Jody Williams play a guitar riff that Williams had played on Billy Stewart's debut single "Billy's Blues". "Billy's Blues" was released as a single in June 1956 and the instrumentation combined a regular blues styling with Afro-Cuban styling. Sylvia Robinson claims that she and Mickey Baker wrote the lyrics, while Bo Diddley claims that he wrote them.The first recorded version of "Love is Strange" was performed by Bo Diddley, who recorded his version on May 24, 1956 with Jody Williams on lead guitar. This version was not released until its appearance on I'm a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958 in 2007. Mickey & Sylvia's version was recorded several months later on October 17, 1956. The song is noted for its spoken dialogue section.
"Love is Strange" peaked at #1 Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart and #11 on the Hot 100. In 2004 "Love is Strange" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence as a rock and roll single. The song was featured in Dirty Dancing and included on the soundtrack, which is one of the best-selling albums.
Lonnie Donegan recorded a version which appeared on the B-side of his 1957 hit single, "Cumberland Gap". Chubby Checker, accompanied by Dee Dee Sharp, covered the song on the 1960 record "Twist with Chubby Checker". The Everly Brothers released a rendition in 1965 as a single and on their Beat & Soul album. Sonny and Cher also covered the song in 1964, as did Betty Everett and Jerry Butler.
In 1967, Peaches & Herb's version of the song charted on both Billboard's Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts peaking at #13 and 16, respectively. Their version does feature the spoken dialogue and the repeated phrases, similar to the Mickey and Sylvia version. Buddy Holly recorded a version of "Love is Strange" that was not released until 1969, a decade after his death. His version reached #115 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and #76 on the RPM 100.
Paul McCartney sang it as a duet with wife Linda on the Wings album Wild Life (1971). Ian & Sylvia recorded a country rock-flavored cover in the early 1970s, but their version was unreleased until its inclusion in the 1996 CD The Beginning of the End. In 1975, Buck Owens and Susan Raye had a Top 20 country hit with the song. Everything but the Girl covered the song on their album Worldwide & again on a subsequent album Acoustic. The song also appears in the film Deep Throat and its soundtrack album, covered by unknown artists. The song was also covered in 1990 by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. The recording, the title cut of Rogers' Love is Strange album, was released as a single, and reached #21 on the U.S. country singles chart. Also in 1998, German synth-pop band Wolfsheim did a cover of the song for their EP Once in a Lifetime. Jackson Browne and David Lindley also covered the song on the live album Love is Strange, which captures live highlights from their 2006 tour of Spain. (Info Wiki)