Our Day Will Come, composed by Mort Garson with lyrics by Bob Hilliard, was recorded by American R&B group Ruby & the Romantics in December 1962, and it went to Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1963.
The song’s writers shopped it around to easy listening acts and only let a new R&B group, Ruby & the Romantics, record the song after the record company promised that, if the Ruby & the Romantics’ single was a bust, it would go to Jack Jones to record.
Ruby & the Romantics were from Akron, and the members were Ruby Nash, George Lee, Ronald Mosely, Leroy Fann, and Ed Roberts. They had several R&B hit records, but none topped Our Day Will Come, their first record. The song was a worldwide hit, selling over a million copies in the USA, and topping the Billboard R&B chart at Number One, along with Number One on the Pop charts.
Despite their obscurity compared to many other 1960s R&B acts, Ruby & The Romantics are one of the most influential R&B groups of the 1960s. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2007, and they are winners of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s prestigious Pioneer Award. In 2013, they were among the first inductees into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.
Many of the songs they recorded went on to become hits for other artists: Hey There Lonely Boy (Girl) was covered by Dionne Warwick. Martha & The Vandellas, Donny Osmond, and Shaun Cassidy. Hurting Each Other, which they released in 1969, became a hit for The Carpenters three years later. The Carpenters also covered their song Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore, which went to Number 12, and had a minor hit with Our Day Will Come.
I lost track at 60 when counting cover versions of Our Day Will Come, including by Frankie Valli, whose version went to Number 11 in the USA in 1975 (with Patti Austin on backups!), Cher, Donny and Marie Osmond, Bobby Darin, Patti Page, Nancy Wilson, The Supremes, James Brown, Jamie Cullum, and many, many others.
Recorded for, but not included in her 2003 debut album Frank (2003), the Amy Winehouse version of Our Day Will Come was first issued on the singer’s 2011 posthumous compilation album Lioness: Hidden Treasures. The recording is a poignant reminder of Winehouse’s gigantic talent. The music video for Our Day Will Come is a montage of shots from Winehouse’s videos, live performances and press coverage. With smoky vocals and a reggae-tinged beat she promises: “Our day will come, and we’ll have everything…“
Ruby & The Romantics, with all five original members, stayed throughout their entire 10-year recording career, (1961–1971). Nash is the only surviving member. Neither she, nor any of the descendants of the group receive any royalties for the group’s hit records.
Garson, composer and arranger of Our Day Will Come, died in 2008 at 83 years old. He wrote songs and played on albums by artists including Mel Torme, Doris Day, and Glen Campbell. During the 1960s, he made a series of albums playing the Moog synthesizer including exotica classics The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, Electronic Hair Pieces; an album to accompany the book The Sensuous Woman by “J” (1969); plus Plantasia (1976), an album to help plants grow, which is available on YouTube music.
Hilliard provided the first-rate lyrics for the Disney film Alice In Wonderland (1951), plus the hits In the Wee Small Hours Of The Morning, Any Day Now, and My Little Corner Of The World, an improbable hit for arch-homophobe, Anita Bryant in 1960, among dozens of others.
Rounding out the Top Ten 60 years ago:
Walk Like A Man – The 4 Seasons
You’re The Reason I’m Living – Bobby Darin
The End Of The World – Skeeter Davis
The Gypsy Cried – Lou Christie (which would be canceled today)
He’s So Fine – The Chiffons
Rhythm Of The Rain – The Cascades
In Dreams – Roy Orbison
Ruby Baby – Dion