Number One Song For 15 May 1968: ‘Tighten Up’

by Norm Gregory on May 15, 2014

in 1968, Music

The number one song on the Billboard Top Singles chart on May 15 1968 was by Archie Bell & The Drells.

For some reason I love this song . . . played it over and over again while at KJRB in Spokane, WA.

Tighten Up by Houston, Texas based R&B vocal group. It reached #1 on both the Billboard R&B and pop charts in the spring of 1968. It is ranked #265 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and is one of the earliest funk hits in music history.

From my show prep file.

Tighten Up was written by Archie Bell and Billy Buttier. It was one of the first songs that Archie Bell & the Drells recorded, in a session in 1967. Soon afterwards Bell was drafted into the U.S. Army and began serving in Vietnam. The song became a hit in Houston, and was picked up by Atlantic Records for distribution in April 1968. By the summer it topped both the Billboard R&B and pop charts. It also sold a million copies by May 1968, gaining an R.I.A.A. gold disc. The line in Tighten Up , “we dance just as good as we walk” was a little ironic, given that Bell had been shot in the leg and was consigned to a military hospital bed at the time.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lalo neltner May 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm

“I’M Archie Bell and the Drells…I love that.

2 Norm Gregory May 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm

It always cracked me up. I am guessing Archie was no English teacher!!

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