500 Greatest Songs of All Time


The Drifters, 'Up on the Roof'

Writers: Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producers: Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Released: Nov. '62, Atlantic
20 weeks; No. 5

"Up on the Roof" — a breezy summertime song for city dwellers whose only getaways were the tar beaches at the top of their buildings — was written by the husband-and-wife team of Goffin and King, rising stars on New York's Tin Pan Alley scene who had broken through with the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and had already written one Drifters hit ("Some Kind of Wonderful"). It was sung by Rudy Lewis, the third in the Drifters' cavalcade of great lead voices; in 1970, King reclaimed the song as a recording artist with a wistful, downtempo version.

Appears on: The Very Best of the Drifters (Rhino) 

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