Song Title: I’ve Never Been to Me
Date of release: February 1982
Description: ” I’ve Never Been to Me ” is by Charlene ( Charlene Marilynn D’Angelo Oliver ), the American R&B singer. Charlene, born in Hollywood in 1950 as Charlene D’Angelo, signed up with Motown Records in 1973 using her then married name Charlene Duncan.
In January 1974 she released her first single ” All That Love Went to Waste ” which was not a chart hit. During her career Charlene has worked with many of the artists she had followed when starting out, artists like Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. She later went on to record a duet ” Used To Be ” with Stevie Wonder.
” I’ve Never Been to Me ” was written by Ron Miller and Kenneth Hirsch. Ron was an American popular songwriter and record producer. The ex Marine and washing machine salesman was discovered by Berry Gordy, the Motown record label founder, playing in a bar.
Ron wrote, along with Bryan Wells, Stevie Wonder’s 1969 hit single ” Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday “. He has also written or co-written for other artists including Gladys Knight & the Pips, Jermaine Jackson and Celine Dion.
Kenneth is an American pop songwriter, pianist and record producer. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. The School was established in 1905 and is one of the World’s leading music schools.
Kenneth also has a major in music from Queens College, New York. Many artists have recorded his songs including Celine Dion, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Air Supply, Dolly Parton and Mary J. Blige.
Production for the single was by Ron Miller, Don Costa and Berry Gordy. Don Costa was an American recording artist, arranger, conductor and record producer. Singer Paul Anka was discovered by Don in 1957. Don conducted and arranged several of Frank Sinatra’s Albums.
Berry Gordy is an American record producer and songwriter. He is best known as the founder of the Motown record label. In 1988 Berry Gordy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
” I’ve Never Been to Me ” was released on the 28th of July 1977 by record label Prodigal ( Motown ) and re-released in February 1982 by Motown. The song features on the Albums Songs of Love and Charlene from 1977 and I’ve Never Been to Me, released in 1982.
Lyrically the song is from a female perspective and is addressed to a wife and mother who would trade her rather dull existence for the more exciting lifestyle the singer had led.
When first released in 1977 many wrongly believed the song was about abortion. Charlene never actually mentions abortion either in the sung or spoken parts of the song.
Randy Crawford was the first to release the song for her Album Everything Must Change, released in 1976. In 1977, along with Charlene’s version, other artists also recorded the song, Nancy Wilson has a hit with it when the song reached number 47 on the Billboard’s R&B chart with Walter Jackson recording it for his Album I Want To Come Back As A Song.
The revived success of Charlene’s version came in 1982 when a disc jockey at Tampa radio station WRBQ-FM called Scott Shannon started to play the track. The response he got led him to alert Jay Lasker, Motown’s president, that the song had potential to be a hit.
Eventually Jay Lasker found Charlene working in a sweet shop in Ilford, a town in the north-east of London, England. He talked to her via telephone and invited her to re-sign to Motown for the release of the single.
” I’ve Never Been to Me ” was a commercial success for Charlene. In the United States the song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1982 and spent 23 weeks on the chart there.
In the United Kingdom the song entered the UK chart on the 15th of May 1982 and peaked at Number One, holding the top slot for 1 week. It spent 5 weeks in the top ten and a total of 12 weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 3
UK Highest Chart Position: 1
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia 1, Canada 1, Ireland 1, Belgium (Flemish Region) 7, Netherlands 7, New Zealand 5, Norway 5
Official Website: Charlenesongs.com
FaceBook Page: N/A
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/Charlene