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The Happening (song)

"The Happening" is a 1967 song recorded by Motown artists The Supremes. The song served as the theme song of the 1967 Columbia Pictures film The Happening, and was released as a single by Motown at the time of the film's release that spring. While the movie flopped, the song peaked at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in May,[1] becoming The Supremes' tenth number-one single in the United States,[2] peaking in the top 10 on the UK Pop Chart at number six, and in the top 5 in the Australian Pop Chart and in the Dutch Pop Chart.

"The Happening"
Single by The Supremes
from the album Greatest Hits
B-side"All I Know About You"
ReleasedMarch 20, 1967
FormatVinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
RecordedMarch 2, 1967
StudioHitsville U.S.A. (Studio A)
Length2:52 (original release)
3:03 (remastered)
M 1107
Producer(s)Brian Holland
Lamont Dozier
The Supremes singles chronology
"Love Is Here and Now You're Gone"
"The Happening"
Audio sample
"The Happening"
1991 European reissue cover
Diana happening.png


Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, and written by Holland–Dozier–Holland and Frank De Vol (The Happening's musical director), "The Happening" was the final single issued by The Supremes under that name. Between the release of "The Happening" and the next Supremes single, "Reflections," the group's billing changed to Diana Ross & the Supremes, and Florence Ballard was replaced with Cindy Birdsong of Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles.

It was widely believed the instrumental track was recorded in Los Angeles using members of the Wrecking Crew particularly drummer Hal Blaine; however Motown session logs indicate both the track used in the film recorded in February 1967 and the single version recorded in March 1967 were cut in Detroit using the Funk Brothers.

Ballard's final of the 17 appearances The Supremes made on the hit CBS variety television program The Ed Sullivan Show[3] was on an episode where she performed this song live from Expo 67 in Montréal on Sunday, May 7, 1967,[4] going to number-one the same week.

The selection's lyrics do not specify exactly what "the happening" is, but they do imply that it is negative and that it leaves the individual narrating the selection in worse shape, in a likewise unspecified way, than before it "just happened." They also warn that as "it" has happened to that individual, so too can "it" happen to others.



Other versionsEdit

"The Happening" was an instrumental hit for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass in 1967 making number 32 on the Billboard chart.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Company. 79 (19): 24. 1967. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  2. ^ Bronson, Fred: The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, page 223. Billboard Books, 2003.
  3. ^ Yusuf, Nilgin (26 August 2008), "The Supremes on show", The Daily Telegraph, London
  4. ^ "Expo '67 - The Supremes, Xavier Cugat, Charo, Roberta Peters". The Ed Sullivan Show. Season 20. Episode 33. Montreal. 7 May 1967. CBS.
  5. ^ Mark Ribowsky (2008). The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal. Hachette Books. p. 312. ISBN 9780786726912. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Chris Jisi (December 1, 2009). "Secrets of the Motown Vault". Bass Player magazine. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  7. ^ "Billboard Magazine, July 8, 1967". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Billboard Magazine, July 1, 1967". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Billboard Magazine, June 17, 1967". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Flavour of New Zealand". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  11. ^ "The Billboard Book Of No. 1 Hits". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Billboard Magazine, June 1967". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-08-12. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  14. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1967/Top 100 Songs of 1967". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - Chart history - Billboard". Retrieved 5 July 2016.

External linksEdit