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"Do You Know the Way to San José"
"Do You Know the Way to San San José" became an international best-seller in 1968
Single by Dionne Warwick
from the album Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls
A-side "Do You Know the Way to San José"
B-side "Let Me Be Lonesome"
Released April 1968
Format 7" single
Recorded 1967 at Bell Sound Studios; engineer, Ed Smith
Genre Soul, pop
Length 2:58
Label Scepter SCE-12216
Writer(s) Burt Bacharach, Hal David
Producer(s) Burt Bacharach, Hal David
Dionne Warwick singles chronology
"(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls"
(1968) #2
"Do You Know the Way to San José"
(1968) #10
"Who Is Gonna Love Me"
(1968) #33

"Do You Know the Way to San José" is a 1968 popular song written for singer Dionne Warwick by Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics). The song was Warwick's biggest international hit, selling over a million copies and winning Warwick her first Grammy Award. It tells the story of a native of San Jose who, having failed to break into the entertainment field in Los Angeles, is set to return to her hometown.

The song was released on the 1968 RIAA Certified Gold album Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls. "Do You Know the Way to San José" was issued as the follow-up single to the double-sided hit "(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls"/ "I Say a Little Prayer" in April 1968. It became Warwick's third consecutive Top Ten song, punctuating the most successful period of Warwick's recording career.

The song peaked at #8 in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. It also charted in France, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and many other countries. The flip-side of the single, "Let Me Be Lonesome," also penned by Bacharach/David, charted in the Billboard Hot 100 as well and became one of many double-sided hits for Warwick.

Production[edit]

Burt Bacharach wrote the music for the song before Hal David wrote its lyrics. David had a special interest in San Jose, having been stationed there while in the navy.[1]

The track was the last Dionne Warwick single to be recorded at New York City's Bell Studios. It features a prominent use of bass drum, played by session musician Gary Chester. The engineer was Ed Smith, who devised the famous introduction to the tune by directly attaching a mike to the head of Chester's bass drum.

Dionne Warwick did not actually like "Do You Know the Way to San José", and had to be convinced to record it. In a May 1983 interview with Ebony, she said: "It's a dumb song and I didn't want to sing it. But it was a hit, just like [her recent Top Ten hit] 'Heartbreaker' is. I'm happy these songs were successful, but that still doesn't change my opinion about them." [2] The song remains one of Warwick's most popular numbers, and is included in almost every concert she performs.

Awards[edit]

Warwick won her first Grammy Award, the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, for "Do You Know the Way to San Jose". She told Jet in May 2002 that winning this award was the overall highlight of her career.

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly singles charts
Billboard Hot
100
*** Cash Box
Top 100
Billboard
R&B
Billboard
Easy
Listening
AUSTRALIA CANADA IRELAND UK
#10 *** #10 #23 #4 #15 #8 #8 #8
End of year chart (1968) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [3] 88

Covers[edit]

"Do You Know the Way to San José" has also been recorded by Connie Francis, Rita Reys, The George Shearing Quintet, The Avalanches, The Baja Marimba Band, The Temptations and The Supremes together, Neil Diamond, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Nancy Sinatra, The Starlite Orchestra, De-Phazz, Bossa Rio (1970) and the Carpenters, among others.

Non-English renderings of the song include "Le chemin pour San José" by Ginette Reno – #8 Québécois hit for the year 1968 – ,"Snart Så Stiger Solen Upp Igen" by Siw Malmkvist and "La route du bonheur" by Liliane Saint-Pierre.

Dionne Warwick re-recorded the song as a salsa-flavored collaboration with Celia Cruz and the Pete Escovedo Orchestra for her 1998 album Dionne Sings Dionne.

The song has been recorded on various Burt Bacharach tribute albums, including by Medeski Martin & Wood on Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach (1997), by both Yazz and Dionne Warwick (separately) on Tribute to Burt Bacharach & Hal David (2002), by Trijntje Oosterhuis on The Look of Love (2006), and by Kahimi Karie on All Kinds of People ~Love Burt Bacharach~ (2010).

In 1977, Maureen McCormick, Geri Reischl & Susan Olsen performed the song during a medley on an episode of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dominic, Serene (2003). Burt Bacharach, song by song: the ultimate Burt Bacharach reference for fans. New York City: Schirmer Trade Books. p. 190. ISBN 0-8256-7280-5. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Dennis (May 1983). "Dionne Wardwick Speaks Out for Strong Black Women". Ebony (Johnson Publishing Company): 100. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1968.htm

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_You_Know_the_Way_to_San_Jose — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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1313 news items

 
Chico Enterprise-Record
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:03:45 -0800

The filmmaker, who is in preproduction on a feature about his hometown titled "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?," is nominated in the category of Best Director for the series at the CreaTiVe video awards, which will be held Jan. 10 at the California ...

Sand Springs Leader (subscription)

Sand Springs Leader (subscription)
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:37:30 -0800

Rutland started the show with “Do You Know the Way to Sand Springs,” which was a variation of Burt Bacharach's “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” involving different parts of the town and it's history. Her versions of “Viva Las Vegas” and “The Chapel ...

Sand Springs Leader (subscription)

Sand Springs Leader (subscription)
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:37:30 -0800

Rutland started the show with “Do You Know the Way to Sand Springs,” which was a variation of Burt Bacharach's “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” involving different parts of the town and it's history. Her versions of “Viva Las Vegas” and “The Chapel ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:26:15 -0800

When I was nine years old, Dionne Warwick's hit song, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis, was one of my favorites. (My toes still start a-tapping every time it pops into my head!) I spent several years of my ...
 
Los Angeles Times
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:14:58 -0700

Once upon a time, the best reason to stop in San Jose was to visit the Winchester Mystery House (525 S. Winchester Blvd.; [408] 247-2101, winchestermysteryhouse.com). Although that's still a good excuse to get off Interstate 880, San Jose is no longer ...

Billboard

Billboard
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:03:45 -0700

In 1968, Dionne Warwick had never been to San Jose and didn't think much of the song. But after the iconic singer recorded "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?" and the song became a huge hit, the 73-year old singer says with a laugh that she "cried all ...
 
BusinessWorld Online Edition
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:26:43 -0800

Aside from the Christmas songs, the choral group will also be performing a medley of Burt Bacharach compositions including “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Say A Little Prayer,” “The Look of Love,” and “What the World Needs Now.” To complete the ...
 
newszap.com
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:11:15 -0800

“It was 'Do You Know the Way to San Jose.' I just didn't want to record it. Hal had given me all of those incredible words over the years and now he's got me singing 'whoa, whoa, whoa?' “He had such an affinity for San Jose. He was stationed there in ...
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