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"Do You Know the Way to San Jose"
"Do You Know the Way to San San Jose" 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 Jose"
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 Jose" 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 Jose" 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.


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 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.


Warwick won her first Grammy, 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
*** Cash Box
Top 100
#10 *** #10 #23 #4 #15 #8 #8 #8
End of year chart (1968) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [3] 88


"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.

In other media[edit]

  • The song opens and closes the pilot episode of Helix, in each case playing over tense scenes featuring Peter Farragut. The song appears again in the opener of Helix Season 2 when Julia arrives to the island


  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. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1968/Top 100 Songs of 1968". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_You_Know_the_Way_to_San_Jose — Please support Wikipedia.
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1277 news items

Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:11:15 -0700

The city, celebrated in the 1968 Dionne Warwick hit “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?” is a former agricultural center that produced grapes, apricots and prunes. In the mid-20th century, the technology industry supplanted the orchards after ...


Fri, 10 Apr 2015 19:06:17 -0700

Whenever you sit down to watch Helix, it's best to just go with the flow and try to enjoy the ride. But the ride that was the Season 2 finale, "O Brave New World," and really the entire second season in general, was like sitting in the back of a pickup ...


Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:15:00 -0700

Jennifer bought her 1968 Mustang in October 2013 from Frank and Debs Lammers in Sarnia. It originally came from San Jose, California, and was built the same year that Dionne Warwick began belting out her big hit, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.

The Stage

Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:26:15 -0700

... Is Love," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Walk on By," "A House Is Not a Home," "That's What Friends Are For," "Close to You," "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me," "The Look of Love," "What's New Pussycat?," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?


Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:03:45 -0700

LeBron James has been on a few basketball dream teams, but he's now on a dream team of sorts in the investment world that also includes such folks as newswoman/former California First Lady Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and ...
Marin Independent Journal
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 18:18:45 -0700

The Quakes (2-1-0) wasted little time to provide fireworks after a pregame pageantry that included local politicians and the requisite singing of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" The historic first regulation game goal at Avaya came in the fifth ...

San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco Examiner
Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:01:06 -0700

They also play for an owner who must wake up mumbling the lyrics to the old Burt Bacharach song “Do you know the way to San Jose,” inevitably playing better than anybody would imagine. Beane, as all top baseball types, knows well that pitching wins.
Jerusalem Post Israel News
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 03:09:56 -0700

... on May 19 at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. The 74-year-old Warwick is best known for popularizing the Burt Bacharach-Hal David songbook, creating huge hits in the late 1960s with songs like "Walk On By," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

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