P.'s Playlist: "How Will I Know (A Cappella)" - Whitney Houston



"...After getting permission to use the song from [songwriter George] Merrill, [Gerry] Griffith [R&B Music Director at Arista Records] quickly turned to Narada Michael Walden, who was producing Aretha Franklin's "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", for her album Who's Zoomin' Who?, at the time.  After getting in touch with Walden, Griffith frantically implored him to produce the song, describing how important the song would be for Houston's future album. After hearing the song's demo, Walden agreed to fly down to San Rafael, California to arrange it. He was not much impressed with the demo and requested permission to change some of the song's lyrics and chord progression. Flustered by his request, Merrill and Rubicam denied him the right to their song.  After countless back-and-forth with Griffith, they compromised and allowed Walden to de-construct the song and change the key and tempo.

After completing the song, Houston came into the studio to record her vocals. Originally, Cissy Houston, the singers's mother, was intended to perform the song's background vocals. Houston had wanted to introduce her mother's vocals on the track, insisting on their inclusion.  However, after hearing the finished result, Davis felt Houston's voice itself fit the song's arrangement, and implored her to sing the backup section on her own. While reluctant at first, Houston agreed and re-recorded the background vocals to the praise of both Griffith and Davis..."


Not much else to say.  Whitney, you are loved and missed.  An incomparable voice, never to be forgotten.

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