Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard: selected songs 1960-62 and 1965


page originally published on 9 January 2012; latest edit: 16 March 2023


All songs featured on this page were written by Burt Bacharach & Bob Hilliard


Take Me to Your Ladder
Joanie’s Forever


Tower of Strength
Please Stay
Three Wheels On My Wagon
Sinner’s Devotion
The Answer to Everything
You’re Following Me


Any Day Now
Waiting For Charlie (to Come Home)
Little Betty Falling Star
Mexican Divorce


Who’s Got The Action (probably written in 1962)

For more songs with music by Burt Bacharach, see our



Take Me to Your Ladder (I’ll See Your Leader, Later) (Burt Bacharach & Bob Hilliard)

Buddy Clinton — According to bacharachonline.com, the recording was issued in 1960 on Monroe 114, b/w “Joanie’s Forever.” In his book Burt Bacharach, Song by Song, Serene Dominic dates the release November 1960. However, 45cat.com indicates that it was issued in December 1960 on Madison M-144, with the same B-side. “Buddy Clinton” is a pseudonym adopted by the songwriter Clint Ballard, Jr.



Pino Donaggio — Italian version “La Scaletta” — issued in 1963 on Columbia (Italy) SCQM 1708, b/w “Un’ Isola Per Gli Innamorati” (Donaggio)


Joanie’s Forever (Burt Bacharach & Bob Hilliard)

Buddy Clinton — issued in November 1960 on Monroe 114, as the B-side of “Take Me to Your Ladder”


My Joanie’s forever
Was less than a week
She loved me on Friday
By Monday we didn’t even speak

Joanie’s forever
Is only one love scene
‘Cause Joanie’s forever
Is a word she doesn’t mean

She’s yours for the moment
But don’t play the fool
You’ll find out she’s heartless
That Joanie, oh, she’ll break every rule

(Repeat second section)

She doesn’t mean ’til the end of time
She doesn’t mean ’til the seas run dry *
If you believe what she says on Friday
By Monday your heart will cry

Joanie’s forever

*  The lyric provided by Bacharachonline.com has “seas run dry” where Clinton sings “sea runs dry” on the recording. Also, instead of “By Monday” in the last line of the lyric as it appears at Bacharachonline, Clinton sings “On Monday.”



Tower of Strength

Gene McDaniels


Frankie Vaughan – #1 in the UK


Please Stay (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Bob Hilliard)

charting recordings:

The Drifters — 1961


The Cryin’ Shames — live 1966 performance on French TV


Slim Smith (Keith) – Reggae, 1971, GAS/ Pama label GAS-163


Jonathon Butler — 1975


Three Wheels On My Wagon (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Bob Hilliard)

Dick Van Dyke — A commenter on the video (at Youtube) says that the record charted in March 1961, entering (he thinks) the week of 6 March at #30.


Thomasina Winifred Montgomery (Tammi Terrel)-1

Sinner’s Devotion (Burt Bacharach & Bob Hilliard)

A previously unreleased 1961 demo recording by Tina Robin was released on the 2009 compilation Rare Bacharach: The Early Years 1958-1965. However, according to the “Selected Discography” at bacharachonline.com, the Shirelles recorded the song first, as a demo (unreleased). Tammy Montgomery [née Thomasina Winifred Montgomery], later known as Tammi Terrell, also recorded it in 1961, with the Shirelles on back vocals.

The Terrell recording, with the Shirelles, in the first video below was released on a 1967 Chuck Jackson & Tammi Terrell LP, The Early Show.

According to Spectropop.com, a 2000 CD issue of The Sound of Bacharach includes the following information in its booklet:

With Chuck Jackson and Tammi Terrell then both recently-signed by Motown, the Wand label trawled their tape vaults for six tracks by each artist which they combined to form the 1967 “The Early Show” album. Cut some five or six years earlier, when she was in her mid-teens and known as Tammy Montgomery, this adult number is one of the tragic star’s very earliest recordings and features the Shirelles on backing vocals, which might intimate that an unissued version by that group awaits discovery. Boasting another excellent lyric by Bob Hilliard and a typically big budget Ludix production, “Sinner’s Devotion” is often overlooked by Bacharach discographers.


Tammy Montgomery (Tammi Terrell) with the Shirelles — 1961

The second line of the lyric sung by Terrell is usually given as

We’ll have our play

I hear this line differently. The opening lines appear to be

I know it’s wrong and yet
Ooh, have I played
A sinner’s devotion


In Tina Robin’s unreleased demo, she clearly sings “craved” in the second line, where Terrell apparently sings “played.” Robin’s first chorus begins

I know it’s wrong and yet
Oh, how I’ve craved
A sinner’s devotion

The corresponding lines in the second chorus go:

That’s how it must turn out
For those who crave [Robin]
For those who play [Terrell]
A sinner’s devotion

Tina Robin – unreleased 1961 demo; eventually released on the 2009 compilation Rare Bacharach – The Early Years 1958 – 1965


Update, 10 October 2022

The musician Henry Dee got in touch with me a little while ago and offered a recent recording of “Sinner’s Devotion” that he had made and released, under the title “A Sinner’s Devotion,” on a double A-side single titled Restless Hearts. According to Amazon Music, the single was released on 30 June 2022. Henry had previously shared the recording on this page in The Burt Bacharach Discussion Forum (@bacharachonline.com), which elicited some enthusiastic comments. It’s a beautiful version of the song.

Henry Dee links:

Restless Hearts single links:


The Answer to Everything (Burt Bacharach & Bob Hilliard)

Del Shannon – 1961; B-side to “So Long Baby”


David Alexander — probably from the 1979 single Ace Recordings (UK) ACE 79104, b/w “You and the Looking Glass” — available on The Best of David Alexander, Volume Two, 1996


Jack E. Rump — live performance, 2010


You’re Following Me (Burt Bacharach & Bob Hilliard) — Introduced (I think) by Perry Como with an 18 October 1961 recording, accompanied by Mitchell Ayers and his Orchestra with the Ray Charles Singers, produced by Hugo & Luigi, RCA Victor 47-7962

Peter Gordeno with the John Barry Orchestra -1961



Any Day Now (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Bob Hilliard)

“Any Day Now” is a revision of a Bacharach & Hilliard song called “Lover” which was recorded by Tommy Hunt earlier in 1962, but left unreleased.

Chuck Jackson — recorded under the title “Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird),” and issued in March 1962 on Wand 122, b/w “The Prophet” — The single was released in April 1962, and after entering the Hot 100 on 28 April it climbed to a peak chart position of #22.


Lover — recorded by Tommy Hunt, 1962 (unreleased)


selected covers of Any Day Now:

Elvis Presley — 1969


Ronnie Milsap — 1982


Waiting For Charlie (to Come Home) (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Bob Hilliard)

Etta James — recorded on 14 July 1961; arranged and conducted by Riley Hampton; issued in January 1962 as the B-side of the single “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” Argo 5409


Marlena Shaw – issued in August 1967 on Cadet 5571, as the B-side of “Brother Where Are You” (Oscar Brown, Jr.)


Burt Bacharach and Trijntje Oosterhuis 11 July 2009 at the North Sea Jazz Festival


Little Betty Falling Star (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Bob Hilliard)

Gene Pitney introduced the song on the 1962 Musicor LP Only Love Can Break A Heart (also released on The Many Sides Of Gene Pitney, 1962)


The Cascades1964, RCA-Victor 47-8321


Mexican Divorce (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Bob Hilliard)

The Drifters — issued in February 1962 in the US on Atlantic 45-2134, as the B-side of “When My Little Girl is Smiling” (Goffin & King); issued in the UK in March 1962, with the sides reversed, on London (UK) HLK 9522


Jay and the Americans – unreleased, 1962


Prince Buster…Busted
Songwriting credit is incorrectly given solely to “C. Campbell” on the label of this 1967 disc credited to reggae band “Teddy King & Busters All Stars” (the latter aka Prince Buster’s All Stars). C. Campbell is Cecil Bustamante Campbell, better known as Prince Buster. Discogs lists also the following aliases: Jamaica Greatest, Judge Dread “used in the late 1960[s] when recording anti-rudeboy songs,” and Muhammed Yusef Ali.

Trying to steal a song from Burt Bacharach, eh Prince? I call it Madness.

Teddy King & Busters All Stars – 1967, FAB 27A [UK]


Ry Cooder — from his 1974 album Paradise and Lunch, Reprise Records MS 2179


Who’s Got The Action (Burt Bacharach, Bob Hilliard)

Phil Colbert issued in August 1965 on Philips 40313, b/w “The Long Long Tunnel” (Freddie Scott, Helen Miller); both sides arranged by Horace Ott and produced by Hal Mooney

The copyright registration number and date as given at copyrightencyclopedia.com is EP0000209430 / 1965-11-05, though the song was probably written in 1962. As Serene Dominic suggests in his book Burt Bacharach: Song by Song (2003), “Who’s Got the Action” may have been submitted for consideration, or written under contract, and rejected for a Dean Martin film of the same name released in 1962. Martin recorded a different song, a bit of fluff, with the same title for the film. However, there is at least one known instance of Bacharach co-writing a song using a film’s title and story after viewing the completed film. He and Hal David did so with “The Hangman” in 1959. As far as I know, Bacharach didn’t write with Hilliard after 1962. This is the only recording of the song that I’m aware of. — comments by doc


(below) The following video contains a version of the recording that is noticeably faster than that in the video above. It is consequently about 20 seconds shorter. I suspect that it’s been speeded up, since the length of the recording in the video above is very close to the length given on the Philips 40313 label (2:50).


Who’s Got the Action (m. Burt Bacharach, w. Bob Hilliard)

Searching and longing
For something special
Something to go with the mood I’m in
Lose or win
Where are the thrills that I’m dreaming about constantly

Tell me who’s got the action
Who’s got the action for me

Watching and waiting
For some excitement
Something to go with the things I feel
Something real
I want the wind to blow all of the leaves off my tree

Tell me who’s got the action
Who’s got the action for me

I’ll take chances
I’ll put my life on the line
Anything to fill these empty arms of mine
That’s why I’m…

Restless, and reaching
For something extra
Something to go with the mood I’m in
Lose or win
Love of my life, tell me where is the world end to be

Tell me who’s got the action
Who’s got the action
Who’s got the action for me

A note from doc:

On 24 February 2012, I looked for the lyric to “Who’s Got the Action” without success. The title is missing from a couple of major Bacharach lyric collections (See the links at the bottom of my Burt Bacharach Index). Several general Google searches using key phrases turned up only a couple of lines of the lyric in the online Santa Cruz (CA) Public Libraries sheet music catalog. So I transcribed the words that day. Colbert enunciates very clearly.



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