“Betcha By Golly, Wow!” by The Stylistics (1972)

I can confirm that people did, in fact, use the word “golly” back in the ‘70s. And it wasn’t just people on Happy Days or Sesame Street, either! I’m pretty sure I heard my Mom use that word on several occasions.

Retroactive silliness of the song title notwithstanding, “Betcha By…” remains a highlight of the catalog of The Stylistics. Any conversation about that particular group has to begin with a shout out to Russell Tompkins, Jr., possessor of one of the best falsettos in music history alongside…hmmm…El DeBarge, Michael Jackson, Sylvester, Prince, Marvin Gaye, Barry Gibb and a few other people I’m forgetting. If you can think of anyone else, comment on this post.

“Betcha By…” is also a high-water mark in the songwriting catalog of Thom Bell and Linda Creed, a duo that composed some of the prettiest songs of all time. I’d rather hear this being played as a couple marches down the aisle or as a first dance than most other “wedding” songs (except maybe “At Last”). Because if “Candyland appears each time you smile,” it’s real love. Also, if Candyman appears each time you smile, you’re either about to knock boots or you’re about to be killed. It’s up to you to figure out which Candyman is which.

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