Did you wake up this morning wondering “what was the #1 song 50 years ago?” Well, if you did, or, even if you didn’t, I’ll tell you – “TO SIR, WITH LOVE,” recorded by Lulu. In fact, it was the #1 song in the U.S. from October 21, 1967 to November 28, 1967! The song has made my “life in my years” litmus test for its message – that, despite where we start, we can always improve and learn, either from a teacher or through life experience, how to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
This wonderful song was the title song for the movie of the same name starring the great Sidney Poitier. It was a film that shined a light on social and racial issues in an inner city school in London. The film was well-acted by Mr. Poitier, in a busy year of huge film releases. “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” were also released in 1967, following “To Sir,” and became iconic films for Poitier.
Sidney Poitier is a tremendous actor, a wonderful man, a historic figure in movie history, and a fun guy! I will never forget Mr. Poitier crashing my holiday party at Spago, Beverly Hills, MANY years ago. I admit, we were laughing, carrying on and making an exorbitant amount of noise with our “Reindeer Races” in the banquet room. Mr. Poitier was lunching in the restaurant that day, and couldn’t help himself – he had to come in to see what was going on. What a sport – he cheered on the reindeer and toasted in the holidays with those of us who spotted his entrance!
As for Lulu, she’s still working, still recording, still touring. She never rose to the level of her 1967 hit in the U.S., but has had a fair amount of success in New Zealand and Europe.