1 Beatles Song Stopped Lesley Gore's 'You Don't Own Me' From Hitting No. 1

Many of The Beatles‘ songs reached No. 1. For example, one of their early tracks prevented Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” from topping the charts in the United States. Notably, a famous musician produced “You Don’t Own Me.”

What Quincy Jones thought when he 1st heard Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’

Lesley Gore was a pop singer most known for her Quincy Jones-produced smash “It’s My Party.” During an interview with Billboard, Gore discussed the origin of “You Don’t Own Me.” “I was up at Grossinger’s Resort [in the Catskills] doing a record hop … these two guys from Philadelphia came up to me at the pool and invited me into this cabana to listen to a song,” she recalled. 

“They played ‘You Don’t Own Me’ on a Saturday and on Monday I had them meet me after school in Quincy’s office,” Gore added. “They performed it for Quincy and he was convinced.”

What the song means

In a 1991 interview with NPR, Gore explained what attracted her to “You Don’t Own Me.” “At the time, I know I chose it because I know I liked the strength in the lyric,” she called. “But, for me, it was not a song about being a woman. It was about being a person, and what was involved with that. Of course, it got picked up as an anthem for women, which makes me very proud.”

One of the song’s co-writers, John Madara, said “You Don’t Own Me” has a message. “Listen to what people have to say; be kind and loving to the people you come into contact with,” he told NPR in 2019. “I think ‘You Don’t Own Me’ says that. It says, ‘Treat people fairly.’” The song would battle a less didactic song on the charts: The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

How Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’ performed on the charts compared to 1 of The Beatles’ most famous songs

According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, “You Don’t Own Me” reached No. 2 while The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” reached No. 1. “You Don’t Own Me” stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks. Aside from “It’s My Party,” none of Gore’s songs charted higher in the United States. “You Don’t Own Me” appeared on the album Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts. The album reached No. 125 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for eight weeks.

Meanwhile, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became a much bigger hit. For seven of its 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was No. 1. The song appeared on the compilation album 1962-1966. The compilation peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 175 weeks.

“You Don’t Own Me” is a classic feminist song even if “I Want to Hold Your Hand” eclipsed it commercially.

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