On this day in music history: May 17, 1986 – &…

On this day in music history: May 17, 1986 – “On My Own” by Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for 3 weeks on June 14, 1986. Written and produced by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, it is the second solo chart topper for the veteran Philadelphia, PA born R&B vocalist, and the second chart topping for McDonald. Issued as the first single from the album “Winner In You”, LaBelle initially cuts the track twice with producer Richard Perry. When the results are disappointing, songwriters Bacharach and Sager offer to produce the song instead. They re-cut the track with a group of crack L.A. studio musicians that include pop music producers David Foster and Peter Wolf (synthesizers), Dann Huff (guitars), Neil Stubenhaus (bass), Greg Phillinganes (Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer), Carlos Vega (drums), Paulinho DaCosta (percussion) and Burt Bacharach himself (piano). LaBelle adds her vocals, but all agree that something is still missing. LaBelle invites singer Michael McDonald to add his vocals to the song, turning it into a duet. Besides recording their vocals at separate times, the two singers are also in different cities when the music video is filmed, pairing them together in split screen. In fact, the two vocalists do not actually meet each other in person until they perform the song live on The Tonight Show. “On My Own” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.