On this day in music history: January 9, 1988 …

On this day in music history: January 9, 1988 – “So Emotional” by Whitney Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, peaking at #5 on the R&B singles chart on the same date, also topping the Club Play chart for 2 weeks on December 26, 1987. Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, it is the sixth chart topping single for the New Jersey born and raised Pop and R&B vocal icon. Following the multi-platinum success of her self-titled debut album, Whitney Houston begins work on her sophomore release in the Fall of 1986. Arista Records boss Clive Davis invites producers Narada Michael Walden, Michael Masser and Kashif back to work on tracks for the new album, as have several songwriters who submit material for consideration. Davis asks songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, best known for writing pop classics including “Like A Virgin”, “Eternal Flame” and “I’ll Stand By You” if they have a song for Whitney. The pair quickly come up with something for Houston. The song, originally titled “Emotional” is written with a feel similar to a Prince song. Kelly sings the song like the diminutive musician on their original demo. Though when producer Narada Michael Walden works on the track, he  changes the arrangement significantly from Steinberg and Kelly’s demo recording, also re-titling it “So Emotional”. Issued as the third single from “Whitney” in October of 1987, it quickly follows its predecessors “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” to the top of the chart. The 12" single pressing also comes packaged with a mini poster of the single cover featuring Whitney casually dressed in blue jeans, a t-shirt and black leather jacket. Entering the Hot 100 at #48 on October 31, 1987, it climbs to the top of the chart ten weeks later. When “So Emotional” hits number one, it puts Whitney Houston in a three way tie with The Beatles and the Bee Gees for the most consecutive chart toppers on the Hot 100 with each scoring six in a row. Though some music historians debate this point. Arista released the track “Thinking About You” in September of 1985 after “Saving All My Love For You”, but was only promoted to R&B radio and clubs, with no pop radio promotion. “Thinking” peaks at #10 on the R&B singles chart, and #24 on the Club Play chart in December of 1985, but does not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. “So Emotional” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.