On this day in music history: October 26, 1985 – “Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 1 week on September 7, 1985, and topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 3 weeks on October 5, 1985. Written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin, it is the first pop and second R&B chart topper for the pop and R&B vocal icon from Newark, NJ. After Whitney Houston is signed to Arista Records in 1983, the nearly two year long task of recording her debut album begins in earnest. Among the producers selected to work on the project is songwriter Michael Masser, best known for penning classics including “The Greatest Love Of All” (also recorded by Houston for her debut), “Touch Me In The Morning” and “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To?)” (both for Diana Ross). One of the songs chosen for Whitney is “Saving All My Love For You” co-written with lyricist Gerry Goffin (“The Locomotion”, “One Fine Day”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”), a song about a woman having an affair with a married man. The song is originally recorded in 1978 by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (also produced by Masser), whose version is only a minor hit. Masser retools the song for Houston and records it with her in 1984, with the then twenty one year old singer delivering an emotional and flawless performance. The track is given a torchy, understated arrangement by veteran arranger Gene Page (Barry White, The Jackson 5), and features a sax solo by jazz musician Tom Scott. Issued as the second single from Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut in July of 1985, it becomes an across the board smash like its predecessor “You Give Good Love”. Entering the Hot 100 at #53 on August 17, 1985, it climbs to the top of the chart ten weeks later. The single wins Whitney her first Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female in 1986 (also performing the song live on the telecast), an honor made even sweeter when it is presented excitedly and emotionally by Houston’s cousin, vocal legend Dionne Warwick. Houston’s Grammy performance of the song also wins her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program also in 1986. “Saving All My Love For You” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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