I love him, I love him, I love him
And where he goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow
He’ll always be my true love, my true love, my true love
From now until forever, forever, forever
I will follow him (follow him), follow him wherever he may go
There isn’t an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep, keep me away
Away from my love (I love him, I love him, I love him)
One of the most well-known love songs in the 60’s, “I Will Follow Him” was first recorded by Franck Pourcel, as an instrumental titled “Chariot.“
The song achieved its widest success when it was recorded by American singer Little Peggy March with English lyrics in 1963.
Using the pseudonym J.W. Stole, the music was written by Franck Pourcel. Also, Paul Mauriat co-wrote it under his pseudonym, Del Roma. Moreover, it was adapted by Arthur Altman. On the other hand, the English lyrics were written by Norman Gimbel.
The song’s humble beginnings
Released by Franck Pourcel in 1961, the song began as an instrumental piece appearing on the 1961 European LP release Amour, Danse, Et Violons. No.17. At the same time, it appeared on the EP release La Voix de son Maître.
Pourcel co-wrote the song with his friend and fellow French bandleader Paul Mauriat. The other French bandleader Raymond Lefèvre has been credited for arrangements. Franck Pourcel’s original recording was popular on MOR, or “easy listening,” stations. Mauriat later recorded an instrumental version in 1976 with a disco beat, using a Moog synthesizer.
In 1963, Percy Faith released an instrumental version, re-titled “I Will Follow You,” as the lead song on side 1 of his album titled Themes for Young Lovers. Many other hits at the time were also on the album, including “Up on the Roof”, “On Broadway”, and “Rhythm of the Rain.”
Little Peggy March’s Version: Recording that Hit in the US
In 1963, Little Peggy March‘s version of “I Will Follow Him,” backed with “Wind Up Doll,” was released by RCA Victor. March’s version spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
It reached no. 1 on April 27, 1963, and spent three weeks in this position, making 15-year-old March the youngest female artist to have a U.S. chart-topping single.
Additionally, her version reached no. 1 in Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, South Africa, Uruguay, Canada’s CHUM Hit Parade, New Zealand’s “Lever Hit Parade,” and Billboard‘s Hot R&B Singles chart.
Moreover, March’s version was ranked no. 20 on Billboard‘s end of year ranking “Top Records of 1963.” Meanwhile, it ranked no. 6 on Cash Box‘s “Top 100 Chart Hits of 1963,” and no. 22 on Billboard‘s “Top R&B Singles for 1963.”
Furthermore, the song also reached no. 1 on the Cash Box Top 100, in a tandem ranking of Little Peggy March, Franck Pourcel, Petula Clark, Rosemary Clooney, Betty Curtis, Jackie Kannon, Joe Sentieri, and Georgia Gibbs’ versions, with March’s version marked as a bestseller.
Watch the remastered audio of Little Peggy March performing the song that made her famous, “I Will Follow Him.“