Cherish – Kool & The Gang | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#2), R&B (#1), and Adult Contemporary (#1); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

The ocean sounds and imagery that grace Cherish came from the real-life experiences of Ronald “Khalis Bayyan” Bell and J.T. Taylor, who worked on it while recording at Compass Point studios in the Bahamas. Music director Bayyan handed the finished track off to lead singer Taylor, who was inspired by scenes of the band members’ children playing in the sun. That night Taylor reflected on the many blessings in his life, and wrote the lyrics in one sitting. Back in New Jersey for the vocal sessions, the Gang’s producer called in ace songwriter Sandy Linzer to fine-tune the lyrics, however, Linzer thought Cherish was already perfect. Cherish also carried a special personal meaning for Kool and Khalis. Its “If you receive your calling before I awake, could I make it through the night?” line resonated deeply with the Bell brothers, who’s father died while Cherish was in the Top 10.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jim Bonnefond
  • Khalis Bayyan
  • Kool & the Gang

Lyrics Written by:

  • Robert Earl Bell
  • Ronald Nathan Bell
  • James L Bonnefond
  • George Melvin Brown
  • Claydes Charles Smith
  • James “J.T.” Taylor
  • Curtis “Fitz” Williams