Happy Together – Turtles | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 3 weeks); 1967

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In 1965 a struggling LA surf band known as the Crossfires were ready to throw in the towel when they were offered contract with White Whale Records. With the British Invasion in full swing, the guys decided to switch musical streams, starting with a name change. The “Tyrtles” (as in the Byrds) was a bit much, and they settled on the conventional spelling. They did, however, follow the Byrds’ lead and covered a Dylan song, It Ain’t Me Babe, for their first single. The Turtles also incorporated the Zombies’ soft-vocal-over-rockin’-instrumental sound for Babe, which went to #8 in 1965. After rejecting Eve Of Destruction as a follow-up, the band’s chart fortunes flagged. While playing a club gig in New York City, two songwriters played the Turtles a terrible sounding demo of a tune other artists had already passed on. The Turtles felt it fit their formula and began playing Happy Together live to resounding response. On vinyl, Happy hit #1 in March of 1967: the Turtles biggest-ever record.

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:

  • Joe Wissert

Lyrics Written by:

  • Alan Gordon
  • Garry Bonner