This Will Be – Natalie Cole | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#6) & R&B (#1); 1975

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

As a boy, Charles “Chuck” Jackson whiled away the hours writing songs, often using letters penned by brother Jesse (yes, that Jesse Jackson) for inspiration. It was at one of Jesse’s black enterprise events that the younger Chuck met minister/musician Marvin Yancey.

The two began working together and eventually recorded as members of The Independents. One day Chuck and Marvin were strolling in Times Square with their manager, Bob Schwaid, when they bumped into one of Bob’s friends and his client, Natalie Cole.

The three artists immediately got together for a jam session and all felt magic in their collaboration. There was just one problem: every label had already refused to sign Natalie as an artist.

After hearing what Chuck and Marvin were coming up with, Capitol Records reconsidered. As often happens, This Will Be – the last song recorded for the album – became Natalie’s first single: a #1 R&B smash.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Chuck Jackson
  • Marvin Yancy

Lyrics Written by:

  • Chuck Jackson
  • Marvin Yancy