You Keep Me Hangin’ On – Vanilla Fudge | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#6); 1968

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In 1967, the Pigeons – a blue-eyed soul band from Long Island – met producer Shadow Morton. Morton’s claims to fame were his melodramatic teen-angst anthems: most notably the remarkable Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand) by the Shangri-Las. Morton set about working his magic on the Pigeons. Since the group’s forte was de- and then re-constructing the cover songs that comprised their set, Morton chose one to record. In its original incarnation, You Keep Me Hangin’ On was a pounding R&B masterpiece from the Supremes. When Morton was finished with the Pigeons’ version, it was a seven minute-long, slowed-down slice of psychedlia. No one in charge liked the group’s name so they adopted one suggested by a fan’s comment that they were like “white soul – like vanilla fudge.” Released in the summer of 1967, You Keep Me Hangin’ On went nowhere, however, Vanilla Fudge soldiered on. When their album became a surprise Top 20 hit, Atco Records re-released Hangin’; giving the Fudge its only hit single.

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:

  • Brian Holland
  • Lamont Dozier

Lyrics Written by:

  • Holland–Dozier–Holland