About the song
If you love classic pop songs from the 1960s, you might be familiar with the catchy tune “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March. But did you know the history behind this song? In this blog post, we will explore how this song came to be, from its origins as a French instrumental to its success as a number one hit in the US and other countries.
The song was originally composed by two French musicians, Franck Pourcel and Paul Mauriat, who used the pseudonyms J.W. Stole and Del Roma. They recorded it as an instrumental titled “Chariot” in 1961 and released it on an album and an EP. The song was inspired by the biblical story of Ruth, who said to her mother-in-law Naomi, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
The song caught the attention of Petula Clark, a British singer who was popular in France. She recorded a French version of the song with lyrics by Jacques Plante, also titled “Chariot”, in 1962. The song was a huge hit in France, Belgium, and Italy, where Clark also recorded Italian and German versions. Clark also recorded an English version, with lyrics by Norman Gimbel and Arthur Altman, and became the first singer to use the title “I Will Follow Him”. However, her English version did not chart well in the UK and the US.
The song was then picked up by Little Peggy March, a 15-year-old American singer who was signed to RCA Victor. She recorded her version of “I Will Follow Him” in January 1963, with Sammy Lowe as the conductor and arranger. Her version was more upbeat and energetic than Clark’s, and featured a prominent chorus of male backup singers. Her version was released on January 22, 1963, and soon climbed to the top of the charts in the US and several other countries. She became the youngest female artist to have a number one single in the US, a record that she still holds today.
The song has since become a pop standard, covered by many artists over the years. It was also featured in the 1992 film Sister Act, where it was performed by Whoopi Goldberg and a choir of nuns. The song remains a testament to the power of love and loyalty, and a catchy tune that will make you want to follow him wherever he may go.
Peggy March – I Will Follow Him (50th Anniversary Recording)