About the song
If you are a fan of classic rock and roll, you might have heard of the song “Suspicion” by Terry Stafford. It’s a catchy tune that expresses the paranoia and jealousy of a lover who suspects his partner of cheating on him. But did you know the history behind this song? In this blog post, we will explore how “Suspicion” became a hit in 1964, who wrote it, who recorded it first, and what inspired its lyrics.
“Suspicion” was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, two prolific songwriters who penned many hits for Elvis Presley, such as “A Mess of Blues”, “Little Sister”, and “Viva Las Vegas”. They wrote “Suspicion” in 1962 for Presley’s album Pot Luck, which was released in June that year. Presley recorded the song on March 19, 1962, in Studio B of RCA’s Nashville studio. The song was published by Elvis Presley Music, Inc.
However, “Suspicion” was not released as a single by Presley until April 1964, when it was paired with “Kiss Me Quick” as the flip side. By then, another version of the song had already become a smash hit by an Elvis sound-alike named Terry Stafford. Stafford was a singer and songwriter from Texas who had a striking resemblance to Presley in his voice and appearance. He recorded “Suspicion” in May 1962 as a demo for his friend and producer Bob Summers, who was the brother-in-law of Les Paul. The demo was shelved for almost two years until John Fisher, a disc jockey from Los Angeles, heard it and decided to release it on his own label Crusader Records in February 1964.
Stafford’s version of “Suspicion” was an instant success, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 31 on the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies and earned Stafford a gold record. It also had the distinction of being sixth on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 4, 1964, when the Beatles held the top five spots. Stafford’s version featured a distinctive guitar riff played by Summers, who also produced the record. The B-side of the single was another Stafford original called “Judy”, which was also a minor hit.
“Suspicion” is a classic example of how a song can transcend its original context and become a timeless hit. It showcases the talents of its writers, performers, and producers, who created a memorable melody, catchy lyrics, and a distinctive sound. It also resonates with listeners who can empathize with its universal theme of love and suspicion.
Ev’rytime you kiss me
I’m still not certain that you love me
Ev’ry time you hold me
I’m still not certain that you care
Though you keep on saying
you really, really, really love me
do you speak the same words
To someone else when I’m not there
Suspicion torments my heart
Suspicion keeps us apart
Suspicion why torture me
Ev’rytime you call me
and tell me we should meet tomorrow
I can’t help but think that
you’re meeting someone else tonight
Why should our romance just
keep on causing me such sorrow?
Why am I so doubtful
whenever you’re out of sight?
Darling, if you love me,
I beg you wait a little longer
Wait until I drive all
these foolish fears out of my mind
How I hope and pray that
our love will keep on growing stronger
Maybe I’m suspicious
’cause true love is so hard to find