Actually, the title of the song is “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” It was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and hit number one on the charts, sung by the Shirelles, in 1961. King covered it herself in the album, Tapestry, ten years later. The King version is accompanied by piano, instead of violins, leaves out the sha-na-na stuff, and is, although the words and notes are identical, a good bit sadder. And there is a third version, by Dave Mason, which closes the third episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, a defunct TV show by Aaron Sorkin that I like a lot. The Mason version is sort of in-between, but closer to the Shirelles, and makes an episode that otherwise ends on an up note bittersweet, which is just what Sorkin wants to do. But I digress.
What leads me to share this rather old news with anyone who might be reading this entry is that today’s technology allows me to check on all three versions in the privacy of my own home, lifting not much more than a finger. I happen to have the King version on vinyl and Studio 60 on DVD, but all three versions of the song are available on iTunes. Studio 60 is not available legally on the web, leading one to wonder what NBC is thinking and nicely illustrating the point that the fruits of information technology are limited more by the practices of content-owners than by the technology itself.
But the technology, even the simple stuff that I am talking about here, is remarkable. When King and Goffin wrote the song, and when King sang it again in 1971, it was inconceivable that a family argument over whether a song was optimistic or pessimistic could be resolved (well, not resolved, but greatly enriched) via home access to a variety of media, all at reasonably high fidelity and low cost. I’m proud to have sons who care about such matters and I continue to be amazed (as they are not) at what we can do.
By the way, it’s a great song, in all three versions.