Beechwood 4-5789 (2:13)

Cover of Ultimate Collection

From Ultimate Collection and 66 other releases

“Beechwood 4-5789” is a 1962 single released by Motown girl group The Marvelettes on the Tamla record label.

Original version written by Marvin Gaye, William “Mickey” Stevenson and George Gordy, the lyrics are about the narrator wanting a man she just met to call her number in order to “have a date, any ol’ time.” Like all the Marvelette’s singles during the first phase of the group’s career, the lead vocal was by Gladys Horton. The song’s co-writer Marvin Gaye played drums on the track, which William Stevenson produced.

The song’s title is derived from the now defunct use of telephone exchange names in telephone numbers. In this case, the significant portions of the exchange name were the first two letters of “Beechwood” (BE), and the remainder of the number. In conventional modern use, this telephone number would be 234-5789.

“Beechwood 4-5789” has become a signature hit of Motown’s early period but was not one of the label’s biggest hits, reaching #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the autumn of 1962. The track did reach the R&B Top Ten where in fact the single enjoyed double A-side status with “Beechwood 4-5789” reaching #7 and the flip “Someday, Someway” #8.

The latter track was a ballad from the writing-&-production team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Fred Gorman and featured Berry Gordy Jr’s wife Raynoma Liles as organist.

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