RAY COLUMBUS AND THE INVADERS
Till We Kissed
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
New Zealand 1965
#1 NZ* #7 Sydney #57 Perth

Song originally known as Where Have You Been All My Life or Where Have You Been (see other versions, below).

Single on Zodiac by popular New Zealand band: see She's A Mod, their biggest Australian hit.

Ray Columbus & The Invaders can be seen performing Till We Kissed on Long Way To The Top, the 2002 concert DVD that grew out of ABC-TV's pop history series.

NZ band Herbs revived Till We Kissed in the 90s with the participation of Ray Columbus (scroll down for details).

*As Bruce Sergent points out at his NZ Music site, this was a best-selling single, The Invaders' biggest local hit. There were no reliable New Zealand charts at this time (only the poll-based Lever charts), so the #1 is an educated guess.

Thanks to Terry Stacey for version alerts.

See also: Ray Columbus & The Invaders - Till We Kissed: video and commentary at YouTube.

GUESS WHO?
Till We Kissed
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil [wrongly credited to Sidney 'Hardrock' Gunter])
Canada 1965

Till we kissed is the opening phrase of this song, originally entitled Where Have You Been All My Life, also known as Where Have You Been.

The Guess Who? single credited the song to "Gunter", which appears to be a confusion with Sidney 'Hardrock' Gunter's 1953 song Where Have You Been (see Red herring below).

In a further confusion, this time of surnames, the song has also been mistakenly credited to Lonnie Gunther, another songwriter altogether.

Till We Kissed was the B-side of Shakin' All Over, the debut single by the Canadian band initially known as Chad Allan & The Expressions but later familiar as The Guess Who.

Further reading: Guess Who history at All Music Guide.

THE SEARCHERS
Where Have You Been
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil*)
UK 1964

On the 1964 Pye album It's Fab! It's Gear! It's The Searchers!

Song also known as Till We Kissed (its opening phrase).

*The record credits "Gunther" as writer (corrected on reissues), clearly a case of confusion with Sidney 'Hardrock' Gunter's 1953 song with the same title (see below).

WAYNE FONTANA & THE MINDBENDERS
Where Have You Been All My Life
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
UK 1964

On Fontana album Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders. British Invasion band whose biggest hits were Game Of Love (1965, #2 UK, #1 USA) and (post-Wayne Fontana who went solo) A Groovy Kind Of Love (1966, #2 UK & USA).

Song also known as Till We Kissed (its opening phrase).

GENE VINCENT
Where Have You Been All My Life
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
UK 1963

Single on UK Columbia by Presley-era American rocker (1935-1971) who was popular and influential in the UK where he worked for much of the 60s. His biggest hit was the multi-million-selling Be-Bop-A-Lula (1956, #7 USA).

Recorded at Olympia studios, London, with the Bill Shepherd Orchestra. B-side of Temptation Baby (wr. Joe Meek).

Song also known as Till We Kissed (its opening phrase).

References: Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. Gene Vincent discography at Discographie Rock 'n' Country. Susan Vanhecke's biography of Gene Vincent, Race with the Devil, 2000 (thanks to Terry Stacey).
 

GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS
Where Have You Been All My Life
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
UK 1963

On Columbia album How Do You Like It?

Song also known as Till We Kissed (its opening phrase).

THE BEATLES
Where Have You Been All My Life
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
UK 1962

Live performance, recorded in Germany, released in 1977 on the album Live! At The Star Club In Hamburg. (Some CD reissues do not include this track.)

Song also known as Till We Kissed (its opening phrase).

ARTHUR ALEXANDER
Where Have You Been All My Life
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
USA 1961
Original version

Single on Dot by US r&b/pop singer highly regarded by British Invasion artists, several of whom recorded Where Have You Been All My Life. The song was later known as Till We Kissed, from its opening phrase. Also known as Where Have You Been.

Arthur Alexander (1940-1993):

  • wrote and recorded the originals of Anna (Go To Him) (The Beatles) and You Better Move On (The Rolling Stones);
  • recorded the originals of A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues (Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Beatles) and Soldier Of Love (The Beatles); and
  • wrote Every Day I Have To Cry (Dusty Springfield).

Further reading: Arthur Alexander: All Music Guide biography.


Husband and wife team Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil were amongst the most prolific and successful songwriters of the 1960s.

Mann-Weil hit compositions included I Love How You Love Me
(The Paris Sisters), Blame It On The Bossa Nova (Eydie Gormé), On Broadway (The Drifters), Saturday Night At The Movies (The Drifters), Home Of The Brave (Jody Miller), We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (The Animals) and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (co-write with Phil Spector; The Righteous Brothers).

To get an idea of their output, browse Hiroto Yanagida's Barry Mann discography at his Magic Town site.

Mann-Weil songs recorded in Australia and featured at this site include It's Not Easy (Normie Rowe), Heart (Lynne Randell), Come On Over To Our Place (Bev Harrell), It's A Happening World (The Executives), Kicks (The Librettos), We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (The Angels) and  Walking In The Rain
(co-write with Phil Spector; Cheetah)

HARDROCK GUNTER
Where Have You Been
(Sidney L. Gunter)
USA 1953
Red herring

Not the same song as Where Have You Been All My Life (Mann-Weil), also known as Where Have You Been or Till We Kissed.

The Mann-Weil song has sometimes been mistakenly credited to Gunter (or Gunther), for example on records by Guess Who and The Searchers.


Country boogie singer Sidney Louie 'Hardrock' Gunter (b.1925) was a pioneer of rock'n'roll whose 1950 release Birmingham Bounce has been cited by some as the first rock'n'roll song. That's a good argument starter, but Birmingham Bounce does rock in a 1950 kind of way, and the lyrics do say, "The music's rockin' ".


References: US Copyright Office (Reg. # RE-96-113, Dec 1953); Hardrock Gunter discography.
Further reading: HardrockGunter.com; Hardrock Gunter interview at TheRanchGirls.com;

FRANKY WALNUT
Where Have I Been All Your Life
(Keir Nuttall)
Australia 2007
Red herring

Similar title but not the same song as 'Where Have You Been All My Life', aka 'Till We Kissed'.

C&W parody by an alter ego of the Kate Miller-Heidke Band's lead guitarist.

Further reading: Franky Walnut at MySpace.

Later versions:

HERBS WITH RAY COLUMBUS
Til We Kissed
(Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil)
New Zealand 1993
Later version
#26 NZ

New Zealand 'Pacific reggae' group formed 1979, often on the local charts from the early 80s to the mid-90s. Their hits include collaborations with Dave Dobbyn (Slice Of Heaven, 1986, from Footrot Flats), Tim Finn (Parihaka, 1989) and Annie Crummer (See What Love Can Do, 1992).

Further reading: Herbs at MySpace; Article and video at NZ History online.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.