“I stumbled upon it. We were all hustling for material”
“People tend to think I wrote the song, but I just stumbled upon it,” admitted Jimmy. “Really it was written for another group, The Spinners. At the time we were all hustling for material, so I walked up on the guys with the song, and at the time the guy who wrote the lyrics, James Dean, was singing along with the rhythm track alongside William Weatherspoon, the producer. I said, ʻWho’s the song for?’ and he said, ʻThe Spinners,’ and I said, ʻI think I could do it a little bit better.’ He said he didn’t know, but I told him to let me try and he did. They liked the way I sang it, so about two weeks later we finished recording it and getting the strings and so forth put on it.”

The song would prove Jimmy’s long-awaited breakthrough, but he still had to wait a little longer for that: “Everybody thought it was a smash, but they thought it was a little monotonous, the melody was too repetitious, so they played around with it for about three months. Then after they released it, it took three months before it really started to happen. But it was a lucky record for me.” That re-jigging included the redaction of a long, spoken-word start by Jimmy, hence the single’s lengthy instrumental introduction.