|B-side "This I Know"|
|Released March 1961|
|Writer(s) James "Shep" Sheppard, Clarence Bassett, Charles Baskerville|
"Daddy's Home" is a famous song by American doo-wop group Shep and the Limelites. The song was written by the three members of the band, James "Shep" Sheppard (1935–1970), Clarence Bassett (1936–2005) and Charles Baskerville. The group recorded the original version of "Daddy's Home" on February 1, 1961, and it was released on Hull Records in March 1961 with the B-side being "This I Know".
"Daddy's Home" reached no. 2 on the Billboard popular music chart in May 1961.
Later songs by the band were not as successful as "Daddy's Home", but still sold well.
Part of a song cycle
The song is an example of James Sheppard's legacy of composing of rock 'n' roll's first-ever song cycle titles, telling the story of a relationship, beginning with going home to his girl, and further twists along the way, like getting married, celebrating their anniversary, problems encountered etc. The songs that told this story cycle were famously "A Thousand Miles Away", "500 Miles to Go", both with the Heartbeats; and continued with "Daddy's Home", "Three Steps from the Altar," "Our Anniversary", and "What Did Daddy Do?" for Shep and the Limelites.
Kahl Music, publisher of "A Thousand Miles Away", an earlier song written by Sheppard, sued Keel Music, publisher of "Daddy's Home", for copyright violation. Keel eventually lost, and this resulted in the end of the Limelites and Hull Records in 1966 as a fall-off of the controversy.
The song was covered by many artists including P J Proby (1970), Jermaine Jackson (1972), Toots and the Maytals (Funky Kingston 1973), Junior English, and Cliff Richard (1981).
Jermaine Jackson covered a very successful version with the Jackson 5 as backing vocals to him. It peaked at number 9 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1973.
Cliff Richard version
British singer Cliff Richard released a live version as a single for the Christmas period in 1981. It was the second single to be lifted from his 1981 album Wired for Sound.
The song became an international hit reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, number 3 on the Irish Singles Chart and number 23 on US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1982 (almost twenty years after the release of the original by Shep and the Limelites). It also made it to number 8 in Australia, number 4 on New Zealand, number 8 in Belgium and number 14 in the Netherlands. In Britain, it was certified Gold by the BPI for sales over 500,000.
A video clip was recorded to accompany the single release instead of using footage of the original BBC live recording.