An article by Marc Myers published online in The Wall Street Journal.
How The Hollies Created ‘Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)’
Long known for their cheery pop-rock songs and three-part vocal harmonies, the Hollies were in a jam in July 1971. They needed another song to finish their next album.
Lead singer and guitarist Allan Clarke suggested “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress),” a rockabilly-noir he had co-written weeks earlier with lyricist Roger Cook about an F.B.I. agent, a raid and a woman who catches his eye.
When the single was released in the U.S. in early 1972, it reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart—becoming the British band’s highest-ranking single here. Recently, Mr. Cook, Mr. Clarke and Hollies’ drummer Bobby Elliott reflected on the song’s evolution. Edited from interviews.
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