Shake a Hand

Faye Adams

About Shake a Hand

"Shake a Hand" is a 1953 song written by the trumpeter and bandleader Joe Morris and originally recorded by Faye Adams, whose version stayed number one on the U. S. Billboard R&B chart for nine weeks. The song, which has a strong gospel feel throughout, depicts a reassuring new lover making promises: "Just give me a chance, I'll take care of everything."


Lyrics currently unavailable…

Faye Adams

Faye Adams (born Faye Tuell, circa 1925, Newark, New Jersey, United States) is an American vocalist. more »

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13 facts about this song

Music Genre
"Shake a Hand" by Faye Adams and Joe Morris belongs to the Rhythm and Blues genre.
Release Date
"Shake a Hand" was released in August 1953, marking a significant time in the golden era of R&B music.
Chart Success
The song was notably successful in the R&B Chart. It reached number one on The Billboard's (now simply known as Billboard) R&B chart on September 12, 1953, and it stayed there for ten non-consecutive weeks.
Notable Performance
Joe Morris, a prominent R&B and jazz musician, was the one leading the orchestra in the song "Shake a Hand".
The song was written by the American songwriter Joe Morris.
Record Label
"Shake a Hand" was initially released under Atlantic Records, which is considered one of the major record labels in the world.
Multiple Covers
The song has been widely covered by various artists, including Little Richard, LaVern Baker, and Mike Stoller. One of the more popular covers is by Paul McCartney, which was released in his album "Run Devil Run" in 1999.
Faye Adams
This song was particularly instrumental in shaping Faye Adam's career. Following the release of "Shake a Hand", she went on to release several other hits, eventually earning a reputation as a significant voice in gospel and pop music.
In a rather interesting development, litigation arose over the ownership of the song. An ex-girlfriend of Joe Morris claimed that they wrote "Shake a Hand" together, however, the courts ruled in Morris's favor.
Unique Style
The song incorporates a gospel style, which was appreciated by audiences and helped shift R&B towards a more emotional and passionate tone. This added a unique dimension to the genre, contributing to its popularity.
The standard version of "Shake a Hand" lasts for about 2 minutes and 52 seconds, a typical song duration during that era.
The immense popularity and influence of "Shake a Hand" led it to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, certifying its status as an iconic song in the history of American music.
Record Sales
While specific sales figures are hard to come by for such an old song, "Shake a Hand", along with Faye Adams's other early hits, sold in the hundreds of thousands, a significant achievement at that time.

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