The singer of “Love Potion No. 9” by The Clovers says he went to see the gypsy with the gold-capped tooth because he was a flop with chicks. Her potion made him fall in love with everything he saw:
“But when I kissed a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
He broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine.”
So it goes. And so it went that the cop-kissing part caused some radio stations to ban the song. “Love Potion No. 9” was written by the prolific team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Although there have been many covers of the song, The Clovers, a popular and influential R&B group from Washington, D.C., did the original version in 1959. It reached #23 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B Chart. A little note: The album version of the song has an additional ending that the charting single did not, which was:
“I hadda so much fun that I’m goin’ back again…
I wonder what’d happen with Love Potion No. 10.”
Cover versions include those by The Searchers, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, The Coasters, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Neil Diamond, Robert Plant, AC/DC, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Tlot Tlot, and many more. The movie American Graffiti features the recording by The Clovers. “Love Potion No.9” was also included in the Leiber and Stoller musical revue Smokey Joe’s Café.