“To Sir With Love” is the theme from James Clavell‘s 1967 film To Sir, with Love. The song was written by Don Black and Mark London, husband of Lulu’s longtime manager Marion Massey. Mickie Most produced the record, with Don Leander arranging and conducting. In her recording, Lulu makes notable use of melisma.
“To Sir With Love” was initially recorded by Lulu (with The Mindbenders, who also acted in the film). It was released as a single in the United States in 1967 and in October reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for five weeks. The single ranked No. 1 in Billboard’s year-end chart, though the Monkees‘ “I’m a Believer“, which debuted in December 1966 and spent most of its chart life in 1967, was the overall bigger hit. Canada’s RPM Magazine put the song at No. 2 for the year 1967. “To Sir with Love” has the distinction of being the only record by a British artist to reach No. 1 on the US charts while not charting in the UK, where it appeared only as a B-side to “Let’s Pretend” (released in the UK on 23 June 1967), which reached No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart.