Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on January 17th of 1987 R&B singer Gregory Abbott occupies the #1 position on Billboard with “Shake You Down”. The song title is a phrase Abbott came up with that he thought expressed the way a man feels when he sees an attractive woman – “Girl, I want to shake you down.” He tried the phrase out on a female friend and when she responded positively, it became the title for a song he was working on. After making a demo, Abbott’s uncle Mike Abbott told employees of Charles Koppelman’s production group, the Entertainment Company, about the song his nephew had written. Through Koppelman’s firm, Abbott got a solo deal with Columbia Records and the song became a huge hit. This received one million US radio plays faster than any other record in history, thanks in large part to its cross-format appeal. This was Abbott’s only hit. Before it came out, he was an English teacher at the University of Berkeley and at age 8 was a member of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir. He was married between 1976 and 1979 to the singer Freda Payne, who had a hit in 1970 with “Band of Gold.” “Shake You Down” was released as the first single from Gregory Abbott. It went to number one on the black singles chart in October 1986, and on January 17, 1987, it reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 song for 1987. It was a hit across the Atlantic Ocean, as well, peaking at number six in the UK Singles Chart (spending a total of 13 weeks on that chart from 22 November 1986). It was not intended as the original single to promote the album, as “I Got the Feeling” was scheduled to be the first single. It was postponed as the follow-up, peaking at #56.