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"Am I the Same Girl" is a popular soul song written by Eugene Record and Sonny Sanders. First recorded in 1968 by Barbara Acklin, "Am I the Same Girl" charted most successfully in the US as a 1992 release by Swing Out Sister. However the song had its greatest impact as a 1968-69 instrumental hit single by Young-Holt Unlimited under the title "Soulful Strut".

BackgroundEdit

Although Barbara Acklin — who was married to Eugene Record — recorded the song first, producer Carl Davisremoved her voice from the track, replaced it with a piano solo by Floyd Morris, and released the resultant track in November 1968 as "Soulful Strut" credited to Young-Holt Unlimited; it became a #3 hit in the United States and went to #1 in Canada.[1] Neither Eldee Young nor Red Holt is believed to have played on the track, which was the work of session musicians identified only as the Brunswick Studio Band.[2] Acklin's version was released in February 1969 and reached #33, R&B crossing over to #79 Pop.[3]

Other versionsEdit

Dusty SpringfieldEdit

Dusty Springfield, who had heard Acklin's version, recorded "Am I the Same Girl" at Philips Studios Marble Arch in August 1969; Bill Landis produced the session which was arranged by Keith Mansfield.[4] The track marked Springfield's last UK chart appearance of the 1960s but was not a major hit, stalling at #43.[5] "Am I the Same Girl" also gave Springfield a minor hit in Australia (#75).

Swing Out SisterEdit

The vocal version "Am I the Same Girl" had its most successful incarnation via a 1992 remake by Swing Out Sister, whose lead vocalist Corinne Drewery has acknowledged Dusty Springfield as a major influence.[6]Recorded for the Get in Touch with Yourself album and released as the lead single, "Am I the Same Girl" gave Swing Out Sister their highest UK chart ranking since their inaugural hits in 1986-87, the top ten "Breakout" and "Surrender"; however, it was a much more moderate success, with a #21 peak. The track did better internationally, peaking at #8 in Germany, #15 in the Netherlands and #13 in Italy, also giving Swing Out Sister their best ever chart showing in France at #54. "Am I the Same Girl" also represented a strong comeback for Swing Out Sister in the US, where it was released in September 1992 and reached #45 on theBillboard Hot 100 — the track's peak on the Cash Box Pop 100 was #32 — while reaching #1 on the A/C chart.[7]

In September 2005, Martha Stewart began to use the Swing Out Sister version in her promo commercials for her show Martha on NBC television in America and then as the opening introduction theme song of the show. Each show starts with the song playing over a montage of images and photos of Martha Stewart growing up.

AlsoEdit

In 1969, Bill Deal and the Rhondells included a version of "Soulful Strut" on their "Vintage Rock" LP (on Heritage Records, HTS-35,003).

Also in 1969, Brazilian organist Walter Wanderley included a rollicking version on his "Moondreams" album.

In 1976, Peruvian musician Otto de Rojas, with his Ultra 76 Orchestra, recorded a disco version of Young-Holt's "Soulful Strut": "Al Ritmo del Bump-Bump" ("Dancing to the Bump-Bump rhythm"), which gained a high profile in Peru via its use in a pop music TV show hosted by the Mexican comedian Rodolfo Rey "Cachirulo", aired through the local Panamericana Television station. Also in 1979, George Benson did a cover of "Soulful Strut" on his Livin' Inside Your Love album.

In 1996, "Soulful Strut" was covered by saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., which peaked at #45 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop album chart and #187 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Young-Holt Unlimited's "Soulful Strut" was featured on the soundtrack of the 1998 film The Parent Trap, subtly referencing how the plot revolves around twin girls secretly swapping places (the title of "Soulful Strut's vocal version being "Am I the Same Girl"). "Soulful Strut" was also used in the film's advertising.

In 1999, saxophonist Kim Waters recorded "Am I the Same Girl (Soulful Strut)" for his One Special Momentalbum; featuring vocalist Meli'sa Morgan, the track was a non-charting single release in February 2000.

Dionne Bromfield covered this song on her debut album Introducing Dionne Bromfield (2009).

The gender adjusted "Am I the Same Guy" was recorded by Tom Gaebel for his 2008 Don't Wanna Dancealbum.

The French rendering "Je suis bien la même" was recorded in 1969 by Séverine.

In 2005, Joss Stone used the Young-Holt version as a starting point for her song "Don't Cha Wanna Ride", and credited the composers of "Am I the Same Girl" as co-composers of her song.

Chart DataEdit

SINGLE VERSIONS CHART PERFORMANCES
Artist Year Title US Chart

positions

International

chart positions

Young-Holt Unlimited 1968 Soulful Strut Pop #3 * R&B #3

A/C #2

Canada #1
Barbara Acklin 1969 Am I the Same Girl Pop #79 * R&B #33 Canada #52
Dusty Springfield 1969 Am I the Same Girl - UK #43 * Australia #75
Swing Out Sister 1992 Am I the Same Girl Pop #45

A/C #1

Canada #5 * France #54 * Germany #8

Italy #13 * the Netherlands #15 * UK #21

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