7″ Single
  1. Stand by Me – 2:55
  2. The Coasters – Yakety Yak – 1:49
12″ Maxi
  1. Stand by Me – 3:35
  2. The Coasters – Yakety Yak – 2:49
  3. Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) – 2:50
"Stand by Me" is a song originally performed in 1961 by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King and written by him, along with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who together used the pseudonym Elmo Glick.
According to King, the title is derived from, and was inspired by, a spiritual written by Sam Cooke and J. W. Alexander called "Stand by Me Father," recorded by the Soul Stirrers with Johnnie Taylor singing lead.
It was featured on the soundtrack of the 1986 film of the same name, and a corresponding music video, featuring King along with actors River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton, was released to promote the film.
It was also featured in a 1987 European commercial of Levi's 501 jeans, contributing to greater success in Europe. In 2012, its royalties were estimated to have topped $22.8 million (£17 million), making it the sixth highest-earning song as of its era.
50% of the royalties were paid to King.
In 2015, King's original version was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", just under five weeks before his death. Later in the year, the 2015 lineup of the Drifters recorded it in tribute.
There have been over 400 recorded versions of the song, performed by many artists, notably Otis Redding, John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, 4 the Cause, Tracy Chapman, musicians of the Playing for Change project, Florence and the Machine, and the Kingdom Choir.
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