On this day in music history: November 7, 1987 – “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Ritchie Cordell, it is the first chart topping single for the pop singer from Norwalk, CA. Singing since the age of two, at five years old, Tiffany Darwish declares to her mother that she wants to be a singer. She makes her public debut at nine, singing at various events in and around her hometown in Southern California. Singing mostly covers of country music songs, Tiffany begins performing more pop oriented material. When she’s twelve, Darwish begins making a demo recording in the hopes of getting signed to a record label. While at the studio, she meets record producer George Tobin, is in an adjoining studio working with Motown legend Smokey Robinson. Tobin is impressed with Tiffany, but initially feels she’s too young to make a record. Instead, he keeps in touch and two years later, begins working with the young singer. Over the next year, they record forty eight songs including a cover of Tommy James & The Shondells “I Think We’re Alone Now”. Shopping the recordings around, initially no labels are interested. Tobin arranges an artist showcase for Tiffany, and invites executives from various record labels to see and hear perform live. MCA Records likes what they hear, and offer to sign the then fifteen year old singer. At first, MCA is unsure how to market someone so young to the public. Then, the label comes up with the idea of sending Tiffany on a tour of shopping malls. Titling it “The Beautiful You: Celebrating the Good Life Shopping Mall Tour ‘87”, it’s launched to generate awareness for the release of her debut album. Singing live to pre-recorded tracks, Tiffany’s mall tour catches the attention of teenagers and their parents. The ball really gets rolling when Lou Simon, the PD of KCPX begins airing “I Think We’re Alone Now”. The strong call in response from listeners, leads to MCA Records issuing it as a single in August of 1987. Entering the Hot 100 at #84 on August 29, 1987, it climbs to the top of the chart ten weeks later. Just five weeks after her sixteenth birthday, Tiffany becomes the youngest female artist in history to top the Billboard pop singles chart. Her self-titled debut album takes a similar trajectory up the Top 200, spending two weeks at #1 and setting another new chart record. Soon after, Tiffany’s first chart topper is parodied by “Weird Al” Yankovic as “I Think I’m A Clone Now” on his album “Even Worse” in 1988.
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