'Stay' By Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs: The Shortest #1 That Will Never Leave

By | April 29, 2021

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Photo of MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS; Group portrait (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

"Stay" made Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs a one-hit wonder when the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1960. The unusually short doo wop song, clocking in at just over a minute and a half, has proven one of the most durable hits in popular music, with cover versions by The Four Seasons and Jackson Browne both reaching the top 20. For Williams, who has continued to perform for decades largely on the strength of this one classic, the writing and recording of the song was one of those effortless moments of perfect inspiration that artists live for.

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A young Maurice Williams. Source: (Pop Expresso).

In 1953, a 15-year-old Maurice Williams was trying to convince his date to stay with him past 10 o’clock, the time she was supposed to go home. He was not able to convince her, but, as he said 10 years later, "Like a flood, the words just came to me," and “Stay,” the shortest song to reach #1 was created.