#8: Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love by Lobo

City: Fredericton, NB
Radio Station: CIHI
Peak Month: October 1979
Peak Position in Fredericton #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #23
YouTube: “Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love
Lyrics: “Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love

Roland Kent LaVoie was born in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1943. He began his musical career in 1961 as a member of a local band, The Rumours. The band included Gram Parsons and Jim Stafford, as well as drummer Jon Corneal, who later joined Parsons’s International Submarine Band. In 1964, while attending the University of South Florida, LaVoie joined a band called the Sugar Beats and met producer Phil Gernard. He recorded a regional hit for the band, a cover of Johnny River’s song, “What Am I Doing Here?” During the 1960s, LaVoie performed with many other bands, including US Male, The Uglies, and Me and the Other Guys. By 1969, LaVoie released his first solo recording titled “Happy Days in New York City”.

In 1971 LaVoie adopted the stage name Lobo. His debut single was “Me And You And A Dog Named Boo”. Lobo recalls: “I was working on several songs, including a tune about traveling around the country with this girl, and I was trying to rhyme ‘you and me.’ Now ‘me and you’ would have been easier, but I was trying to do it with proper grammar. I couldn’t find anything to rhyme that fit what I wanted to say in the song. Finally, after I got back home to Florida, I decided to turn the phrase around to ‘me and you.’ I was thinking about it, sitting in a room that had a big sliding glass door overlooking the back yard. My big German Shepherd dog: Boo, came running around the corner and looked in at me. I said: ‘Well, now, that’s kinda freaky. How about putting ‘a dog named Boo’ into the song?” That’s literally how it came about. All of a sudden the song really started coming together. I hadn’t been to any of the places mentioned in the song except Georgia, but I just kept putting in places that sounded far away like Minneapolis and L.A.”

“Me And You And A Dog Named Boo” became a number-one hit in New Zealand. It also cracked the Top Ten in Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, the UK and the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. Its best chart run in Canada was in Saskatoon (SK) where it peaked at #2.

In 1972, he released his album Of a Simple Man. From the album, Lobo had his biggest hit single with “I’d Love You To Want Me”. It topped the pop charts in Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, the USA (Cashbox Top 100 Singles), and West Germany. The song also cracked the Top Ten in Denmark, Ireland, and the UK. In Canada, “I’d Love You To Want Me” was a number-one hit in Barrie (ON), Calgary, Hamilton (ON), Kingston (ON), Regina (SK), Toronto and Vancouver.

Lobo’s next release, “Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend”, was another Top Ten hit for the singer-songwriter from his Of a Simple Man album. It reached number-one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It reached the Top Ten in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, the single had its best chart run in Kingston (ON) where it climbed to #2 in February 1973. That year he appeared on American Bandstand. 

From 1973 to 1975, Lobo managed to chart four singles into the Top Ten of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. But none of these cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. After his notable chart success with three international Top Ten hits in from the summer of 1971 to the winter of 1972-73, Lobo was falling off the radar of AM-pop radio. His folk-rock style was getting knocked off Deejay playlists by the new disco sound of K.C. and the Sunshine Band and many others.

In 1979, he released “Where Were You When I Was Falling in Love”.

Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love by Lobo

“Where Were You When I Was Falling in Love” was cowritten by Jeff Silbar, Sam Lorber and Steve Jobe. Jeff Silbar was a Los Angeles songwriter who wrote “Wind Beneath My Wings” which was recorded by Bette Midler. The song won Silbar a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1990. His other compositions include a Top Ten country hit for Kenny Rogers titled “All My Life”; A number-one country hit for Janie Fricke in 1983 titled He’s a Heartache (Looking for a Place to Happen)”; A Top Ten country hit in 1991 for Alabama titled “Then Again”; And the Top Ten country hit for Lee Greenwood in 1985 titled “You’ve Got a Good Love Comin'”. Sam Lorber wrote a Top Ten country hit for Garry Morris titled “Between Two Fires”; The Pointer Sisters Top Ten hit “Dare Me”; A Top Ten hit for Janie Fricke titled “If the Fall Don’t Get You”; And the 1992 number-one country hit single for Wynona titled “No One Else on Earth”. Of the three songwriters, Steve Jobe was active as a songwriter, but less commercially successful.

“Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love” was from the seventh studio album by Lobo titled Lobo. The is song about an encounter between two people who experience instant “chemistry.” But the encounter doesn’t go much beyond the non-verbal. The male narrator of the song leaves without knowing the woman’s name. The final verse sums things up:

If I’d have met you sooner,
I’d be talking to you and playing the game.
But the best thing for me to do,
is get up and leave without knowing your name.
It might have been something special, baby
something only people in love could understand,
like this ring on my hand.

The Songfacts website stated of “Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love” that “This song was somewhat of a departure from Lobo’s previous sound, resulting from changing tastes in music at the time. It’s about a man who meets the woman of his dreams, only now he’s married and thus unavailable, so he can only muse about what might have been.” Regarding the “sound,” the single had a disco-laden string arrangement. While it was not a disco song, it resembled the instrumental treatment of numbers of mid-tempo songs in the late 70s into the early 80s. The single was too fast for a slow dance, but too slow to heat up the dance floor.

“Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love” peaked at #2 in Bangor, ME, and Fredericton, NB, #3 in Easton, PA, Dayton, OH, and Portsmouth, NH, #6 in Kalamazoo, MI, Louisville, KY, and Los Angeles, #7 in El Paso, TX, and Cincinnati, OH, #8 in Philadelphia, #9 in Allentown, PA, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Kansas City, MO, and #10 in Denver. The song was Lobo’s fourth and final number-one song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It was also his last hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #23.

Over the decades, Lobo has released sixteen studio albums. His most recent was That Shows You What I Know in 2022. His last single release, “Paint The Town Blue”, was a Top 50 hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 1985. Lobo has has studio albums recorded in Taiwan and Germany. In 2006, based on his continuing Asian popularity, he toured in Southeast Asia. There are not many interviews with Lobo, at least that an online search offered. But, one interesting interview Lobo had just after he turned 75 in 2018 was with Garry James on his classicbands.com website. See the link below under the “References” section.

January 2024
Ray McGinnis

Garry James, “Lobo (Kent LaVoie) Interview,” classicbands.com, 2018.
Ronald Sklar, “The Lowdown on Lobo,” pop entertainment.com, April 23, 2007.
Dale Kawashima, “Songwriter Jeff Silbar Tells How He Co-Wrote The Classic Song, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” Recorded By Bette Midler And Other Artists,” Songwriteruniverse.com, December 4, 2013.

Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love by Lobo

CIHI 1260-AM Fredericton (NB), Top Ten | October 26, 1979

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