Watch CBS News

Ken Foote Summer Songs: 'Light My Fire'

In the summer of 1967, a rock group from Los Angeles, California made the scene with a #1 hit right out of the gate.

The Doors were a rock band unlike anyone else that had been heard or seen before. Members were Jim Morrison (vocals), Ray Manzarek (keyboards), Robby Kreiger (guitar), and John Densmore (drums). And they were successful right around the time that the "hippie" movement was taken place in America, along with Vietnam War protests and illegal drugs use among young Americans. In spite of their style of music, they appeared on CBS's The Ed Sullivan Show, Sunday, September 17th, 1967, which was unheard of at that time for a group like them. The Sullivan producers requested that they edit the lyrics to "Light My Fire" (today's song) to remove the phrase, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher." Well, as it happened, Morrison sang the song over the air exactly as it was written. After the show was over, the producers told them, "You'll never play again on the Sullivan Show!", to which Morrison replied, "Hey, man, we just PLAYED the Sullivan Show"!

Light My Fire was written by all four members of the group. Produced by Paul A. Rothchild, running 2:52 (singles version) on the Electra Records label, released April 24, 1967, the lyrics go like this:

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn't get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah

The song was a #1 hit for the group that year and stayed that way for three weeks and on the charts for fourteen weeks.

Morrison passed away in Paris on July 31, 1971, with Manzarek passing away in 2013.

Turn this up loud! Today's version is the extended play running 7:06 with an extended "bridge" component.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.