"She's Like The Wind" - Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser
from the album Dirty Dancing (Original Soundtrack) (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13
Today's song of the day appeared in the hit movie Dirty Dancing, which had already scored a pair of big hits with Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" and the #1 duet "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" from Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. The third single from the soundtrack was performed by the film's star himself, Patrick Swayze, who previously hadn't been seen more than a "teen heartthrob"-style actor in such movies as Red Dawn and The Outsiders. Swayze promoted himself to submit a selection for the album, "She's Like The Wind", a ballad written by himself (along with Stacy Widelitz) a few years back. His back-up singer Wendy Fraser, also a previous unknown, got an almost-duet billing as well...
With avid fans (mostly women) flocking to request the song on the radio and buy the single besides the album (which had his picture), "She's Like The Wind" climbed to the American pop top-3 in February of 1988. The song also spent a week atop Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the record made the top ten in Ireland (#4), Norway (#7), and Sweden (#8), while peaking in the top-20 in Germany (#14), the Netherlands (#13), Austria (#15), and the UK (#17). In 1992, the song hit the charts in France, going all the way to #7.
It would be Patrick's last pop hit; he recorded a couple songs for his follow-up movie Road House, but they went nowhere; neither did Fraser. But Swayze's standing as a movie star continued, and by the beginning of the next decade, his appearance in another romantic movie, Ghost, spawned yet another music-buying rush (although not his). Sadly, Swayze passed away from cancer at 57 in 2009.
But his memory can at least contain the fact that this song was one of the best of the "actor turned singer" types.
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In 2006, German hip-hop act Vibekingz had a #2 hit in their home country with a version of the song...
A year later, American R&B singer Lumidee teamed up with New Yorker Tony Sunshine for another cover of the song, which did really well on pop radio and peaked at #43 on the Hot 100 and #75 on Billboard's R&B chart...
Up tomorrow: The song that launched a million YouTube "gotchas".