The song was written in mid-1962 by Motown Records president Berry Gordy.
He initially intended it for The Temptations, and wanted them record it asap, because he was sure it was a hit.
Gordy couldn't find the Temptations at Motown that day, but ran into The Contours, who were signed to the label, but hadn't had a hit yet. He gave them the song and arranged it for them that night and recorded it the next day.
An enduring dance classic, it mentions a number of the most popular dances of the time.
The song went to number-1 on the R&B chart and peaked at number-3 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
Following the its use in the 1988 movie Dirty Dancing, it became a hit a second time, this time peaking at number-11 on the Hot 100.
It's the only Contours song ever to cross over to the pop charts.