Freedy Johnston – Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

I had the original single in my collection by Edison’s Lighthouse. I heard this on Lightning 100 back in the 1990s in Nashville. Johnston did a good job updating it.

Freedy Johnston was an artist that I found in the late 90s. I first heard him on an alternative radio station I would listen to. They would play cuts off of his Never Home album. I bought that album and fell for a song called Seventies Girl. A few years later they played this song off his 2001 Right Between the Promises album. I grew up with this song and although it leans heavily toward bubblegum…I’ve always liked it. Freedy did a good version of it.

Johnston has never burned up the charts but he did have a minor his in 1994 with the song Bad Reputation which peaked at #54 on the Billboard 100. This song got some airplay on alternative stations. Love Grows peaked at #25 in the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 2001.

The Edison Lighthouse version was the original back in 1970.

The British producers Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason wrote this song with Sylvan Mason, who was Barry’s wife at the time. Sylvan is often uncredited, but her divorce agreement provides hard evidence that she co-wrote this song and the Tom Jones hit “Delilah.”

Macaulay and Barry Mason recorded the song using session musicians. When it became a hit, they put together a band from members of the group Greefield Hammer in order to perform it live. McCaulay eventually put together another group using the Edison Lighthouse name.

A session singer named Tony Burrows sang lead. He was the voice of several studio groups, including White Plains, The Pipkins, Brotherhood Of Man, First Class (“Beach Baby”), and the Flowerpot Men (“Let’s Go To San Francisco”). He famously appeared on one UK TV show three times in one night when three different groups (all fronted by him) were due to perform their current chart hits.

The Edison Lighthouse version peaked at #5 on the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #1 in the UK.

Slyvan Mason: “Tony [Macaulay] came over with a melody and rough idea for a song, which title originally was ‘It’s My Heart You’ll Be Breaking Apart,’ but he said he wanted to put a girl’s name in the title because that’s what sold records in those days. The girl’s name Rosemary fitted with the title so we started the song from scratch merely using the name Rosemary.”

Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

She ain’t got no money
Clothes are kinda funny
Hair is kinda wild and free
Oh, but love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

She talks kinda lazy
People say she’s crazy
And her life’s a mystery
Oh, but love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

There’s something about her hand holding mine
It’s a feeling so fine
That I just gotta say
She’s really got a magical spell
And it’s working so well
That I can’t get away

I’m a lucky fella
And I just gotta tell her
That I love her endlessly
Oh, cause love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

Yeah, I’m a lucky fella
And I just gotta tell her
That I love her endlessly
Oh, cause love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

28 thoughts on “Freedy Johnston – Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)”

  1. Never heard of Freedy before, though that’s hardly surprising if he wasn’t even ripping up the US Billlboard. Decent enough version, but I have to say, I’m a real traditionalist, and it’s not a patch on the original in my humble opinion. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always liked the song (Edison Lighthouse version) and was happy it briefly became a hit again this year thanks to something on Tiktok. I’d never heard the Johnston version, he does it quite well, it was more similar to the original than I expected. Given that it was 20+ years from the first one, he had a good idea, introduce a ‘classic’ hit to a new generation, but I guess it didn’t really click. Probably too far out of step with what was popular in ’94 for a new artist to be noticed with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was a small artist also…no muscle behind it but it was played locally a lot in Nashville…just not nationwide… he did stay faithful to the original.


  3. I like both versions but I am used to the Edison Lighthouse version. That said, I like Freedy’s voice and just went to listen to the Seventies Girl song. And yes, he is on Spotify πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m like you…I like both versions. I’m glad he is on Spotify. I think you can relate to this…in Seventies Girl…he used the lyric “chartreuse green”….not everyone can pull that off lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cleaner is the word. Tony Burrows at one time around 1970 or so he shoulda had ‘Here, There And Everywhere’ as his theme song. Any new Brit group was fronted by Tony. But the Pipkins? Good grief, he shoulda kept his mouth shut, or passed on that load of… tosh.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Freedy Johnston rules – Right Between the Promises isn’t as good as the four records that came before it IMO. Can You Fly?, This Perfect World, Never Home, and Blue Days Black Nights are all excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve liked what I”ve heard so far. Their original version of (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding….I like more than Elvis’s rendition. They had some rock and power pop…they had variety….

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I really liked the original by Edison Lighthouse, especially that great opening guitar riff that continues throughout the song. Freedy Johnston’s version is pretty good, but I prefer the exuberant vibe of the original.

    Liked by 1 person

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