Little Known Trivia Behind “The Horse”

Some of you may be familiar with the recording, “The Horse” by Cliff Nobles & Company. “The Horse”, fueled by its funky, driving groove and pushing it’s brass section to the front (later to be known as MFSB, as the core house band for Philadelphia International Records), was the hottest track on the air in 1968.

However, “The Horse” wasn’t intended to be a hit. As a matter of fact, the track was basically an instrumental only to have something pressed as the ‘B’ side of “Love Is All Right” that is on the ‘A’ side.

Although the general public loved “The Horse”, the whole incident happened by accident. The DJs had mistakenly promoted the instrumental version, not the vocal side. By the time the mistake was noticed, it was too late to reverse it because the song had already gained momentum and it had reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard 100 chart. African trumpeter, Hugh Masekela’s instrumental, “Grazing In The Grass” had already occupied the #1 position, which prevented “The Horse” from the top spot.

“The Horse” consequently,  had sold a million copies in three months and it earned the RIAA gold disc award. Even-though Cliff Nobles did not play an instrument,  he continued  to release additional instrumentals, but he could not duplicate the excitement and the success as he did previously with “The Horse”.