A. It was inspired by the trademark line of Jackie Gleason, “How sweet it is!” as it was said on The Jackie Gleason Show. Gleason was one of the biggest TV stars of the time.
The Motown songwriters Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland) wrote this song.
The Holland-Dozier-Holland team often started songs as ballads, crafting a heartbreaking story and then setting it to upbeat music. This song took a different approach, which they sometimes used: letting the music dictate the song’s direction. The result is one of their few hit songs that is utterly joyful in both music and lyrics.
This became a #5 hit for James Taylor when he covered it in 1975. It was also recorded by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars, whose version hit #15 in the US in 1966