RhinoFifty years ago Saturday, The Doors‘ “Light My Fire” burned its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Mainly written by guitarist Robby Krieger, with a little help from his fellow Doors, the song was the first he ever composed for the group.

Krieger tells ABC Radio that he and his band mates always knew “Light My Fire” was one of their best tunes, “because whenever we’d play it people would just go crazy,” though The Doors initially were hesitant to release it as a single. That’s because the original version was seven minutes long. In order to have it played on AM radio, the track would have to be edited down to about three minutes.

“People were telling us, ‘Oh, you gotta cut that instrumental part [in the middle of the song] out,'” Robby recalls with a laugh. “But we didn’t want to because that was our favorite part.”

Krieger says i was a Los Angeles DJ named Dave Diamond who convinced the band to release “Light My Fire” as a single, by telling them how much his listeners loved it when he played the long version on his station.

“Light My Fire” wound up spending three weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and went on to sell more than 927,000 copies in the U.S. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

As previously reported, The Doors are asking fans and radio stations to celebrate the anniversary by playing “Light My Fire” at 7:29 local time on Saturday. In addition, a limited-edition vinyl single is being released today featuring the single version of “Light My Fire” on one side and “The Crystal Ship” on the other.

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