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The song sheet is in the same key as the first video, except for the last chorus.
"The Letter" was the group's first and biggest record chart hit, reaching number one in the United States and Canada. It was also an international success and reached the top ten in several other countries.
"The Letter" launched Chilton's career and inspired numerous cover versions. English rock and soul singer Joe Cocker's 1970 rendition became his first top ten single in the U.S.; several other artists have recorded versions of the song, which also reached the record charts.
Rolling Stone magazine included the Box Tops original at number 372 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time"; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame added it to the list of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". In 2011, the single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.