In late 1962 and early 1963, the song spent nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 24, while reaching No. 29 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart. The song has since become widely used by rock and roll revival acts and remains well known for its chorus of "Re-meh-meh, re-meh-meh-mem-ber (oop-shoop) / Re-meh-meh, re-meh-meh-mem-ber (oop-shoop)...." Tony Powers later remembered the song being written with Ross (who also co-wrote the song "Lollipop"):
"Beverly and I made a plan to try and write something at her apartment between Broadway and 8th Avenue.... I remember sitting with her at the piano and just riffing on stuff... and somewhere in that process of tossing out ideas one of us must have hit on "Remember When" (its original title....). I'm sure the second we hit on the title we had the riff: "Re-meh-meh, Re-meh-meh-mem-ber, Re-meh-meh, Re-meh-meh-mem-ber, Re-meh-meh, Re-meh-meh-mem-ber, When, When, Remember when..." Either she started the music lick, or I started the lyric lick, or vice-versa...and off we went...once we had that the song just basically wrote itself. Beverly was doing business with Aaron Schroeder at his January Music, so we brought the song there, he loved it, got it to Hy Weiss, and that was that. What I do remember vividly though was walking in Central Park after it hit the charts and passing someone with a radio... and "Remember When" was playing...that was the very first time I ever heard a song of mine being played over the air...wow!"
A commercially unsuccessful British cover version was released in 1963 by Jimmy Powell. The song was also recorded by American rock and roll group Sha Na Na in 1969, and by British group Showaddywaddy in 1979. Showaddywaddy's version reached no. 17 on the UK singles chart.
This song was featured in the 1993 film Bronx Tale.