His voice conveyed the feelings of breaking up with someone you love (teen angst), beginning with the opening verse:
The song (No. 7 on Billboard in 1958) lingered in my mind for quite a while as I thought about other tunes I like with "lonely" and "lonesome" in the title. So here a few I've enjoyed through the years:
One of Elvis' early hits was "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" in 1960, recorded after his discharge from the army. The song, written in 1926 by Roy Turk and Lou Handman, was a chart topper for the King.
If any singer could express loneliness and sadness, it was Roy Orbison. His "Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel)," a No. 2 song for the balladeer in 1960.
Jackie Wilson is almost in tears (figuratively) as he belts out "Lonely Teardrops," a No. 7 song in 1958. It was also the last song Wilson performed live before collapsing on a stage in 1975, suffering a heart attack. He died nine years later.
Singer-songwriter James Taylor reached No. 14 on the charts in 1973 with "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight."
My all-time favorite "lonesome" song is Hank Williams Sr.'s penned "I'm So Lonely I Could Cry," a tune even Elvis said was "probably the saddest song I ever heard." It's not a song to listen to if you're really depressed because it will make you cry along with the singer.
My favorite version is by B.J. Thomas, which reached No. 8 on the charts in 1966.
Yes, these are songs about sadness, but they're also contemplative in expressing emotions that we all share in our lives.
Any favorite "lonely" and "lonesome" songs?
Until the next time....