Tune Tuesday: Sonny James 1969

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Sonny James Image One
Image Credit: freecovers.net
Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame 2006

Fifty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart was Only the Lonely by Sonny James, a cover version of a song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Referred to as the Southern Gentleman for his personality and manner, James, born James Hugh Loden, had 22 #1 hits from 1960 to 1979. He and Bobbie Gentry hosted the very first Country Music Association‘s (CMA) award show in 1967. He was the first country music performer to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957, the first country music star to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1961 and the first country artist to have his music sent into space in 1971, having recorded a special song for the Apollo 14 crew. He produced Marie Osmond‘s first solo hit Paper Roses.

Only the lonely

Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)
Know the way I feel tonight (ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)
Know this feelin aint right (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)

There goes my baby
There goes my heart
They’re gone forever
So far apart

But only the lonely
Know why
I cry
Only the lonely

Only the lonely

Only the lonely
Know the heartaches I’ve been through
Only the lonely
Know I cried and cried for you

Maybe tomorrow
A new romance
No more sorrow
But that’s the chance – you gotta take
If your lonely heart breaks
Only the lonely


18 thoughts on “Tune Tuesday: Sonny James 1969

    hanspostcard said:
    March 20, 2019 at 3:03 AM

    He seems to be one of the forgotten country stars of that era- the man had 26 #1 country hits. When he died a few years ago I don’t remember it causing much of a ripple in the news. In fact don’t think I could have told you if he was living or dead – I had to look it up.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 20, 2019 at 3:11 PM

      Yep. The 26 stretch back into the 50s. He was HUGE during his time. I listened to Young Love last night and I thought “I remember that!” It’s beautiful and he had a very smooth voice.

      In my reading, I found a blip about him being Country Music Artist of the Year 1969 by Billboard Magazine but, I couldn’t verify. He rec’d some Grammy nominations but, didn’t win & none of them had anything to do with this particular song. I couldn’t find his name in either AMA or CMA history list. I would imagine anything you would want to know would come from Joel Whitburn. He butted heads with Billboard after they changed their rules and arbitrarily wiped out some of Elvis’ #1s.

      James shows that you don’t need a bunch awards to prove that you are good or popular.

        hanspostcard said:
        March 20, 2019 at 5:50 PM

        Going to have to listen to a greatest hits package or best of from him- I don’t know how many of his big hits I am familiar with.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 20, 2019 at 3:18 PM

      Or, ACMA.

    nostaligicitalian said:
    March 20, 2019 at 8:26 AM

    Just realized I wasn’t smart enough to come up with “Tune Tuesday”. I guess I stole your idea for a blog today…..I thought “Tune Tuesday” is a great idea…then I saw your post….I will be sure to credit you the next time ….lol

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 20, 2019 at 3:33 PM

      I came up with Tune Tuesday because I did some Military Mondays early on. My movies used to be on Flick Friday. I never could come up with enough interesting military stuff (war is hell, we are war weary & re-evaluating battles should remain with the professional historians & scholars) so, I shifted gears.

      There are some blogs that have Music Mondays but, I didn’t want to continue movies on Fridays.

      I’m pleased you like it. You can steal. I didn’t claim ownership or patent. I was just struggling with some kind of structure.

      I will check it out! How do you choose your topic?

        nostaligicitalian said:
        March 20, 2019 at 11:11 PM

        I probably had subliminally seen your title and it was there when I thought “That’s a good title!”

        My one friend posted a blog about “stop sign” movies – movies that no matter what, when you see it while channel surfing, you stop and watch it. That got me to thinking about posting a movie on Movie Monday….not sure about that idea yet.

        My blog started as sort of a diary. A way to put thoughts in writing about things and as a way to jot memories down before I forget them. As I began to follow blogs about my interests (movies, music, TV, radio), some hosted Blogathons, which I have enjoyed writing for. The topics vary and I think I write when I am moved to or have something to write about.

        I am finding that I am enjoying it so much, I want to do it more frequently, which is why I thought Tuesdays could be about music, etc…

        The song was one that was playing on my iPod while at work and it fit into the theme of the last few blogs I wrote. Moving from bitter divorce and now to a very happy marriage, there are naturally people “talking” and that song just hit me as something worth posting.

        I enjoy your posts and an glad to connect with you! Thanks again!!

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          March 21, 2019 at 12:28 AM

          I’ve enjoyed your posts, as well. I’ve found myself digging back to your first ones. You may see me floating around. LOL!

          Happy one-year anniversary!

            nostaligicitalian said:
            March 21, 2019 at 3:40 AM

            Thanks a bunch! I plan on doing the same for you!

    badfinger20 said:
    March 20, 2019 at 10:48 AM

    Never heard this version before…I just can’t get Roy’s out of my head.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 20, 2019 at 3:54 PM

      I hadn’t either, much like you introduced me to B.J. Thomas’ version of Suspicion.

      He does it his own way & it is just as pretty…tho, I love the original.

        badfinger20 said:
        March 20, 2019 at 5:07 PM

        He does it well…I wasn’t expecting him to sing it that high at first… he was up there with Roy for a while

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          March 21, 2019 at 12:19 AM

          Not many people can reach Roy. Man.

            badfinger20 said:
            March 21, 2019 at 12:26 AM

            No they cannot. If he would have had looks he could have been up there with Elvis…Roy’s voice was like no other.

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              March 21, 2019 at 12:52 AM

              Bobby Hatfield had the range but, lost it as he got older. I don’t think Roy ever lost his.

                badfinger20 said:
                March 21, 2019 at 12:56 AM

                No Roy had it during the Wilburys…he kept it. He seemed like a wonderful guy.

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    March 20, 2019 at 9:41 PM

    I have one of his CDs. Not really into that type of music but really liked him.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      March 21, 2019 at 12:21 AM

      Once I listened to Young Love, I remembered him. Sweet voice.

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