60s MusicElvis Presley

Elvis Presley – Are You Lonesome Tonight – 1961

About the song

Are you a fan of Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll? If so, you might be familiar with his hit song “Are You Lonesome Tonight”, which was released in 1961 and became one of his most successful singles. But do you know the history behind this song and how it came to be recorded by Elvis?

In this blog post, we will explore the origins and the story of “Are You Lonesome Tonight”, a song that has touched the hearts of millions of listeners around the world.

The song was written in 1926 by Roy Turk and Lou Handman, and was first recorded by Charles Hart. It was inspired by a phrase that Turk’s wife said to him when he came home late one night. The song was a ballad that asked the listener if they missed their lover and wondered if they were lonely too.

The song was popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and was covered by several artists, including Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra. However, it was not until 1960 that Elvis Presley decided to record his own version of the song.

Elvis was a fan of the song since he was a teenager, and he often sang it at home or in the studio. He wanted to record it as a tribute to his mother, who had passed away in 1958. He also thought that the song would fit his style and voice, as he was moving away from rock and roll and into more mature and romantic songs.

Elvis recorded “Are You Lonesome Tonight” on April 4, 1960, at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. He was accompanied by his regular band, as well as a string section and a backing vocal group called The Jordanaires. He sang the song in one take, without any rehearsal or preparation. He also added a spoken word section in the middle of the song, which was based on a monologue from Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”.

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The song was released as a single on November 1, 1960, and became an instant hit. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and stayed there for six weeks. It also topped the charts in several other countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany. It sold over four million copies worldwide, and earned Elvis a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Performance.

“Are You Lonesome Tonight” is considered one of Elvis’ signature songs, and one of his most emotional and personal recordings. It showcases his vocal range and his ability to convey deep feelings through his voice. It also reflects his own loneliness and longing for his mother, his wife Priscilla, and his fans.

The song has been covered by many other artists over the years, such as Donny Osmond, Doris Day, Merle Haggard, and Norah Jones. However, none of them can match the original version by Elvis Presley, who made the song his own and gave it a timeless appeal.

If you are feeling lonely or nostalgic, why not listen to “Are You Lonesome Tonight” by Elvis Presley? You might find some comfort and solace in his voice and his words.


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