EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Only the Lonely (Know How I Feel) – Roy Orbison

What was the number one song in the UK on 20th October 1960?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

American singer, Roy Orbison was number one for 2 weeks with his chart-topping tune Only the Lonely.

Interestingly, Roy Orbison at one point considered his voice memorable, but not great. I feel there would be many people, including myself that would beg to differ. He has a distinguishing voice with an impressive range. His range especially those famous high notes, one can hear throughout Only the Lonely. The song itself, is a nice tune if a little repetitive. I can see why it was a big hit though.

Wikipedia

“Only the Lonely” is a 1960 song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Orbison’s recording of the song, produced by Fred Foster for Monument Records, was the first major hit for the singer. It was described by The New York Times as expressing “a clenched, driven urgency”. Released as a 45 rpm single by Monument Records in May 1960, “Only the Lonely” went to No. 2 on the United States Billboard pop music charts on 25 July 1960 (blocked by Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry”) and No. 14 on the Billboard R&B charts. “Only the Lonely” reached Number One in the United Kingdom, a position it achieved on 20 October 1960, staying there for two weeks (out of a total of 24 weeks spent on the UK singles chart from 28 July 1960). According to Orbison historian Marcel Riesco’s research for “The Authorized Roy Orbison,” personnel on the original recording included Orbison’s drummer Larry Parks, plus Nashville’s regulars, Floyd Cramer on piano, Bob Moore on bass, and Hank Garland and Harold Bradley on guitars, Joe Melson and the Annita Kerr Singers on backing vocals. Drummer Buddy Harman played on the rest of the songs on the session.

Lyrics

“Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know the way I feel tonight (ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know this feeling ain’t right (dum-dumb-dummy 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 (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah, ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
(Oh, oh oh oh oh ooh-ah-ah, only the lonely)
(Only the lonely)
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know the heartaches I’ve been through (ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Know I cry and cry for you (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)
Maybe tomorrow
A new romance
No-o-o more sorrow
But that’s the chance
You’ve got to take
If your lonely heart breaks
Only the lonely (dum-dumb-dummy doo-wah)”

The Playlist

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Every UK Number One Song

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