EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ – Elvis Presley

What was the number one song in the UK on 26th January 1961?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

Mr Presley hits the top spot yet again, with Are You Lonesome Tonight? where he remained for 4 weeks.

Oh Elvis’s dulcet tones serenade us easily with this classic Presley song. Like a lot of songs from this era, it is a simple tune, but a lovely one. However, I’m not altogether a big fan of the talky bit in the middle. If only they could have just stuck to the tune and fleshed out the song a bit more, it would have been perfect.

Wikipedia

“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” is a song which was written by Roy Turk and Lou Handman in 1926. It was recorded several times in 1927—first by Charles Hart, with successful versions by Vaughn De Leath, Henry Burr, and the duet of Jerry Macy and John Ryan. In 1950 the Blue Barron Orchestra version reached the top twenty on the Billboard’s Pop Singles chart.

In April 1960, after Elvis Presley’s two-year service in the United States Army, he recorded the song at the suggestion of manager Colonel Tom Parker; “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” was Parker’s wife, Marie Mott’s, favorite song. Its release was delayed by RCA Victor executives, who thought the song did not fit Presley’s new (and publicized) style. When “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” was released in November 1960 it was an immediate success in the U.S., topping Billboard’s Pop Singles chart and reaching number three on the R&B chart. A month after the song’s release, it topped the UK Singles Chart. Presley’s version was certified by the Recording Industry Association of America for a Gold Record Award for 1,000,000 copies sold in the United States in 1983. It was upgraded by the RIAA to a 2xPlatinum Record Award for 2,000,000 sales in 1992.

Lyrics

“Are you lonesome tonight
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?
I wonder if you’re lonesome tonight
You know someone said that the world’s a stage
And each must play a part
Fate had me playing in love you as my sweet heart
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two, you seemed to change and you acted strange
And why I’ll never know
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you
But I’d rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you
Now the stage is bare and I’m standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you won’t come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?”

The Playlist

Relive, enjoy and share every song and keep following Talk About Pop Music for more Number One posts!

Every UK Number One Song

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