Song of the Day: Elvis Presley, “Are You Lonesome Tonight”

This is the first song I thought of when it came to songs with spoken parts. “Are You Lonesome Tonight” was written in 1926 by Roy Turk and Lou Handman and recorded by several vaudeville acts. It was Colonel Tom Parker’s wife’s favorite song, and when Elvis returned from the Army in 1960, Parker had him record it. RCA executives wouldn’t release it, thinking that it didn’t fit Presley’s publicized style. When it was finally released in November 1960, it was an immediate hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100, the Cash Box hot singles chart, and the R&B chart in the US, as well as #1 in the UK, Canada, Belgium, South Africa, and Spain.

17 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Elvis Presley, “Are You Lonesome Tonight”

  1. Every time I hear this song I think of when I was getting a divorce. I had only been married for six months but I was still very upset (Italian Catholic background there). We were living in an apartment building and I had a girlfriend who lived in one of the apartments near the shared garages. When my husband was cleaning out his stuff from the garage, she blasted this song for him. I had to laugh when she told me that. Obviously I got over it and am much better off now but still, this song makes me think of him.

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    1. Sorry if it was a bad memory for you. One of my cousins had to get married, and shortly after she had the baby she and her husband split (it was less than a year, as I recall). She was able to get an annulment and married a real prince of a guy, but that happens sometimes. I would say you’re much better off the way things are.

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      1. Yeah, it isn’t really a bad memory anymore. I feel much stronger knowing that I came through it. Actually it’s kind of funny thinking about the song blaring across the parking lot. I have good friends.

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  2. I love the song and melody but the talking in the middle I never quite warmed up to. He did it much better than other artists with the talking but I long for a solo or something else.

    Sam Kinison did this on the Tonight Show…and it was very funny.

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      1. Oh John…you MUST look it up…he sings it straight and sounds A LOT like Elvis…then in the talking part…yea he goes on a rant…he had a great voice.

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