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Are You Lonesome Tonight


(Turk & Handman)

Are You Lonesome Tonight was written by Roy Turk and Lou Handman in 1926. In 1927 Al Jolson had the first recording of the song, followed closely by popular versions by Vaughn Deleath (Edison 52044) and Henry Burr (Victor 20873). Other recordings of Are You Lonesome Tonight over the years include those by the Blue Barron Orchestra (MGM 10628) in 1950, Jaye P. Morgan (MGM 12752) in 1959, and Donny Osmond (MGM 14677) in 1974. Other than Elvis's recording, Donny Osmond's reached the highest on Billboard's Hot 100 chart - #14.

Elvis recorded Are You Lonesome Tonight on April 4, 1960, at RCA's Nashville studios. Reportedly, it was the only song that Colonel Tom Parker ever urged Elvis to record. Elvis copied his vocal phrasing from the Blue Barron Ochestra's version. The long spoken passage was loosely based on Jacques's speech in Act II, Scene VII of Shakespeare's As You Like It. The master is a splice of two or more takes. Are You Lonesome Tonight entered Billboard's Hot 100 chart at #35. The second week, it was #2 - the biggest one-week jump within the Top 40 in history. By the third week, Are You Lonesome Tonight had replaced Stay by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs at number one, where it stayed for six weeks. In January 1961, Bert Kaempfert's Wonderland By Night took over the top spot. Are You Lonesome Tongiht had a total stay in the Hot 100 of 16 weeks. It reached #22 on the country chart and #3 on the rhythm & blues chart. Elvis wouldn't have another song on the country chart until 1968. In England, Are You Lonesome Tonight was number one for four weeks. Worldwide sales have been estimated at four million copies. Elvis received three Grammy Award nominations for Are You Lonesome Tonight - Record of the Year; Best Vocal Performance, Male; and Best Performance by a Pop Singles Artist - but didn't wine one.

An August 26, 1969, performance of Are You Lonesome Tonight at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in which Elvis messed up the lyrics and laughed uncontrollably was released in 1982 in England. That version was released in the United States in 1983 on the Elvis - A Legendary Performer, Volume 4 LP and on numerous bootlegs.


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 parlour 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 of us 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've never known.
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 they can bring the curtain down.

Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

Where it was released:
First released on single 


- Are You Lonesome Tonight / I Gotta Know (RCA 47-7810) November 1960. Standard release

- Are You Lonesome Tonight / I Gotta Know (RCA 61-7810) November 1960. "Living Stereo" release

- Are You Lonesome Tonight / I Gotta Know (RCA 447-0629) February 1962. Gold Standard Series reissue.

- Are You Lonesome Tonight / I Gotta Know (RCA PB-11104) October 1977. One of 15 singles in the boxed set 15 Golden Records - 30 Golden Hits (RCA PP-11301) and one of 10 singles in the 20 Golden Hits in Full Color Sleeves (RCA PP-11340), released two months later.

- Are You Lonesome Tonight / Can't Help Falling In Love (RCA PB-13895) October 1984. One of six singles in the boxed set Elvis' Greatest Hits - Golden Singles, Volume 2 (RCA PP-13898)

- Elvis By Request (1961) 
- Elvis' Golden Records, Volume 3 (1963) 
- Elvis From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis (1969) 
- Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Volume 1 (1970) 
- Elvis in Person at the International Hotel (1970)  

- A Legendary Performer, Volume 1 (1974)

- Elvis Forever (1974)

- Elvis - A Collectors Edition (1976)

- Elvis In Concert (1977) 
- The Elvis Presley Story (1977) 
- Elvis: Memories (1978) 
- Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Parts 3 & 4 (1978) 
- Elvis! His Greatest Hits (1979) 
 Elvis Aron Presley (1980) 
 The Legendary Magic of Elvis Presley (1980) 
 This Is Elvis (1981) 
 Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada (1981) 
 Country Music (1981) - Time Life 
 Elvis Love Songs (1981) - K-Tel 
- Elvis - A Legendary Performer, Volume 4 (1983)
- A Valentine Gift To You (1985)
- The Number One Hits (1987)
- The Top Ten Hits (1987)
- From The Heart (1991)
- Collectors Gold (1991)
- Romantique (1993)
- From Nashville To Memphis - The Essential 60's Masters (1993)
- The Essential Collection (1994)
- Gold - The Very Best Of The King (1995)
- Heart And Soul (1995)
- Always Elvis - The Dutch Album (1997)
- Are You Lonesome Tonight (1997)
- All Time Greatest Hits (1997)
- Forever In Love (1997)
- Platinum - A Life In Music (1997)
- A Touch Of Platinum, Volume 1 (1998)
- A Golden Celebration (1998)
- Elvis Aron Presley (1998)
- Tiger Man (1998)
- Memories of the '68 Comeback Special (1998)
- All The Best (1999)
- Ballads (1999)
- Love Songs (1999)
- Artist Of The Century (1999) 
- That's The Way It Is - Special Edition (2000)
- The Swedish Hit Collection (2000)
- Legendary Elvis Presley (2000)
- Elvis 2000: The Best Of The King (2000)
- The Love Songs (2000) - Greenhill
- The 50 Greatest Hits (2000)
- The Live Greatest Hits (2001)
- Greatest Hits (2001)
- Live In Las Vegas (2001)
- Junichiro Koizumi Presents My Favourite Elvis Songs (2001)
- The 50 Greatest Love Songs (2001)
- Elvis Hits (2001)
- The Very Best of Love (2001) - Madacy
- Spring Tours '77 (2002) - FTD 
- Today, Tomorrow And Forever (2002) 
- Elvis 30#1 Hits (2002)
- Elvis At The International (2002) - FTD 
- Heart And Soul (2003)
- New Year's Eve (2003) - FTD 
- Elvis is Back! (2005)  FTD 

- All Shook Up (2005) FTD

- Let Yourself Go (2006) - FTD  

- Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas (2008) - FTD

Amarillo '77 (2011) - FTD

Hot August Night (2013) - FTD

- This is Elvis (2015) - FTD

- Rock Around the Bloch (2015) - FTD

- The Best of British - The RCA Years - 1959-1960 (2015) - FTD

Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 3 (2015) - FTD

NBC-TV Special (2016) - FTD

For LP Fans Only (2018) - FTD

The Elvis is Back! Sessions (2019) - FTD

Bootleg Releases
- The Monologue LP (1973)  Bullet Records
- Rockin' With Elvis New Year's Eve Pittsburgh, Pa. Dec. 31, 1976 (1977)  Spirit of America Records
- Elvis' 1961 Hawaii Benefit Concert (1978)  Golden Archives Records
- The Burbank Sessions, Volume 1 (1979)  Audifon Records
- Standing Room Only, Volume 2 (1979)  Eagle Records
- Standing Room Only, Volume 3 (1980)  Eagle Records
- Long Lost Songs (1985)  Vault Records
- Elvis Rocks and The Girls Roll (1986)  Pink and Black 

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