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Only You (And You Alone)

"Only You (And You Alone)" (often shortened to "Only You") is a pop song composed by Buck Ram.[1] It was originally recorded by The Platters with lead vocals by Tony Williams in 1955.[2]

"Only You (And You Alone)"
The Platters - Only You single.jpg
Mercury hit version
Single by The Platters
from the album The Platters (Original recording) & The Fabulous Platters (Re-recording)
B-side"Bark, Battle and Ball"
ReleasedMay 1955
Format7" vinyl
RecordedApril 26, 1955
Songwriter(s)Buck Ram


The Platters' versionEdit

The Platters first recorded the song for Federal Records on May 20, 1954, but the recording was not released. In 1955, after moving to Mercury Records, the band re-recorded the song (on April 26) and it scored a major hit when it was released in May. In November that year, Federal Records released the original recording as a single (B-side - "You Made Me Cry") which sold poorly.[3] Platters bass singer Herb Reed later recalled how the group hit upon its successful version: "We tried it so many times, and it was terrible. One time we were rehearsing in the car ... and the car jerked. Tony went 'O-oHHHH-nly you.' We laughed at first, but when he sang that song—that was the sign we had hit on something."[4] According to Buck Ram, Tony Williams' voice "broke" in rehearsal, but they decided to keep this effect in the recording. This was the only Platters recording on which songwriter and manager Ram played the piano.[2]

The song held strong in the number 1 position on the U.S. R & B charts for seven weeks, and hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[5] It remained there for 30 weeks, beating out a rival cover version by The Hilltoppers. When the Platters track, "The Great Pretender" (which eventually surpassed the success of "Only You"), was released in the UK as Europe's first introduction to The Platters, "Only You" was included on the flipside. In the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock, The Platters participated with both songs, "Only You" and "The Great Pretender".

Ringo Starr versionEdit

"Only You"
Standard picture sleeve
Single by Ringo Starr
from the album Goodnight Vienna
B-side"Call Me"
Released11 November 1974 (US)
15 November 1974 (UK)
FormatVinyl record 7"
Songwriter(s)Buck Ram
Producer(s)Richard Perry
Ringo Starr singles chronology
"Oh My My"
"Only You"
"No No Song"
Goodnight Vienna track listing
11 tracks
Side one
  1. "(It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna"
  2. "Occapella"
  3. "Oo-Wee"
  4. "Husbands and Wives"
  5. "Snookeroo"
Side two
  1. "All by Myself"
  2. "Call Me"
  3. "No No Song"
  4. "Only You (And You Alone)"
  5. "Easy for Me"
  6. "Goodnight Vienna (Reprise)"

In 1974, Ringo Starr covered this song for his album Goodnight Vienna at the suggestion of John Lennon. This version was released as a single (b/w "Call Me") on 11 November in the US,[nb 1][6] and it became a number six hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one on the easy listening chart in early 1975.[7] It was released in the UK on 15 November.[nb 2][8] Lennon plays acoustic guitar on the track, and recorded a guide vocal which was kept by producer Richard Perry. Harry Nilsson sings harmony vocals and appears with Starr in the amusing music video filmed on top of the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles. Lennon's vocal version appears on his Anthology box set, in 1998.

Other notable coversEdit

  • A version was recorded in 1956 by the Welsh-born singer Malcolm Vaughan. Also in 1956, an instrumental version by Franck Pourcel was released & sold over 3 million copies by 1959. Carl Perkins recorded the song in 1957, on his "Dance Album" record.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ US Apple 1876[6]
  2. ^ UK Apple R 6000[8]
  1. ^ For copyright reasons, Ram, who was registered with ASCAP, also added one of his pen names, Ande Rand.[citation needed]
  2. ^ a b Buck Ram interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  3. ^ Goldberg, Marv (2008). "The Platters". Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Herb Reed (Obituary)". The Telegraph. June 6, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 463.
  6. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 183. ISBN 9780753508435.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 230.
  8. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 182. ISBN 9780753508435.
  9. ^ Peat, Charlie. "Former singer inspired to write more music after 40-year-old song proves a hit on YouTube". Hendon and Finchley Times. Retrieved August 14, 2014.

External linksEdit