Stay with Me (Lorraine Ellison song)

"Stay with Me" (often credited as "Stay with Me Baby") is a soul song co-written by Jerry Ragovoy and George David Weiss.[1] It was first recorded in 1966 by Lorraine Ellison,[2] and produced by Ragovoy.

"Stay with Me"
Stay with Me (Lorraine Ellison song).jpg
Single by Lorraine Ellison
B-side"I Got My Baby Back"
ReleasedOctober 1966
LabelWarner Bros. 5850
Producer(s)Jerry Ragovoy

Ellison recorded "Stay with Me" at a last-minute booking, following a studio cancellation by Frank Sinatra.[3] With a 46-piece orchestra already hired, Warner Bros. Records asked Ragovoy, with two days' notice, to take over the session at no cost. Ragovoy and arranger Garry Sherman worked up an orchestral arrangement of the song, and called Ellison into the studio to record it live with the orchestra. The recording was engineered by Phil Ramone.[4] The track is recognized for Ellison's impassioned vocals, which rise to a sonic and emotional crescendo with each chorus. Years later, Joey Ramone said of her performance, "I woulda stayed."

"Stay with Me" was issued as a single on the Warner record label. It entered the U.S. Billboard R&B chart on October 15, 1966, and reached No. 11; and peaked at No. 64 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It would become her signature song.[5] Her follow-up single was "Heart Be Still", a minor hit in 1967.[6]

The track has appeared on numerous compilation albums over the years, but 2006's Sister Love: The Warner Bros. Recordings contains all Ellison's songs.[7]

Cover versionsEdit

"Stay With Me" has been covered by numerous musicians, including Bette Midler, in the film The Rose. "Stay with Me" by The Faces is a different song.[note 1]

Other versions include those by The Walker Brothers, Charity Brown, David Essex, Ruby Turner, Rebecca Wheatley, Janis Joplin, Bobby Hatfield, Robin Lee, Genya Ravan, Terry Reid, Steve Marriott, Long John Baldry, Sharon Tandy,[8] Les Fleur de Lys, Natalie Cole, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dan McCafferty, Kiki Dee, Shirley Brown, Samantha Rose, Sam Brown, Phil Seymour, Trine Rein,[9] Whitesnake, Ronnie Montrose, Duffy, Mary J. Blige, Melissa Etheridge, La'Porsha Renae and Chris Cornell.[10] The versions by the first four artists named in the previous sentence, all reached the UK Singles Chart.[11]

Duffy's version was the only newly recorded song on the soundtrack of the 2009 UK comedy film, The Boat That Rocked. Although it was the original version that appeared in the film, Duffy's version featured in the closing credits.

It was also performed by Karise Eden on June 17, 2012, for her finale performance on The Voice Australia, reaching No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart[12] and by La'Porsha Renae on March 31, 2016 on the final season of American Idol.[13]

Alisan Porter covered the song on The Voice, season 10.


  1. ^ "Stay With Me – Lorraine Ellison | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn, Billboard Top Pop Singles 1955–2002, 2003, ISBN 0-89820-155-1
  3. ^ "Stay With Me by Lorraine Ellison Songfacts". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  4. ^ "Lorraine Ellison – Stay With Me". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  5. ^ Hogan, Ed (2003). "'Lorraine Ellison' biography". In Vladimir Bogdanov; John Bush; Chris Woodstra; Stephen Thomas Erlewine (eds.). All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide to R&B and Soul. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 223. ISBN 0-87930-744-7. LCCN 2003052270.
  6. ^ Ed Hogan. "Lorraine Ellison | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  7. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Sister Love: The Warner Bros. Recordings – Lorraine Ellison | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  8. ^ "Stay With Me – Sharon Tandy | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  9. ^ "Finders Keepers " Rockipedia". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  10. ^ "Chris Cornell "Stay with Me Baby" (Official Audio)". YouTube. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 697. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  12. ^ "2012 ARIA No #1 Awards" (PDF). ARIA Singles Chart. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Silver, Marc (April 4, 2016). "Thanks to La'Porsha Renae, 'American Idol' is ending on a high note". Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2016.


  1. ^ "Stay with Me", written by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, was first recorded by their band Faces for the 1971 album, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink... to a Blind Horse.

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