Tragedy (Thomas Wayne song)

"Tragedy" is a song by Gerald H. Nelson and Fred B. Burch. A recording of the song by Thomas Wayne and the DeLons rose to #5 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1959.[1] A 1961 cover version by The Fleetwoods rose to #10 on the charts.[2] Brian Hyland also recorded it in 1969, but it only made it to #56. Ronnie Dove also recorded a country-flavored version of the song in 1976, however his version did not chart.[3]

Single by Thomas Wayne and the DeLons
B-side"Saturday Date"
Songwriter(s)Gerald H. Nelson, Fred B. Burch
Producer(s)Scotty Moore
Single by The Fleetwoods
from the album Softly
B-side"Little Miss Sad One"
Songwriter(s)Gerald H. Nelson, Fred B. Burch
Producer(s)Bob Reisdorff
The Fleetwoods singles chronology
"The Last One to Know"
"(He's) The Great Imposter"

Wayne's hit version was released on Memphis, Tennessee-based Fernwood Records, which was owned by Ronald "Slim" Wallace (1957–1965). The single was made with a trio of girls recruited from the local high school. Wayne was a one hit wonder who cut around 20 songs including a remake of his hit for the reactivated Sun label which sounds similar to the original. Some of his other songs were hits for others such as "This Time" (Troy Shondell) and "Girl Next Door Went a Walkin'" (Elvis Presley). Despite all of his recordings for 3 different labels before his death in a car crash on August 15, 1971, he never cut an album and there has never been any CD been issued of his songs.

Paul McCartney and Wings also recorded a version of the song for the planned 2-LP set Red Rose Speedway. The idea for the 2-LP set was later abandoned and instead they released a single LP with the same title, but without "Tragedy". The Wings' version was officially released on the 2018 deluxe edition of Red Rose Speedway which included the original proposed double album. Brenda Lee recorded a version of the song on her 1961 album All the Way.[4]

Pop and country singer Ronnie Dove recorded a country version of the song in 1976, although it failed to chart.


  1. ^ Thomas Wayne charting singles Retrieved 09-24-11
  2. ^ The Fleetwoods' charting singles Retrieved 09-24-11
  3. ^ Brian Hyland's charting singles Retrieved 09-24-11
  4. ^ Brenda Lee, All the Way Retrieved 09-24-11