Lonely Teardrops

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"Lonely Teardrops"
Lonely Teardrops - Jackie Wilson.jpg
Single by Jackie Wilson
B-side"In The Blue Of The Evening"
ReleasedNovember 17, 1958
Format7" single
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Berry Gordy
Roquel "Billy" Davis
Gwendolyn Gordy
Producer(s)Berry Gordy
Jackie Wilson singles chronology
"To Be Loved"
"Lonely Teardrops"
"That's Why (I Love You So)"

"Lonely Teardrops" is a song recorded and released as a single in 1958 by R&B, Soul, and Rock n Roll singer Jackie Wilson[1] on the Brunswick label. It is a 1999 Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee; the song became an across-the-board national Top 10 Pop smash (# 7), a # 1 hit on the R&B charts, and is ranked #315 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[2] It is ranked as the 57th biggest U.S. hit of 1959.[3] "Lonely Teardrops" is also listed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of "The 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll".[4]

Song information[edit]

Written by Berry Gordy Jr.,[5] Gwendolyn Gordy (Berry's sister) and Roquel "Billy" Davis, going under the pseudonym Tyran Carlo, the single, alongside Wilson's debuting five consecutive singles between 1957–58, turned Wilson into an R&B superstar and influenced the later careers of Davis, who joined the staff of Chess Records while Gordy used the money from the song's success to form Motown Records within a year; the song raced up to number one on the Billboard R&B chart and became Wilson's first top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at number seven. It was originally intended by Gordy to be recorded as a ballad. After recording it, Wilson and Brunswick executives felt the song lacked something, it was then given to veteran Decca Records arranger Dick Jacobs who re-arranged it into the smash hit it became. The hit's success helped land Wilson on American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show performing to receptive audiences on the respective shows, as well as other shows such as Shindig and Hullabaloo; the music was arranged by the great arranger Belford "Sinky" Hendricks who also arranged for Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin and many, many other top vocalists.

This was the last song Jackie Wilson performed before his coma and later death, when he collapsed on-stage singing it while appearing as one of the feature acts in Dick Clark's Good Ol' Rock and Roll Revue in 1975.

Cover versions[edit]

Covers of the song have also appeared in several films: Michael McDonald covered the song in the early 1990s and his version was used in the film Leaving Las Vegas, it was also covered by Howard Huntsberry, who portrayed Wilson, for the 1987 biographical movie about Ritchie Valens, La Bamba, and Huey Lewis's performance of the song in the 2000 karaoke-themed film Duets was also released as part of the film's soundtrack. The jazz fusion/rock guitarist Robby Krieger (The Doors) performs a version of the song on his 1989 solo album, No Habla.


Chart (1958–59) Date Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 March 1959 7
U.S. Billboard R&B March 1959 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Video of the original Jackie Wilson version on Video on YouTube
  2. ^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 7, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1959/Top 100 Songs of 1959". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  4. ^ "The 660 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll - Music - Forums". Best Ever Albums. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  5. ^ "Show 17 - The Soul Reformation: More on the evolution of rhythm and blues. [Part 3] : UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  6. ^ David Gonzales. "Mr. Lonely - Victor Wood | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  7. ^ Video on YouTube

Famousfix/Music/Belford Hendricks

External links[edit]

{[Category:music arrangement by Belford Hendricks]]