Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Only You (And You Alone)

First recorded by The Platters (1954).
Hit versions by The Hilltoppers (US#8/UK #3 1955), The Platters (US #5/R&B #1 1955 |UK #18 1957), Ringo Starr (US #6/MOR #1/UK #28 1975), Reba McEntire (C&W #13 1982).

From the wiki: “‘Only You (And You Alone)’ (often shortened to ‘Only You’) was composed by Buck Ram. The first recording of the song by The Platters, for Federal Records, turned out poorly in 1954. But, after a re-recording the song scored a major hit when it was re-released in 1955. 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.’ ‘Only You’ was the only Platter’s recording on which songwriter and Platter’s manager Ram played the piano. The Platters’ re-release beat out a rival cover version by The Hilltoppers (‘Marianne‘).

“In 1974, Ringo Starr covered ‘Only You’ for his album Goodnight Vienna at the suggestion of John Lennon. Starr’s cover became a #6 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached #1 on the Easy-listening chart in early 1975. 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.”

The Hilltoppers, “Only You” (1955):

The Platters, “Only You” (1955):

Ringo Starr, “Only You” (1974):

Reba McEnitre, “Only You” (1982):

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