ON THIS DATE (52 YEARS AGO)
May 5, 1960 – Roy Orbison: “Only The Lonely (Know The Way I Feel)” b/w “Here Comes That Song Again” (Monument 45-421) 45 single is released in the US.
“Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel)” is a 1960 song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Recorded by Orbison, it became his first major hit. As an operatic rock ballad, it was a sound unheard of at the time, described by the New York Times as expressing “a clenched, driven urgency”. It is seen as a seminal event in the evolution of Rock and Roll. Released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in May, 1960, “Only The Lonely” went to No. 2 on the United States Billboard pop music charts in late-July 1960 and to No. 14 on the Billboard R&B charts. “Only the Lonely” reached Number One in the United Kingdom, a position it achieved on 20 October 1960, staying there for two weeks (out of a total of 24 weeks spent on the UK singles chart from 28 July 1960).
In 1999, “Only the Lonely” was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it #232 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.