A Song for You" is a song written and originally recorded by rock singer-songwriter and pianist Leon Russell for his first solo album , which was released in 1970 on Shelter Records. A slow, pained plea for forgiveness and understanding from an estranged lover, the tune is one of Russell's best-known compositions. It has been performed and recorded by an array of artists, spanning many musical genres. Leon Russell Elton John has called the song an American classic. [1 ]
One of the first versions of the song that brought it broader attention was by
Andy Williams, whose single peaked at #29 on the adult contemporary chart and #82 on the in 1971. Billboard Hot 100 [2 ]
Other versions [ edit ]
Joe Cocker: From his 1976 album . Stingray
Carpenters: not released as a single, it served as the title song for the duo's 1972 album A Song for You
Helen Reddy: From her 1971 debut album I Don't Know How to Love Him
Donny Hathaway: From his 1971 album . Considered one of his Donny Hathaway signature songs.
Merry Clayton: From her 1971 self-titled album.
Doc Severinsen: Trumpet solo from his 1973 album Rhapsody for Now!.
Blue Swede, known in their native Sweden as , covered the song on their 1973 album Björn Skifs och Blåblus Pinewood Rally. [4 ]
Dusty Springfield recorded the song for possible inclusion on but her unfinished recording remained shelved for almost 15 years until first issued on the Mercury two-CD compilation See All Her Faces Something Special, April 1, 1996. Producers: Johnny Franz and Dusty Springfield.
Michael Ball: on his 1993 album Always.
David Cassidy: From his 2003 album A Touch of Blue
Stephanie: Sang this song for the Japanese movie in 2009. This song was released on the movie's soundtrack. Pride
Angela Aki: Track 3 on her indie mini-album . Her Japanese lyrics do not correspond to One Leon Russell's.
Carmen McRae performed this song on her "Great American Songbook" suite.
Aretha Franklin: From the album released in 1974 Let Me in Your Life
Cher: From the 1972 album . Foxy Lady
S.E.S.: From the 2001 album . Surprise
Vince Jones contributed a version for Kate Ceberanos 1994 album, Kate Ceberano and Friends.
Nancy Wilson (jazz singer): From the 1987 album Forbidden Lover.
Ray Charles: He recorded a poignant version of the song on his 1993 album My World. Released as a single, it reached #4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, and won him a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Charles also performed the song at New York's Beacon Theatre on April 9, 2003, as part of Willie Nelson's 70th birthday tribute (released on DVD as Willie Nelson and Friends: Live & Kickin). Leon Russell sang the first verse, Willie Nelson sang the second verse, and Charles sang the remainder of the song in this unforgettable performance. Nelson, who stood nearby during Charles' performance, was moved to tears. '
Peggy Lee: on her final album for Capitol Records, (1972). Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota
Elliott Yamin: performed the song in both his audition for and in one of his final performances. It was also named number three in American Idol Entertainment Weekly 's 10 all-time best American Idol performances. The song is also on Yamin's debut album.
Ben Barnett, of the band Kind of Like Spitting recorded a cover in 2005.
Michael Bublé: on his album . Bublé frequently ends his concert with the song. During his It's Time Crazy Love Tour, he sang the majority of the song to the arena without a microphone.
Marc Broussard: recorded a live version of this song during a concert tour.
Willie Nelson: on his 1973 album . He also performed it in the movie Shotgun Willie , and it appears on the movie's soundtrack. Honeysuckle Rose
Mavis Staples recorded a version in collaboration with British Electric Foundation, which was included on their 1991 album Music of Quality and Distinction Volume Two
Damion Hall: on his 1994 album as a duet with his brother Straight To The Point Aaron Hall.
Natalie Cole: on the 1999 album Snowfall on the Sahara; Michelle Kwan skated to it during exhibitions.
City High: on their 2001 self-titled album.
Herbie Hancock: released in 2005 with vocals by Christina Aguilera; it received airplay on U.S. smooth jazz radio and was also nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 2006 Grammy Awards. The duo performed a live rendition at the ceremony that year.
Whitney Houston: performed for the troops and their families returning from the Gulf War on March 31, 1991. The performance can be seen on (1991). She recorded the song for her 2009 album, Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston . I Look to You
Simply Red: on the 2005 album and released as part of a double A-side single in January 2006. Simplified Tony Lewis: recorded the song as the opener of his 2001 CD
Kate Ceberano: performed as part of her concerts with the Adelaide and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras, appearing on the 2006 CD and DVD release Kate Ceberano Live with the WASO. Contemporary jazz saxophonist
Michael Lington released an album entitled A Song for You that featured a cover of this song. [5 ] [6 ]
Jakob Sveistrup: this Danish performer's self-titled debut album included a cover version of the song.
Gavin DeGraw: did a performance of the song for StrippedMusic.com.
Jamie Oldaker: on the 2005 album Jamie Oldaker's Mad Dogs & Okies, featuring Joe & Ellen.
Nolwenn Leroy: has included a performance of the song within her 2006–2007 Histoires Naturelles tour.
Bobby Brown: performed the song on his 1991 tour as well as his tour with Whitney Houston in 1997 during the . Pacific Rim Tour
Chris Richardson: performed the song in his auditions for American Idol in Season 6.
Gerald Levert: performed on the 1998 New York Undercover: A Night at Natalie's soundtrack.
Betty Wright: performed it live and it is featured on her release Betty Wright Live in 1978.
Elton John: sang it as an intro to a medley of his own songs " Blue Eyes" and " I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" on his 1986 tour. He did not play piano during these performances; rather, he deferred the instrumental duties to keyboardist Fred Mandel.
Bizzy Bone: on the 2008 album of the same name; produced a modern take on the song with fellow rapper DMX and singer Chris Notez.
Sylvester James: on his 1979 live album Living Proof (double LP), did a six-minute medley containing this song. Risie Mayo: on the Eleventh Gala Night of
Pinoy Dream Academy: Little Dreamers. Shirley Horn: Live version titled "A Song For You / Goodbye" on the album
I Love You, Paris.
Leon Jackson: on his first album . Right Now
Neal Schon: guitarist of Journey, on his instrumental album Voice.
Jaye P. Morgan: the 50s chanteuse had her final Billboard chart song in 1971 with this tune ("Bubbling Under #105)
Ricky Braddy: performed it on the eighth season of American Idol during the semi-finals.
Matt Goss: provided his own version of the song as a free download on his Website.
Petula Clark: Recorded in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, 1974. Recently released on the compilation Open Your Heart.
Sanne Salomonsen: recorded a cover version for her 1998 album In a New York Minute.
Donna Summer: often sang this as the encore during tours from 1977 to 1979, and again in 1983. Several clips are on YouTube.
Beyoncé Knowles: performed the arrangement made popular by Donny Hathaway regularly during her second solo world tour.
Kris Allen: performed it in his first audition on the eighth season of American Idol.
Viktor Lazlo: on her CD Saga.
Zakk Wylde: Performed a rendition at the November 19, 2009, Gibson / Les Paul Tribute concert held at The Ryman auditorium in Nashville.
Kalil Wilson: On the album (2009). Easy to Love
Phil Driscoll: On his 1992 album The Picture Changes.
The Temptations: Title cut from their award-winning album . Performed frequently in their live shows prior to the recording on the album. A Song for You
Kirk Whalum: On album Everything Is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway (2010). Elkie Brooks: On the album
John Adeleye: On , Live Episode 2 (2010). The X Factor
Neil Diamond: On his cover album Dreams (2010).
Peter Gallagher: On his 2005 album 7 Days in Memphis. A duet between
James Taylor and Allison Janney in 2011 on the television series . Mr. Sunshine
Amy Winehouse included in 2011 posthumous album (recorded 2009). Lioness: Hidden Treasures Niels H.P.: On Danish group
Ridin' Thumb's debut album Different Moves, Different Grooves (recorded in 1994). The Left: On their
Gas Mask album (recorded in 2010), on the track "The Melody".
Jesse Campbell: on talent show during the first week of The Voice Season 2's Blind Auditions in 2012.
American Idol season 11 finalist Heejun Han performed the song during the Top 9 week. His performance received a standing ovation from Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.
Jam Hsiao: On his 2012 English album Mr. Jazz - A Song For You Countless other artists have also recorded the song, including
Vikki Carr, B.J. Thomas, Barbara Cook, Celine Dion, Ernestine Anderson, Kenny Rankin, Peabo Bryson, and Woody Herman.
Stacy Francis sang the song during the bootcamp stage of . The audition was not aired entirely. Instead, the verse "'Cause my love is in there hiding" was shown. The judges said that it was an over-the-top performance. She still got through. The X Factor USA
Bon Iver sang the song live on , mixing it with Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 smash “ I Can’t Make You Love Me”. Maika Maile from the band There For Tomorrow. He uploaded a video on YouTube on March 13, 2013. He dedicated this song to his mother.
Herbie Hancock & Christina Aguilera version [ edit ]
"A Song for You"
Song by Herbie Hancock & Christina Aguilera from the album Possibilities
Herbie Hancock, Jessica Hancock, John Alagía, Bob Brockman, Yaron Fuchs, Bryce Goggin, Steven "Steven J." Jordan, Rob Lucas, Alan Mintz, Greg Phillinganes, Paul Simon
This version performed by
Herbie Hancock features pop/ R&B singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera. Released in August 2005, from Hancock's 45th studio album , the song was considered a classic cover. Aguilera and Hancock were nominated for the Possibilities 48th Grammy Awards in category " Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals".
Bizzy Bone featuring DMX & Chris Notez [ edit ]
"A Song for You", which features DMX and Chris Notez, is the first official single from rapper, Bizzy Bone's album of the same name. It is sampled from Donny Hathaway's 1971 rendition.
Music video [ edit ]
The music video for "A Song for You" included Bizzy Bone, DMX and Chris Notez; the music video includes Chris Notez playing a grand piano in front of a big manor singing his lyrics in the chorus, Bizzy Bone, DMX and sometimes Chris Notez singing in a dimly lit big room with Bizzy Bone wearing a bright red jacket and DMX wearing a copper brown jacket. Lastly Bizzy Bone is often seen in a suit singing the song in front of a tombstone, which appears to be the gravesite of rapper
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]