All I Could Do Was Cry

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"All I Could Do Was Cry"
Single by Etta James
GenreDoo-wop, R&B, Blues
Songwriter(s)Billy Davis, Berry Gordy, Gwen Gordy

"All I Could Do Was Cry" is a doo-wop/rhythm and blues single recorded in 1960 and released that same year by singer Etta James. It written for James by Chess songwriter Billy Davis, Berry Gordy and his sister Gwen Gordy. The song was said to be inspired by James' former boyfriend Harvey Fuqua dating Davis' former girlfriend, who was Gwen. Gordy and Fuqua later married the same year the song was recorded, which likely added to the tension in James' bluesy vocals. The song eventually peaked at number 2 on the R&B charts and number 33 on the pop charts.[1] James would later re-record the song in the early nineties.

Cover versions[edit]

Ike & Tina Turner released a version of the song on their live album The Ike & Tina Turner Show - Vol. 2 in 1965.[2] They also included another live rendition on their 1969 live album In Person.

Beyoncé Knowles covered the song while filming her role as James in the 2008 film, Cadillac Records.

Chart performance[edit]

Etta James version
Chart (1960) Peak
US Billboard 100 33
US Billboard R&B Singles 2

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 290.
  2. ^ "Ike & Tina Turner – The Ike & Tina Turner Show - Vol. 2". Discogs.