I (Who Have Nothing)

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"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Ben E. King
from the album Young Boy Blues
B-side"The Beginning of Time"
ReleasedJune 1963
Format7"
GenreSoul
Length2:30
LabelAtco
Songwriter(s)Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Producer(s)Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Ben E. King singles chronology
"How Can I Forget"
(1963)
"I (Who Have Nothing)"
(1963)
"I Could Have Danced All Night"
(1963)

"I (Who Have Nothing)" (sometimes billed as "I Who Have Nothing") is an English language cover of the Italian song "Uno Dei Tanti" (English: "One of Many"), with music by Carlo Donida and lyrics by Giulio "Mogol" Rapetti.[1] In its initial release, "Uno Dei Tanti" was released by Joe Sentieri in 1961.

The English lyrics for "I (Who Have Nothing)" were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also produced the first English language release, performed by Ben E. King in 1963. The record used the backing track from Joe Sentieri's record (orchestra conducted by Luis Enriquez Bacalov).


Notable cover versions[edit]

In the US, the Ben E. King version reached #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and #16 on the Hot R&B Singles chart. [2] Other versions which reached the Billboard charts were performed by Terry Knight and the Pack in 1966 (#46), Liquid Smoke in 1970 (#82), Warhorse in 1972 and Sylvester in 1979 (#40), with a disco-flavored version. The most popular version in the United States was by Tom Jones, which peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Easy Listening chart.[3] This version also peaked at #11 in Cashbox.

Other cover versions[edit]

Shirley Bassey released the song (produced by George Martin) in September 1963, where it reached #6 on UK charts. She performs the song at almost every live concert she gives, and it is on many of her compilation albums, including I Am What I Am with the London Symphony Orchestra, and her 1989 album La Mujer where she sings it in Spanish ("Hoy No Tengo Nada"). She has also been instrumental in making Donida's music known to English-speaking audiences through arranging for translations from the Italian, having performed with the composer conducting his own music on Italian television.[4][5] Coincidentally, also in 1963, Mexican singer, Enrique Guzmán, recorded the song in Spanish, where it was titled, "Uno de tantos" (One of Many).

Other versions of "I (Who Have Nothing)" include recordings by: Blue Mink, Brook Benton, Petula Clark, Joe Cocker, Dee Dee (nl), Neil Diamond, Patti Drew, Kerry Ellis, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Candice Glover, Bob Guillaume, Jedi Mind Tricks, Googoosh, Katherine Jenkins, Gladys Knight, Terry Knight and the Pack, Al Kooper, Ijahman Levi, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Liza Minnelli, Donny Osmond, Searchers, Status Quo as the Spectres, Normie Rowe, Haley Reinhart, Jordin Sparks, Mary Byrne, Luther Vandross & Martha Wash, Dee Dee Warwick, Puddles Pity Party and Liquid Smoke.

Cover versions in other languages[edit]

Song in other media[edit]

  • In the fall of 1970, Tom Jones lip-synched to his hit recording on a highly rated Raquel Welch television special.
  • The song was included in the musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe, the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history.
  • The song can be heard in the HBO television series The Sopranos.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Second Hand Songs - Song:Uno dei tanti - Joe Sentieri". Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 325.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 131.
  4. ^ "The Songs of Shirley Bassey: Song Info". Archived from the original on 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  5. ^ BBC episode of Biography (ca. 2000)
  6. ^ Liner notes, Marinella - I Marinella Tragouda Megales Kyries, Minos EMI: 478135, 1992

External links[edit]