|Single by Bobby Vinton|
|from the album Roses Are Red|
|B-side||"It's Better to Have Loved"|
|Released||16 October 1964|
|Recorded||February 16, 1962|
|Songwriter(s)||Bobby Vinton, Gene Allan|
Arranged and conducted by Robert Mersey
|Bobby Vinton singles chronology|
Vinton began writing the song in the late 1950s, while serving in the Army. The lyrics describe a soldier who is sent overseas and has no communication with his home. The singer laments his condition and wishes for someone to talk with.
The single of Vinton's recording was released just as the Vietnam War was escalating and many soldiers were experiencing a similar situation. Vinton's version was noted for his sobbing emotionally during the second verse. Vinton and Gene Allan later re-teamed to compose "Coming Home Soldier", which reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1967.
Although he turned out to be Epic Records' best selling artist of the 1960s, the record company initially did not display confidence in Vinton. This song was included on his first vocal album, Roses Are Red, but it was not released as a single at that time. Vinton wanted it to be the followup to his first hit, "Roses Are Red," but Epic's executives chose the very similar "Rain Rain Go Away" instead, giving "Mr. Lonely" to Buddy Greco, whom they were grooming as their next big superstar.
Greco's version reached No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on November 10, 1962. After Vinton heard Greco's version on the radio, the executives confessed to him that they felt he was more of a musician and songwriter than a singer. However, in the following months, Vinton's continued success as a vocalist made them reconsider their position.
Many months later, when Epic gave Vinton the choice of which song should be the twelfth and final selection for his greatest-hits album, he chose "Mr. Lonely". Following its inclusion on the album, many radio disc jockeys started to play the track—particularly those who remembered Buddy Greco's version and how Vinton had been prevented from releasing it as a single.
With the song's newfound popularity came a rise in demand for Vinton's version to be released as a single. "Mr. Lonely" became one of Vinton's signature songs and a favorite with servicemen around the world. Epic subsequently built an entire album release around "Mr. Lonely" when it became a hit as a single.
In 1966, Vinton recorded a sequel in which the singer comes home safe, "Coming Home Soldier."
The song spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 1 on December 12, 1964, while reaching No. 3 on Billboard's Middle-Road Singles chart. In Canada, the song reached No. 1 on RPM's "Top 40 & 5" chart. The song also reached No. 2 on New Zealand's "Lever Hit Parade", No. 8 in Australia, and entered into the top 3 in South Africa.
- In Flushed Away, The Slugs sings a cover of the song for 27 seconds.
- In 1965, French rockstar Johnny Hallyday did a version of the song called "Quand revient la nuit", which became a success in France.
- Angel Olsen covered the track for the Kajillionaire soundtrack
- Victor Wood (on his 1971 album of the same title)
- April Boy Regino Tagalog song of Pag-Ibig Mo, Pag-Ibig Ko in (1997)
- Akon would adapt and sample the song for his 2005 single "Lonely".
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||8|
- "Bobby Vinton - Mr. Lonely". Retrieved 30 May 2021.
- Bobby Vinton's All-Time Greatest Hits, Varese (Vintage) Sarabande CD compilation (2003).
- Alan Levy, "His movie got him money but no fame", Life, March 12, 1965. p. 78
- Bobby Vinton "Mr. Lonely" OldieLyrics. Accessed October 18, 2015
- Bob Leszczak, "Who Did It First?: Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists", Rowman & Littlefield, Mar 13, 2014. p. 134
- Bobby Vinton - Chart History - The Hot 100, Billboard.com. Accessed July 28, 2016.
- Buddy Greco - Chart History - The Hot 100, Billboard.com. Accessed October 16, 2015
- "Bobby Vinton - Rain Rain Go Away (Stereo)". YouTube. 2014-08-27. Archived from the original on 2017-01-29. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
- "Bobby Vinton - Mr Lonely (Stereo)". YouTube. 2016-01-02. Archived from the original on 2022-03-07. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
- Bobby Vinton - Chart History - Adult Contemporary, Billboard.com. Accessed October 16, 2015
- "Middle-Road Singles", Billboard, November 21, 1964. p. 33. Accessed October 16, 2015
- "Top 40 & 5", RPM Weekly, Volume 2, Ed. 16, December 14, 1964. Accessed October 16, 2015
- "Lever Hit Parade" 21-Jan-1965 Archived 2022-03-07 at the Wayback Machine, Flavour of New Zealand. Accessed October 17, 2015
- "Hits of the World", Billboard, January 30, 1965. p. 20. Accessed October 17, 2015
- "Hits of the World", Billboard, April 24, 1965. p. 22. Accessed October 17, 2015
- Bobby Vinton - Mr. Lonely, Ultratop. Accessed October 17, 2015
- Martoccio, Angie (2020-09-16). "Angel Olsen Drops Gorgeous Rendition of 'Mr. Lonely' for 'Kajillionaire' Soundtrack". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2023-03-31.
- "Johnny Hallyday – Quand revient la nuit" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
- "Johnny Hallyday – Quand revient la nuit" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2017-11-17.