Only You (And You Alone)

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"Only You (And You Alone)"
The Platters - Only You single.jpg
Mercury hit version
Single by The Platters
from the album The Platters (Original recording) & The Fabulous Platters (Re-recording)
B-side"Bark, Battle and Ball"
ReleasedJune 1955
RecordedApril 26, 1955
Songwriter(s)Buck Ram

"Only You (And You Alone)" (often shortened to "Only You") is a pop song composed by Buck Ram.[1] It was originally recorded by The Platters with lead vocals by Tony Williams in 1955.[2]

The Platters versions[edit]

The Platters first recorded the song for Federal Records on May 20, 1954, but the recording was not released. In 1955, after moving to Mercury Records, the band re-recorded the song (on April 26) and it scored a major hit when it was released in May. In November that year, Federal Records released the original recording as a single (B-side - "You Made Me Cry") which sold poorly.[3] Platters bass singer Herb Reed later recalled how the group hit upon its successful version: "We tried it so many times, and it was terrible. One time we were rehearsing in the car... and the car jerked. Tony went 'O-oHHHH-nly you.' We laughed at first, but when he sang that song—that was the sign we had hit on something."[4] According to Buck Ram, Tony Williams' voice "broke" in rehearsal, but they decided to keep this effect in the recording. This was the only Platters recording on which songwriter and manager Ram played the piano.[2]

The song held strong in the number 1 position on the U.S. R & B charts for seven weeks, and hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[5] It remained there for 30 weeks, beating out a rival cover version by The Hilltoppers. When the Platters track, "The Great Pretender" (which eventually surpassed the success of "Only You"), was released in the UK as Europe's first introduction to The Platters, "Only You" was included on the flipside. In the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock, The Platters participated with both songs, "Only You" and "The Great Pretender".

The Platters re-recorded a slightly longer version of the song for Musicor Records in 1966, which features on the album I Love You 1,000 Times (MM 2091).


Chart (1955–1957) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 4
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[7] 5
US Best Sellers in Stores (Billboard)[8] 5
US Rhythm & Blues Best Sellers in Stores (Billboard)[9] 1

The Hilltoppers version[edit]

The Hilltoppers released their version of the song as a Dot Records single in 1955. It reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 3 in the UK.[10]

Franck Pourcel version[edit]

"Only You"
Single by Franck Pourcel
B-side"Rainy Night In Paris"
ReleasedMarch 1959
GenreEasy listening
Songwriter(s)Buck Ram
Producer(s)Ande Rand

An instrumental version by Franck Pourcel was a hit single in 1959, and sold more than 5 million copies.[11] Pourcel's version spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 9,[12] while reaching number 3 on Canada's CHUM Hit Parade,[13] and number 18 on Billboard's Hot R&B Sides.[14][15]

Ringo Starr version[edit]

"Only You"
Only You Ringo Starr single cover.jpg
Standard picture sleeve
Single by Ringo Starr
from the album Goodnight Vienna
B-side"Call Me"
Released11 November 1974 (US)
15 November 1974 (UK)
Songwriter(s)Buck Ram
Producer(s)Richard Perry
Ringo Starr singles chronology
"Oh My My"
"Only You"
"No No Song"

In 1974, Ringo Starr covered this song for his album Goodnight Vienna at the suggestion of John Lennon. This version was released as a single (b/w "Call Me") on 11 November in the US,[nb 1][16] and it became a number six hit on the US Billboard best seller chart and reached number one on the Easy Listening chart in early 1975.[17] It was released in the UK on 15 November.[nb 2][18] Lennon plays acoustic guitar on the track, and recorded a guide vocal which was kept by producer Richard Perry. Harry Nilsson sings harmony vocals and appears with Starr in the amusing music video filmed on top of the Capitol Records Building in Los Angeles. Lennon's vocal version appears on his Anthology box set, in 1998.

Other notable covers[edit]


  • Dallara, the first Italian shouter (in Italian: urlatore), and his music were influenced by the triplet pattern (in Italian: stile terzinato) that had been introduced in Italy by the Platters in "Only You", and can be heard in their songs such as "Come prima".[25]
  • In the video game Far Cry 5, the song features prominently as a cult brainwashing trigger.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ US Apple 1876[16]
  2. ^ UK Apple R 6000[18]
  1. ^ For copyright reasons, Ram, who was registered with ASCAP, also added one of his pen names, Ande Rand.[citation needed]
  2. ^ a b Buck Ram interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  3. ^ Goldberg, Marv (2008). "The Platters". Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Herb Reed (Obituary)". The Telegraph. June 6, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 463.
  6. ^ "The Platters – Only You (And You Alone)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "The Platters – Only You (And You Alone)" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  8. ^ "Best Sellers in Stores]". Billboard. November 5, 1955. p. 34.
  9. ^ "Best Sellers in Stores]". Billboard. November 12, 1955. p. 124.
  10. ^ "Hilltoppers". The Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ Strictly Instrumental", Billboard. July 8, 1972. p. F 4. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Hot 100 - Franck Pourcel's French Fiddles Only You Chart History, Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade", CHUM. Week of May 25, 1959. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  14. ^ Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Franck Pourcel's French Fiddles Only You Chart History, Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  15. ^ "Hot R&B Sides", Billboard. June 15, 1959. p. 39. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 183. ISBN 9780753508435.
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 230.
  18. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 182. ISBN 9780753508435.
  19. ^ Brenda Lee - Only You, Ultratop. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Brenda Lee - Only You, Ultratop. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  21. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  22. ^ Hot 100 - Bobby Hatfield Only You (and You Alone) Chart History, Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  23. ^ Peat, Charlie. "Former singer inspired to write more music after 40-year-old song proves a hit on YouTube". Hendon and Finchley Times. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  24. ^ a b Stein Ingebrigtsen - Bare du, Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  25. ^ Fini, Massimo (2021). "Ma il vero rivoluzionario fu Tony Dallara" (in Italian). Retrieved March 29, 2021.

External links[edit]