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"
Released May 1955
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded April 26, 1955
Genre Doo-wop
Length 2:36
Label Mercury
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' version[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-one 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 a white band called 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".

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"
Released 11 November 1974 (US)
15 November 1974 (UK)
Format Vinyl record 7"
Length 3:16
Label Apple
Songwriter(s) Buck Ram
Producer(s) Richard Perry
Ringo Starr singles chronology
"Oh My My"
"Only You"
"No No Song"
"Oh My My"
"Only You"
"No No Song"
Goodnight Vienna track listing

In 1974, Ringo Starr covered this song (b/w "Call Me") for his album Goodnight Vienna at the suggestion of John Lennon. This version was released as a single on 11 November in the US,[nb 1][6] and it became a number six hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one on the easy listening chart in early 1975.[7] It was released in the UK on 15 November.[nb 2][8] Lennon plays acoustic guitar on the track, and recorded a guide vocal which was kept by producer Richard Perry. Ringo did the spoken recitation on the repeat of the first half of the song. Ringo's version was in a 2/44 compared to the Platters' version of the song. 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]

  • A version was recorded in 1956 by the Welsh-born singer Malcolm Vaughan. Also in 1956, an instrumental version by Franck Pourcel was released & sold over 3 million copies by 1959. Carl Perkins recorded the song in 1957, on his "Dance Album" record.

Use in media[edit]

The song is included on the soundtracks of the films American Graffiti, The Delinquents, and Mr. Destiny.

The song plays on a radio accidentally left on all night by Clark Kent (Jeff East) in film Superman: The Movie. However, between the crackle of the radio and the sound created by the green crystal hidden in the Kents' barn, the song is barely discernible.

The song is in the 1991 film Hot Shots! starring Charlie Sheen. The song features in the 1994 Michael Hui film Tie ban shao (Teppanyaki).

The song is also featured in the 1993 Mike Myers cult classic So I Married An Axe Murderer. Partly sung in French by Nancy Travis during the wedding ceremony scene.

The song was featured heavily in advertising for Network Q during the early 1990s, with the song changed to 'Only Q'[10]

In the 1995 comedy Sgt. Bilko, Country music artist Travis Tritt sings it on the stage. Tritt's version was included on his 1995 album Greatest Hits: From the Beginning.

This song was adapted into Cantonese and Mandarin in the Hong Kong movie A Chinese Odyssey. In the song, Longevity Monk tries to convince the character Joker, who he thinks is the Sun Wukong, to protect him on his travels and put on the Monkey King's golden crown. Instead, Joker beats Longevity Monk over the head with a rod.

Lonestar recorded a cover version for the soundtrack to the film Where the Heart Is.

This song also appears in the 2009 Japanese film Zero Focus.

Filipino actor/singer Sam Milby sang a rock-version of the song which served as the theme song for the Filipino-dubbed airing of the Korean drama series Only You and later served as the theme song to the Philippine adaptation of the series, starring Milby and airing on ABS-CBN in the Philippines and The Filipino Channel worldwide.[citation needed]

The Platters' version appears at the close of an episode in season 3 (2005) of "Cold Case".

The song is performed by Diana Boyle in a casino lounge in the 2013 film Last Vegas starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline.

During the credits for the 2011 videogame Batman: Arkham City, the Joker, voiced by Mark Hamill, can be heard singing the song. The original version by The Platters appears in the game's 2015 sequel Batman: Arkham Knight where its vinyl record is played when the Joker takes control of Batman's mind.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ US Apple 1876[6]
  2. ^ UK Apple R 6000[8]
  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. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 183. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 230. 
  8. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 182. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]