Shame on You (Cooley song)

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"Shame on You"
Single by Spade Cooley & His Western Band
B-side "A Pair of Broken Hearts"
Released January 15, 1945 (1945-01-15)
Format 10-inch 78 rpm record
Genre Western swing
Label OKeh
Writer(s) Spade Cooley

"Shame on You" is a Western Swing song written by Spade Cooley and became his signature song. The title comes from the refrain that starts each verse:

Shame, shame on you.
Shame, shame on you.

In the song, the singer is rebuking his straying girlfriend.

First recorded by Spade Cooley, it was released January 15, 1945 (OKeh 6731). With vocals by Tex Williams, it reached number one, spending 31 weeks on the charts.[1] The "B" side, "A Pair of Broken Hearts"—also a hit—reached number eight. The recording was Cooley's first after taking over the band from Jimmy Wakely, and the first of an unbroken chain of six hits which led to him being on the cover of Billboard in March 1946.[2] "Shame On You" was the first song whose rights were owned by the Hill & Range publishing company, which later grew to become a dominant force in country music.[3]

Later in 1945, "Shame on You" was recorded by The Lawrence Welk Orchestra with Red Foley. Their version also went to number one on the country charts. The B-side of the song, entitled, "At Mail Call Today" went to number three on the country charts.[4] Coast Records, based in Los Angeles released a version by Walt Shrum and His Colorado Hillbillies.[5] "Shame on You" has also been recorded by several other Western swing bands.


  1. ^ Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits.
  2. ^ Lange, Smile When You Call Me a Hillbilly, p. 109: "In March 1946, Cooley made the cover of Billboard; an accompanying story reported his drawing over twelve thousand patrons a weekend at the Rancho [Riverside Rancho ballroom]."
  3. ^ Autobiography of Julian Aberbach
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 375. 
  5. ^ Billboard Aug 4, 1945. page 19.


  • Komorowski, Adam. Spade Cooley: Swingin' The Devil's Dream. (Proper PVCD 127, 2003) booklet.
  • Lange, Jeffrey J.Smile When You Call Me a Hillbilly: Country Music's Struggle for Respectability, 1939-1954. ISBN 0-8203-2623-2

Preceded by
"I'm Losing My Mind Over You" by Al Dexter
Most Played Juke Box Folk Records
number one single by Spade Cooley

March 31, 1945
April 28, 1945
Succeeded by
"Smoke on The Water" by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
"At Mail Call Today" by Gene Autry
Preceded by
"Sioux City Sue" by Dick Thomas
Most Played Juke Box Folk Records
number one single by Lawrence Welk with Red Foley

November 24, 1945
Succeeded by
"Sioux City Sue" by Dick Thomas