Some Guys Have All the Luck

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"Some Guys Have All the Luck" is a song written by Jeff Fortgang,[1] which has been a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 twice, first by The Persuaders in 1973 reaching #39,[2] then by Rod Stewart in 1984, whose version hit #10. Stewart's version incorporated a vocal refrain from "Ain't Got No Home" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry. The Shakers recorded it for their debut album Yankee Reggae (Elektra, 1976)[3] and released the song as promo-only 45 rpm single.

Fortgang wrote many songs during his three years in the music industry after graduating Yale in 1971, but sold only this one (other than several public service radio spots on topics such as alcoholism and VD). He went on to get a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and still works in the mental health field in the Boston area. The major hit by Stewart arrived after Fortgang was well into his psychology career.[citation needed] While Fortgang would eventually release a solo album in 2013, titled All the Music in the World, consisting of the demos he had created in the 1970s, "Some Guys Have All the Luck" was not one of the tracks.[4]

Other notable cover versions[edit]

Louise Mandrell recorded a country version of the song in 1985, altering the lyrics to the female perspective and changing the title to "Some Girls Have All the Luck". Mandrell's version peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1986. A music video was filmed for the song.

Maxi Priest recorded this on his album Maxi in 1987.[5]

Other artists who have recorded this song include Robert Palmer (UK No. 16 in 1982),[6] whose version had a significantly altered melody and lyrics, as well as a number of reggae artists, including Junior Tucker,[7] Derrick Harriott,[8] Camera Obscura, Jacob Miller,[9] Judge Dread[10] and The Shakers.[3] Rod Stewart began using the Palmer-style arrangement in live concerts in 2003 after Palmer's death as a tribute, with live female backup vocalists and a horn player wearing identical dresses, similar to Palmer's signature music videos.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Some Guys Have All the Luck - Rod Stewart | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  2. ^ "The Persuaders". Billboard. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Yankee Reggae - Shakers | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  4. ^ Jeff Fortgang- All the Music in the World Retrieved 6-26-2015.
  5. ^ "Hit Singles: Top 20 Charts from 1954 to the Present Day" (5th ed.). San Francisco: Backbeat Books via Hal Leonard Corporation. 2004 [1994]. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 415/6. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ "Some Guys Have All the Luck - Junior Tucker | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  8. ^ "Some Guys Have All the Luck - Derrick Harriott | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  9. ^ "Some Guys Have All the Luck - Inner Circle,Jacob Miller | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  10. ^ "Some Guys Have All the Luck - Judge Dread | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-29.