Who's Sorry Now? (song)

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"Who's Sorry Now?"
Sheet music cover, 1923
Single by Isham Jones Orchestra
A-side"Swingin' Down the Lane"
PublishedMarch 7, 1923 (1923-03-07) Waterson, Berlin & Snyder, Inc.[1] 1929 Mills Music, Inc.
ReleasedJuly 1923 (1923-07)
RecordedMay 4, 1923 (1923-05-04)[2]
StudioBrunswick Studios, 799 Seventh Avenue, New York City
GenreAmerican Dance Music, Jazz
LabelBrunswick 2438[3]
Composer(s)Ted Snyder
Lyricist(s)Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby
Isham Jones Orchestra singles chronology
"Broken Hearted Melody"
"Who's Sorry Now?"
"When You Walked Out, Someone Else Walked Right In"
Audio sample
Recording of Who's Sorry Now, performed by the Isham Jones Orchestra (1923)

"Who's Sorry Now?" is a popular song with music written by Ted Snyder and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. It was published in 1923[4] as a waltz (3
time). Isham Jones had a hit recording in 1923 with the song arranged as a foxtrot (in 2
time).[5] Later sheet music arrangements, such as the 1946 publication that was a tie-in to the film A Night in Casablanca, were published in 2
time (notated as cut time). Other popular versions in 1923 were by Marion Harris, Original Memphis Five, Lewis James, and Irving Kaufman.

Advertisement featured in Cashbox magazine, 15 February 1958

"Who's Sorry Now?" was featured in the Marx Brothers film A Night in Casablanca (1946) and in the 1950 film Three Little Words, where it was sung by Gloria DeHaven.

Karen Elson with Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks recorded the song for an episode of the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire.

The song gave American singer Connie Francis her major solo debut hit, which in March 1958 reached number 4 on Billboard's Hot 100. The single, which would become Francis's signature record, spent a total of 22 weeks on the Hot 100 – the longest of any of her hits — and was the first of her eight singles to be certified gold in America. In May and June 1958 the single spent six weeks at number one in on the UK singles chart.

The 1923 sound recordings of the song entered the public domain in the United States in 2024.[6]

Connie Francis version[edit]

"Who's Sorry Now?"
Single by Connie Francis
B-side"You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling in Love)"
ReleasedNovember 1957
RecordedOctober 2, 1957
GenreRock and roll
K 12588
Songwriter(s)Ted Snyder, Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby
Producer(s)Harry A. Myerson
Connie Francis singles chronology
"The Majesty Of Love" / "You, My Darlin', You"
"Who's Sorry Now?" / "You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love)"
"I'm Sorry I Made You Cry" / "Lock Up Your Heart"


"Who's Sorry Now?" was recorded in 1957 by Connie Francis, and since then the song has become closely identified with her due to the immense popularity of her version which was her breakout hit. Since 1955, Francis had recorded 20 sides for MGM Records and only one ("The Majesty of Love", a duet with country singer Marvin Rainwater that eventually became a million-selling record) charted at all. Due to her near-complete failure as a recording artist, MGM informed her that her contract would end after one more disc. With her music career on the line, Francis's father suggested she record "Who's Sorry Now". He was convinced that it would have crossover appeal with both older listeners and teenagers if the song were given a modernized sound. Francis strongly objected to the idea on the grounds that selling the youth audience on an almost 35-year-old song was "ridiculous", but she finally agreed to it as a favor to her father.[7] Francis's recording featured an arrangement in 12
time, a rhythm found in contemporaneous 1950s hits including Fats Domino's 1956 recording of the 1940 pop song Blueberry Hill.


Backed with "You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love)", the single was recorded on October 2, 1957. Initial attention was modest and it looked to be as much of a nonfactor as Francis's previous records, but after Dick Clark's championing of it on American Bandstand in January 1958, the single rose to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 that spring, with eventual US sales totaling one million units. In the UK, it was number 1 for six weeks in May and June 1958.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Other notable versions[edit]

The song has been recorded by a number of artists. Among the most prominent are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Library of Congress. Copyright Office. (1923). Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1923 Music For the Year 1923 Vol 18 Part 3. United States Copyright Office. U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  2. ^ "Brunswick matrix 10557-10559. Who's sorry now? / Isham Jones Orchestra - Discography of American Historical Recordings". adp.library.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  3. ^ "BRUNSWICK 78rpm numerical listing discography: 2000 - 2500". www.78discography.com. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  4. ^ Furia, Philip; Lasser, Michael (2006). America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley. CRC Press. p. 36. ISBN 0-415-97246-9. On infrequent occasions Ruby also worked on lyrics. He and Kalmar wrote the words to a Tom Snyder tune they called "Who's Sorry Now?"
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 588. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  6. ^ "Public Domain Day 2024 | Duke University School of Law". web.law.duke.edu.
  7. ^ Ron Roberts: Connie Francis Discography 1955–1975
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 212. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  9. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade - April 7, 1958".
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 214.
  12. ^ "Top 100 1958-04-12". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  13. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1958". Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Top 100 1958 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1958/Top 100 Songs of 1958". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1958". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  17. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 230. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 451. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]