You Don't Know Me (Eddy Arnold song)

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"You Don't Know Me"
You Don't Know Me cover art.jpg
Single by Eddy Arnold
B-side"The Rockin' Mockin' Bird"
Format45 vinyl single
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Eddy Arnold
Cindy Walker

"You Don't Know Me" is a song written by Cindy Walker based on a title and storyline given to her by Eddy Arnold in 1955. "You Don't Know Me" was first recorded by Arnold that year and released as a single on April 21, 1956 on RCA Victor.[1] The first version of the song to make the Billboard charts was by Jerry Vale in 1956, peaking at #14 on the pop chart. Arnold's version charted two months later, released as an RCA Victor single, 47-6502, backed with "The Rockin' Mockin' Bird", which reached #10 on the Billboard country chart. Cash Box magazine, which combined all best-selling versions at one position, included a version by Carmen McRae that never appeared in the Billboard Top 100 Sides listing.


In his book Eddy Arnold: Pioneer of the Nashville Sound, author Michael Streissguth describes how the song came to be:[2]

Cindy Walker, who had supplied Eddy with "Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me" (a number one country record in 1949 and Eddy's first Cindy Walker release), recalled discussing the idea for "You Don't Know Me" with Eddy as she was leaving one of Nashville's annual disc-jockey conventions. "I went up to the Victor suite to tell Steve Sholes good-bye," she explained, "and just as I was leaving, Eddy came in the door."

Walker remembered him saying, "I got a song title for you... 'You Don't Know Me.'"

"But I know you," teased Walker.

"This is serious, replied Eddy, who proceeded to outline his idea.

The songwriter promised to let the idea stew in her head for a while. And soon, she remembered, the lyrics tumbled onto the page. "The song just started singing. It sort of wrote itself..."

Notable recorded versions[edit]

The best-selling version of the song is by Ray Charles, who took it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1962, after releasing the song on his #1 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. It was kept from the #1 spot by Sheila by Tommy Roe.[3] This version also topped the "Easy listening" chart for three weeks in 1962, and was used in the 1993 comedy film Groundhog Day. The song was the 12th number one country hit for Mickey Gilley in 1981.[4]

The song has been performed or recorded by hundreds of artists, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Willie Nelson. Charles re-recorded the song with Diana Krall on his #1 album of duets, Genius Loves Company, the only song common to both of Charles' two #1 albums. It was sung by Meryl Streep in the 1990 film Postcards from the Edge, by John Legend in the 2007 Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "The Bat Mitzvah", by Robert Downey Jr. in the 1998 film Two Girls and a Guy, and by Lizzy Caplan in the 2013 Masters of Sex episode "Phallic Victories".

Artists that released versions of the song:


Eddy Arnold[edit]

Chart (1956) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 10

Jerry Vale[edit]

Chart (1956) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 14

Lenny Welch[edit]

Chart (1960) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 45
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[10] 28

Ray Charles[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 2
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[12] 5
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[13] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 9

Elvis Presley[edit]

Chart (1968) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 44
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[16] 34

Ray Pennington[edit]

Chart (1970) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 61

Mickey Gilley[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[18] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 55
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[20] 12
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[21] 1
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[22] 6


  1. ^ Second Hand Songs: You Don't Know Me.
  2. ^ "Eddy Arnold: Pioneer of the Nashville Sound". Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 137.
  5. ^ "Jeanne Black, A Little But Lonely". Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  6. ^ "Puddles Pity Party - You Don't Know Me". 3 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Eddy Arnold Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Jerry Vale Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Lenny Welch Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Lenny Welch Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Ray Charles Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Ray Charles Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Ray Charles Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Ray Pennington Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Mickey Gilley Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Mickey Gilley Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Mickey Gilley Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 0385." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  22. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 0402." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.

External links[edit]