J.D. Souther – You’re Only Lonely

This song has always stuck with me. I have a special place for it. J.D. Souther was influenced by the Roy Orbinson song Only The Lonely. This title fits some today in what all of us are going through. You know sometimes when you say “all of us” you mean maybe your state, district, or country…but now it truly means all of us.

J.D. Souther collaborated on many of The Eagles’ hits, including New Kid in Town. J.D. Souther had some talented friends. In the early days of his career, Souther shared an apartment with future Eagles member Glenn Frey in Los Angeles. Downstairs was Jackson Browne. Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt and many others from that scene hung around, too.

“You’re Only Lonely” was originally released in 1979, and was No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. It peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100.

J.D. Souther talks about how Linda Ronstadt gave him good advice: “Very pointedly, she said, ‘Don’t try to rewrite the songs.’ I mean, she encouraged me to do the record because I defer to her advice quite often,” Souther says. “She really has just practically infallible taste in songs. She’s got what jazz players call ‘big ears.’ So I just kind of sat back and approached it as though the songs had been chosen for me by someone else.

From Songfacts

A #1 Adult Contemporary hit for 5 weeks, Souther told us that Roy Orbison, who had a hit with “Only The Lonely,” was a big influence on this song. Said Souther: “I was a little kid when I first heard Roy Orbison, but he was magic. He’s the guy that you turned out the lights and listened to his records by yourself – or with a girl – because he was just completely other-worldly. He had sarcastic and adventurous songs and great arrangements, and then that beautiful, almost operatic voice. Beautiful, natural deep echo on it. He is one of half a dozen or so rockabilly musicians that I really loved. When I was in junior high school was the first time I really started listening to that.

But then I started playing drums all the time, and I got so fascinated with jazz, I didn’t really think much about singing or making rock and roll records for quite a few years. The first song I ever heard called ‘Only the Lonely’ was this song that Frank Sinatra sang. It’s a Johnny Mercer song; it’s on a Sinatra album called Songs for Only the Lonely. There are a lot of songs with that name. But the beat that I used for ‘You’re Only Lonely’ is that rockabilly beat. That sort of break in it was taken from another Roy Orbison record called ‘I’m Hurtin” that I really love.”

When You’re Only Lonely

When the world is ready to fall on your little shoulders
And, when you’re feeling lonely and small,
You need somebody there to hold you;
You can call out my name

When you’re only lonely;
Now, don’t you ever be ashamed;
You’re only lonely.

When you need somebody around on the nights that try you
I was there when you were a queen
And I’ll be the last one there beside you;
So you can call out my name

When you’re only lonely;
Now, don’t you ever be ashamed;
You’re only lonely. (You’re only lonely)
(You’re only lonely) (You’re only lonely)

Ooh, When the world is ready to fall on your little shoulders
And, when you’re feeling lonely and small,
You need somebody there to hold you;
So don’t you ever be ashamed
When you’re only lonely;
You can call out my name

When you’re only lonely; (You’re only lonely)
When you’re only lonely; (You’re only lonely)
Ooh, it’s no crime,
Darlin’, we got lots of time,
Woh, woh, (You’re only lonely)
Woh, woh, woh, (You’re only lonely)
No there’s nothing wrong with you,
Darlin, I get lonely too.
(You’re only lonely)(You’re only lonely)
So, if you need me, (You’re only lonely)
All you’ve gotta do is call me
Well, you’re only lonely
(You’re only lonely)(You’re only lonely)
Ooh, ooh, (You’re only lonely)

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

33 thoughts on “J.D. Souther – You’re Only Lonely”

  1. Maybe its because of my feelings about The Eagles– but we finally disagree on something lol…. Off topic- Don’t know if you have MLB network or not but this evening they are showing an hour long program on the 1988 Dodgers- followed by Game 1 1988 World Series… thought that might interest you!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That was certainly one of the most unlikely ever endings- Kirk could barely walk. I always thought that the series ended on that one swing that ended Game 1. Gibson with one at bat should have been the series MVP.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That homerun took the fight out of the A’s. The Dodgers had no offense to speak of…but they did have pitching.
        I’ve watched that series since. I still can’t believe they won.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very good song, I always liked it. Best “not an Eagle , Eagles song” ever, LOL – I think it’s only recently that I came to realize he was never actually IN the Eagles, just a frequent collaborator with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. on that MLB topic you and Hans were talking about– this was the year I ALMOST splurged and got the service. Man, am I glad I didn’t now. I mean, old classic games can be fun to see again perhaps, but boy it would get tiresome before long I think. I know the Blue Jays have replayed almost every playoff game they ever played already, apparently each one compacted down to a 1-hour package, I’m told , which would be a little annoying. Are you guys watching the service much?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am on the MLB… My wife knows it’s the only channel that is a must for me.
      It’s fun for me to watch an older game. I’ve watched a lot of the old World Series not only on MLB but on youtube…and at one time I liked football…I’ve seen a lot of the older ones there.

      Like

    1. What a group to hang with… I’ve read where they hung out at the Troubadour… Gregg Allman also hung with Browne some earlier. That is a strange pairing but they were really good friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, on the surface, Jackson and Gregg sound like strange bed fellows.

        Apparently, Gregg really appreciated singer-songwriter type of artists and especially Jackson. It’s not a coincidence he invited him to sing on his final studio album “Southern Blood” when he was fully aware his days were counted. It’s a deeply emotional fantastic album, in my opinion.

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      1. He has such a fantastic voice.
        ‘And sane through this’ lol
        I’m so accustomed to entertaining myself that it doesn’t feel much different to life as I knew it. I’m trying to pay less attention to the news as that can put one into a bad state of mind, but otherwise doing plenty of exercise, watching movies (Saw North by Northwest last night), playing games online, cooking, studying Spanish. It’s all good. I hope you and your family are well too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m enjoying being a little lazy at home…I really am. I’m binge watching some shows…I don’t enjoy the situation of course.
        I don’t watch the news now. I know what it is and it only depresses the hell out of me. As far as I know it’s 1975 and I’m watching some shows from around that time.

        I don’t know if that is healthy or not but I’ve had enough of the news.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling that way about the news. I’ll happy listen to a podcast about it which has a scientific bent like Peter Attia, Sam Harris or Brett Weinstein. But that is as far as it goes for now.
        Enjoy your lazy time. I’m sure its deserving. I like the advice that I heard from someone recently about quarantining. Just do everything a lot slower..everything and enjoy the calmness that brings.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yea because when the world starts spinning again we won’t have this time. I’ve basically shut myself off from the world. I don’t even read about baseball on the net….because this stuff is mentioned.

        Like

    1. I thought of you when I posted this…For some odd reason I knew you would like it…call it a gut feeling lol.
      This is a fun one to post…no a lot of info…as well as my Paul in Nashville post

      Like

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