The Everly Brothers – Let It Be Me

When I think of the Everly Brothers this is not the first song that springs to my mind but it is a lovely ballad by them. The melody of this song is beautiful. It is a reworking of a French song recorded in 1955 by Gilbert Becaud called Je T’Appartiens.

The song peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100, #13 in the UK in 1960.

Just before this became a hit, The Everly Brothers left their original label, Cadence Records, and signed with Warner Brothers for a $100,000 bonus, which was huge at the time.

From Songfacts

The first English version of this song was released in 1957 by an actress named Jill Corey, who recorded it with Jimmy Carroll and his orchestra. This version went to #57 in 1957, two years before The Everly Brothers version. 

Don Everly heard an instrumental rendition on the 1959 album Chet Atkins In Hollywood and fell in love with the melody. When he found out there were lyrics, he brought the song to producer Archie Bleyer. Wesley Rose, owner of the publishing company Acuff-Rose that signed the Everly Brothers as songwriters and connected them with Bleyer’s Cadence label, sparred with Bleyer over the tune but lost. Don recalled: “I went to Archie and told him I wanted to do it with strings. Wesley just sat there pouting through the whole session like a kid.”

This was one of the first pop songs to use a string section – eight violins and a cello were used. It was also the first Everly Brothers song to use strings.

This was the first Everly Brothers song they did not record in Nashville. It was done in New York.

In America, six other versions of this song charted in the ’60s:

Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (#5, 1964)
Arthur Prysock (#124, 1966)
Nino Tempo & April Stevens (#127, 1968)
Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry (#36, 1969)

Willie Nelson returned the song to the charts in 1982 when he took it to #40.

Bob Dylan recorded this on his 1970 album Self Portrait. We asked Ron Cornelius, who played guitar on the album, why Dylan recorded it. He replied: “No one would be being truthful with you to tell you what was ever in Bob Dylan’s mind. No Way.”

Gilbert Becaud – Je T’Appartiens

Let It Be Me

I bless the day I found you
I want to stay around you
And so I beg you, let it be me

Don’t take this heaven from one
If you must cling to someone
Now and forever, let it be me

Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be

So never leave me lonely
Tell me you love me only
And that you’ll always let it be me

Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be

So never leave me lonely
Tell me you love me only
And that you’ll always let it be me