Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson
"Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel)" is a 1960 song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Produced by Fred Foster for Monument Records it became the first major hit for Orbison. As an operatic rock ballad, it was a sound unheard of at the time, described by the New York Times as expressing "a clenched, driven urgency". It is seen as a seminal event in the evolution of Rock and Roll. Released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in May 1960.
"Only The Lonely" went to #2 on the United States Billboard pop music charts on 25 July 1960 (blocked by Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry") & #14 on the Billboard R&B charts. "Only the Lonely" reached Number One in the United Kingdom, a position it achieved on 20 October 1960, staying there for two weeks (out of a total of 24 weeks spent on the UK singles chart from 28 July 1960).
In 1999, "Only the Lonely" was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it #232 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
(April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988)