Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely

Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely

Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely
Studio album by Frank Sinatra
Released September 1958 (1958-09)
Recorded May 29, June 24, 26, September 11, 1958, at Capitol Studio A, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Genre Vocal jazz, Traditional pop music
Length 59:45
Label Capitol
Producer Voyle Gilmore
Frank Sinatra chronology
This Is Sinatra Volume 2
Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely
Come Dance with Me!

Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958, also known as Sings for Only the Lonely or simply Only the Lonely) is an album by Frank Sinatra.[1]

The album consists of a collection of torch songs, following a formula similar to Sinatra's previous albums In the Wee Small Hours (1955) and Where Are You? (1957).[2]

According to John Rockwell's book, Sinatra: An American Classic, when asked at a party in the mid-1970s if he had a favorite album among his recordings, without hesitation, Sinatra chose Only the Lonely.[3]

The album's front cover (painted by Nicholas Volpe) features Sinatra as a sullen, Pagliacci-like clown. Sketched on the album's back cover is one of Sinatra's recurrent visual motifs: a lamppost.


  • Background 1
  • Reception 2
  • Grammy Awards 3
  • Track listing 4
  • Selected personnel 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7


Sinatra had planned to record the album with arranger Gordon Jenkins, with whom he had worked on Where Are You?. Since Jenkins was unavailable at the time, Sinatra chose to work with his frequent collaborator, Nelson Riddle. The three tracks conducted by Riddle at the first session were not used, and the subsequent sessions were conducted by Felix Slatkin, after Riddle went on a pre-arranged tour with Nat King Cole.[4][5]

At the time of the recording, Sinatra's divorce from Ava Gardner had been finalized, and Nelson Riddle (who wrote the album's arrangements) had recently suffered the deaths of his mother and daughter.[4] Of these events, Riddle remarked: "If I can attach events like that to music...perhaps Only the Lonely was the result."[4]


Q Magazine placed Only the Lonely at #1 on the "15 Greatest Stoner Albums of All Time".[6] The album also peaked at #1 on Billboard′s pop album chart during a 120 week chart-run, and was certified Gold on June 21, 1962, nearly four years after its release.[7] As noted by biographer Peter J. Levinson, "Nelson chose several instrumental soloists to communicate the essence of the music on the album. Harry Edison showed the somber side of his playing on 'Willow Weep for Me.' The late, great trombonist, Ray Sims, the unsung soloist with Les Brown and Harry James and brother of jazz tenor saxophonist stalwart 'Zoot' Sims, delivered the finest recording work of him long career with a brace of meaningful solos. Bill Miller contributed several beautifully conceived piano solos."[5]

Grammy Awards

Sinatra was nominated for five Grammys at the inaugural Grammy Awards in 1959. Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely and Sinatra's other album released in 1958, Come Fly with Me, were nominated for the Album of the Year, and Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover.

Track listing

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
  1. "Only the Lonely" (Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen) – 4:10
  2. "Angel Eyes" (Matt Dennis, Earl Brent) – 3:46
  3. "What's New?" (Bob Haggart, Johnny Burke) – 5:13
  4. "It's a Lonesome Old Town" (Harry Tobias, Charles Kisco) – 4:18
  5. "Willow Weep for Me" (Ann Ronell) – 4:49
  6. "Goodbye" (Gordon Jenkins) – 5:45
  7. "Blues in the Night" (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer) – 4:44
  8. "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" (Cahn, Jule Styne) – 4:00
  9. "Ebb Tide" (Robert Maxwell, Carl Sigman) – 3:18
  10. "Spring is Here" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 4:47
  11. "Gone with the Wind" (Allie Wrubel, Herb Magidson) – 5:15
  12. "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" (Arlen, Mercer) – 4:23
    Bonus tracks included on the 1987 CD release:
  13. "Sleep Warm" (Lew Spence, Marilyn Keith, Alan Bergman) – 2:45
  14. "Where or When" (Rodgers, Hart) – 2:25

Selected personnel


  • On May 25, 1958, Sinatra unsuccessfully attempted to record Billy Strayhorn's ballad "Lush Life". A bootleg recording of Sinatra's attempt at "Lush life" exists; this was the only time Sinatra sang the song in his career.[8]


  • Ingham, Chris, The Rough Guide to Frank Sinatra, Rough Guides Ltd, June 30, 2005. ISBN 1-84353-414-2
  • Summers, Anton, and Robbyn Swan, Sinatra: The Life, Doubleday, 2005. ISBN 0-552-15331-1
  1. ^ a b "Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely" at AllMusic
  2. ^ Summers, Antony, and Robbyn Swan, Sinatra: The Life. Doubleday, 2005, ISBN 0-552-15331-1, p. 271.
  3. ^ Petkov, Steven, and Leonard Mustazza, The Frank Sinatra Reader, Oxford, 1995, ISBN 978-0-19-511389-1, p. 70.
  4. ^ a b c Ingham, Chris. The Rough Guide to Frank Sinatra. Rough Guides Ltd, June 30, 2005. ISBN 1-84353-414-2, p. 174.
  5. ^ a b Peter J. Levinson, September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2005, p. 140.
  6. ^ (List #141)
  7. ^
  8. ^