"I Can't Stop Loving You" is a popular song written and composed by country singer, songwriter and musician Don Gibson, who first recorded it on December 30, 1957, for RCA Victor Records. It was released in 1958 as the B-side of "Oh, Lonesome Me", becoming a double-sided country hit single. At the time of Gibson's death in 2003, the song had been recorded by more than 700 artists.
Gibson wrote both "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Oh, Lonesome Me" on June 7, 1957, in Knoxville, Tennessee. "I sat down to write a lost love ballad," Gibson said in Dorothy Horstman's 1975 book Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy. "After writing several lines to the song, I looked back and saw the line 'I can't stop loving you.' I said, 'That would be a good title,' so I went ahead and rewrote it in its present form."
Ray Charles single
The song was covered by Ray Charles in 1962, featured on Charles' Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, and released as a single. Charles' version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962, for five weeks. This version went to number one on the U.S. R&B and Adult Contemporary charts.Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1962. Charles reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1962, staying for two weeks.
The Ray Charles version is noted for his saying the words before the last five lines of the song on the final chorus: "Sing the Song, Children". Choral backing was provided by The Randy Van Horne Singers. It was ranked No. 164 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and No. 49 on CMT's "100 Greatest Songs in Country Music".
Note: This original recording was released as "I Can't Stop Lovin' You".
Kitty Wells version
Ray Charles version
Other notable versions
The song has been recorded by many other artists. Some recordings are titled as "I Can't Stop Lovin' You" (with or without an apostrophe).
- 1958: Kitty Wells on her album Kitty Wells' Golden Favorites; No. 3 on the Billboard magazine country chart
- 1961: Roy Orbison on his album Sings Lonely and Blue; charted in the Variety magazine Top 100 Listings
- 1962: Count Basie's recording, a Quincy Jones arrangement, won the 1962 Grammy Award for "Best Instrumental Arrangement".
- 1963: Johnny Tillotson on his album Talk Back Trembling Lips (MGM Records - E 4188)
- 1963: Paul Anka on his album Songs I Wish I'd Written (RCA Victor - LSP-2744)
- 1964: Faron Young on his album Country Dance Favorites (Mercury Records - SR 60931)
- 1964: Frank Sinatra recorded the song for his album It Might As Well Be Swing, his second collaboration with Count Basie and his orchestra
- 1964: Jim Reeves on his last album The Jim Reeves Way which released on 1965
- 1965: Duke Ellington recorded the song for his album Ellington '66
- 1965: Andy Williams on his album Andy Williams' Dear Heart
- 1966: Pavel Novak, Czech singer
- 1967: Ronnie Dove on his LP Cry
- 1969: Elvis Presley performed the song live from 1969 till his final tours in 1977, first recording it on the RCA release Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
- 1969: Jerry Lee Lewis recorded it on the album Sings the Country Music Hall of Fame Hits, Vol. 2
- Guy & Ralna included a recording of the song on their 1973 album Country Songs We Love to Sing; the duo also performed the song numerous times on The Lawrence Welk Show, on which they were regulars.
- 1974: Donna Hightower recorded in Spain it on her Columbia album "I'm In Love with Love" (also released as "I'm in Love with You" and "The One I Cried")
- 1974: Dolly Parton and Chet Atkins performed the song (to Atkins' guitar accompaniment) on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1974.
- 1972: Conway Twitty on his album of the same name; reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart
- 1977: Sammi Smith covered the song for her Mixed Emotions album. The song also reached No. 27 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart.
- 1978: Mary K. Miller reached No. 28 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart.
- 1981: Millie Jackson recorded an upbeat, disco-influenced version for her Just a Lil' Bit Country album. The song was also released as a single in the U.S. and charted #62 R&B.
- 1991: Van Morrison on his album Hymns to the Silence; also appears on a limited edition album Live at Austin City Limits Festival (2006)
- 2002: Anne Murray on her album Country Croonin'
- 2005: Martina McBride on her album Timeless
- 2014: Bryan Adams recorded a version for his album Tracks of My Years
- ^ a b c Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 66. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- ^ a b Edwards, Joe (5 November 2003). "Country Legend Don Gibson Dies". CBS News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2018.
- ^ Horstman, Dorothy (1975). Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy (Third ed.). Country Music Foundation Press. p. 365. ISBN 0-915608-19-7.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 113.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 52.
- ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1962
- ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 139. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- ^ "45cat Image".
- ^ "Don Gibson Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
- ^ "Don Gibson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
- ^ "Kitty Wells Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
- ^ "Ray Charles Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
- ^ "Ray Charles Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
- ^ The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (2004). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. p. 2500. ISBN 9780199840441.
- ^ Henry, Clarence Bernard (2013). Quincy Jones: His Life in Music. University Press of Mississippi. p. 82. ISBN 9781617038617.
- ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 361.