It hasn’t been too long since our last Anatomy Of A Song post, but that one was kind of a special edition because it commemorated the recently deceased George Jones. This time around, we’re taking a look at a classic romantic ballad, one that began life in the years following World War II but became the signature song of an R&B singer almost two decades later.
The song — “Since I Fell for You” — was written by Buddy Johnson, and was first performed in 1947 with his band backing a vocal by his sister, Ella. That started the ball rolling and a subsequent record by Annie Laurie and the Paul Gayten Trio did pretty well, as did versions by everyone from Earl Grant to Doris Day. But it wasn’t until the early 1960s that the song became a romantic classic.
Although R&B singer Lenny Welch’s 1963 recording of the song never actually reached the top of the charts, it hit the bulls-eye with countless listeners and it had lasting power too. It became his signature song and a timeless favorite for lots of folks — including a few who can still remember hearing it on lovers’ lane.