A Song for You

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"A Song for You"
Song by Leon Russell
from the album Leon Russell
ReleasedMay 1970
LabelShelter Records(US)
A&M Records(UK)
Songwriter(s)Leon Russell
Producer(s)Leon Russell
"A Song for You"
Single by Andy Williams
from the album You've Got a Friend
B-side"You've Got a Friend"
ReleasedAugust 1971
LabelColumbia 45434
Songwriter(s)Leon Russell
Producer(s)Dick Glasser
Andy Williams singles chronology
"(Where Do I Begin) Love Story"
"A Song for You"
"Love Is All"

"A Song for You" is a song written and originally recorded by rock singer and pianist Leon Russell for his first solo album Leon Russell, which was released in 1970 on Shelter Records. A slow, pained plea for forgiveness and understanding from an estranged lover, the tune is one of Russell's best-known compositions. Russell sang, played piano, and played tenor horn on the recording. It has been performed and recorded by over 200 artists, spanning many musical genres.The Encyclopedia of Country Music, 2012: "In 1970 Russell released his self-titled debut solo album, including such enduring songs as 'Delta Lady' and 'A Song for You,' both written for versatile vocalist Rita Coolidge.

One of the first versions of the song that brought it broader attention was by Andy Williams, whose single peaked at number 29 on the adult contemporary chart and number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971.[1] Ray Charles recorded a version that earned him the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Other notable versions were recorded by the Carpenters in 1972 and Herbie Hancock in 2005.

On January 17, 2018, "A Song for You" was added to Grammy Hall of Fame.[2][3]

Notable cover versions[edit]

"A Song for You" has been covered many times since its release. The most notable versions include the following:


  1. ^ "Billboard Singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  2. ^ Nathan Poppe, "Leon Russell's 'A Song For You' added to Grammy Hall Of Fame", The Oklahoman, January 17, 2018.
  3. ^ World, Jimmie Tramel Tulsa (January 18, 2018). "Pop culture: Leon Russell song selected for Grammy Hall of Fame". Tulsa World. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Andy Williams". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Andy Williams". Billboard.
  6. ^ Wexler, Jerry (April 22, 1971). "Advertisement". Jet. Vol. 40, no. 4. pp. 34–35. ISSN 0021-5996.
  7. ^ Lordi, Emily J. (2016). Donny Hathaway Live. Bloomsbury. pp. 10–11. ISBN 9781628929812.
  8. ^ Wilson, Charlie (2015). I Am Charlie Wilson. Simon and Schuster. p. 193. ISBN 9781476790077.
  9. ^ Perone, James E. (2018). Listen to Pop! Exploring a Musical Genre. ABC-CLIO. p. 67. ISBN 9781440863776.
  10. ^ The Carpenters (February 3, 2013). "A Song for You Live". YouTube: Beverwyk. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021.
  11. ^ "Bob Hope TV Special on NBC: 10/05/72". Rewatch Classic TV. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Schmidt, Randy (2012). Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. Omnibus Press. p. 118. ISBN 9780857127693.
  13. ^ Perone, James E. (2012). The Album. ABC-CLIO. p. 302. ISBN 9780313379062.
  14. ^ Thomson, Graeme (2012). Willie Nelson: The Outlaw. Random House. p. 468. ISBN 9781448133413.
  15. ^ "Chart History: Christina Aguilera", Billboard.
  16. ^ "Billboard Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  17. ^ "Chart History: Bizzy Bone", Billboard.
  18. ^ Knox, Teresa (March 14, 2018). "6 Things You Might Not Know About Leon Russell's "A Song For You" - The Church Studio". thechurchstudio.com/.
  19. ^ "Listen: Amy Winehouse Weeps Through Final Cover "A Song for You" - Cover Me".

External links[edit]