Lonesome Town

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"Lonesome Town"
Lonesome Town - single cover.jpg
Single by Ricky Nelson
from the album Ricky Sings Again
B-side"I Got a Feeling"
ReleasedAugust 29, 1958
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Baker Knight
Ricky Nelson singles chronology
"Poor Little Fool"
"Lonesome Town"
"It's Late" / "Never Be Anyone Else But You"

"Lonesome Town" is a song written by Baker Knight. A version sung by Ricky Nelson became a hit single in the United States, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #15 on the R&B chart in 1958.[1] The song was featured on his 1959 album, Ricky Sings Again.[2] Nelson is accompanied on the recording by the vocal quartet The Jordanaires.

Other versions[]

  • Johnny Tillotson recorded and released his version of this song in 1962.
  • Paul McCartney recorded it for his 1999 album Run Devil Run. He also performed the song live alongside David Gilmour for a 1999 PETA fundraiser concert.
  • The Ventures recorded at least two versions of this song, the first released in 1961 on their album The Ventures (subsequently mistitled on later CDs as Lonesome Road) and the second, new recording on their 1975 cassette-only album Hollywood Metal Dinamic Sound 3000.
  • The song was covered by the psychobilly band The Cramps on the EP Gravest Hits and also featured on compilations Off the Bone and How to Make a Monster.
  • Australian singer Jason Donovan recorded it, too, for his album Let It Be Me (2008).
  • The song was also featured in the game Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse in a cover by the band Milton Mapes.
  • The song was covered and released as single by English garage legend Holly Golightly. The song also appears on Singles Round-Up.
  • This song was also covered by Portuguese rocker Legendary Tiger Man with Rita Redshoes on vocals on his 2009 album Femina.
  • This song was also covered by Tom Petty and Bob Dylan on their Live on Air / Radio Broadcast 1986 Live album.
  • Françoise Hardy recorded a version in French, La Rue des cœurs perdus in 1968.

In media[]

  • The song appears on the soundtrack to the film Pulp Fiction. The song is played as characters Mia and Vincent begin their conversation in the restaurant.[3]
  • The song was used on the NBC television series Heroes in chapter 14 of the fourth season, in the episode "Close to You", which aired January 11, 2010. Sometime-evil carny leader and lonesome heart Sam Sullivan (actor Robert Knepper) chooses the song on a diner jukebox and orders a milkshake, reminiscent of the scene in Pulp Fiction. A closeup of the milkshake is shown as Sam invokes an "earthquake", which then drowns out the music. The song runs from 38:35 to 39:52 in the episode.
  • The song was used in Episode 4 of the Netflix series The End of the F***ing World.
  • The song was used in the trailer for the Hulu series Castle Rock.
  • Jerry Garcia, guitarist for the Grateful Dead, recorded two versions during the 1974 sessions for his solo album Compliments. Neither version were included on the original release but both, one being acoustic, were included in the 2004 box set All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions.[4]


  1. ^ Ricky Nelson, "Lonesome Town" Chart Positions Retrieved April 7, 2014
  2. ^ Ricky Nelson, Ricky Sings Again Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "Surf Music and Seventies Soul: The Songs of 'Pulp Fiction'". Rolling Stone magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Grateful Dead Family Discography: Lonesome Town". Retrieved 25 September 2020.

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