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February 14

Ray Charles’ Success on “I Can’t Stop Loving You”

“I Can’t Stop Loving You” is a popular song penned by country singer, songwriter and musician Don Gibson. Gibson made the original version of it on December 30, 1957, under RCA Victor Records. Released in the year 1958, it was the B-side of “Oh, Lonesome Me”. The tracks became a double-sided country hit singles. At the time of Gibson’s passing in 2003, more than 700 artists had recorded “I Can’t Stop Loving You”.

Background

On the 7th of June 1957, Gibson wrote the two singles “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Oh, Lonesome Me” in Knoxville, Tennessee. In Dorothy Horstman’s 1975 book Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy, Don narrated that he sat down to write a lost love ballad. He said that after writing several lines to the song, he looked back and saw the line ‘I can’t stop loving you’. Then, Don Gibson continued that he told himself that that would be a good title and so he continued his composition rewriting it in the present form.

Ray Charles’ Single

Several years after Gibson’s, Ray Charles made his own version. He featured “I Can’t Stop Loving You” on the album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, then released it as a single. For five weeks in 1962, Charles’ version dominated the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to that, it also became a chart topper on the US R&B and Adult Contemporary charts. Furthermore, Billboard ranked it as a runner-up song for 1962. Finally, Charles’s cover occupied the top spot in the UK Singles Chart in July 1962 for two weeks.

Apart from the chart successes of Ray Charles, Rolling Stone ranked it 164th on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. To add, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” ranked 49th on CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.

Many noted the version of Ray Charles when he said some words before the last five lines of the song on the final chorus. The Randy Van Horne Singers provided choral backing.


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Don Gibson, i can't stop loving you, Ray Charles


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