"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 not only sings and plays piano on the recording, but also plays the tenor horn that is accompanying. It has been performed and recorded by over 200 artists, spanning many musical genres. Elton John has called the song an American classic.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3][4]

Notable cover versions

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


  1. ^ 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. He followed with Leon Russell and the Shelter People (1971) and ..."
  2. ^ "Billboard Singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  3. ^ Nathan Poppe, "Leon Russell's 'A Song For You' added to Grammy Hall Of Fame", The Oklahoman, January 17, 2018.
  4. ^ World, Jimmie Tramel Tulsa. "Pop culture: Leon Russell song selected for Grammy Hall of Fame". Tulsa World. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Andy Williams".
  6. ^ "Andy Williams".
  7. ^ Wexler, Jerry (April 22, 1971). "Advertisement". Jet. Vol. 40 no. 4. pp. 34–35. ISSN 0021-5996.
  8. ^ Lordi, Emily J. (2016). Donny Hathaway Live. Bloomsbury. pp. 10–11. ISBN 9781628929812.
  9. ^ Wilson, Charlie (2015). I Am Charlie Wilson. Simon and Schuster. p. 193. ISBN 9781476790077.
  10. ^ Perone, James E. (2018). Listen to Pop! Exploring a Musical Genre. ABC-CLIO. p. 67. ISBN 9781440863776.
  11. ^ The Carpenters (3 February 2013). "A Song for You Live". YouTube: Beverwyk.
  12. ^ "Bob Hope TV Special on NBC: 10/05/72". Rewatch Classic TV. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  13. ^ Schmidt, Randy (2012). Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. Omnibus Press. p. 118. ISBN 9780857127693.
  14. ^ Perone, James E. (2012). The Album. ABC-CLIO. p. 302. ISBN 9780313379062.
  15. ^ Thomson, Graeme (2012). Willie Nelson: The Outlaw. Random House. p. 468. ISBN 9781448133413.
  16. ^ "Chart History: Christina Aguilera", Billboard.
  17. ^ "Billboard Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  18. ^ "Chart History: Bizzy Bone", Billboard.
  19. ^ https://www.covermesongs.com/2011/11/listen-amy-winehouse-weeps-through-final-cover-a-song-for-you%E2%80%9D.html