All I Could Do Was Cry

1960 single by Etta James
"All I Could Do Was Cry"
Single by Etta James 22
GenreDoo-wop, R&B, Blues
Songwriter(s)Billy Davis, Berry Gordy, Gwen Gordy

"All I Could Do Was Cry" is a doo-wop/rhythm and blues single recorded in 1960, and released in March that year by the singer Etta James.[1] It was written for James by Chess songwriter Billy Davis, Berry Gordy and his sister Gwen Gordy.[1] The song eventually peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard R&B chart and number 33 on the pop chart.[2] James would later re-record the song in the early 1990s.[citation needed]


The song was said[by whom?] to be inspired by James' former boyfriend Harvey Fuqua dating Davis' former girlfriend, who was Gwen. Gordy and Fuqua later married the same year the song was recorded, which likely added to the tension in James' bluesy vocals.[citation needed]

Chart performance

Etta James version
Chart (1960) Peak
US Billboard 100 33
US Billboard Hot R&B Sides 2

Cover versions


  1. ^ a b "Etta James - All I Could Do Was Cry". Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 290.
  3. ^ "Ike & Tina Turner – The Ike & Tina Turner Show - Vol. 2".
  4. ^ "The Kent Years - Ike & Tina Turner | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • v
  • t
  • e
Studio albums
Live albums
Compilation albums
  • Etta James Top Ten
  • My Greatest Songs
  • Miss Etta James: The Complete Modern and Kent Recordings
  • Gold
Authority control Edit this at Wikidata
  • MusicBrainz work