Collin Raye recorded this song written by John Hobbs and Chris Farren. It peaked at #4 on the country charts back in the mid 1990s. I like Collin Raye’s music a lot and this is one of my favorites. Strum along in 4/4 time.
Are You Lonesome Tonight was written in 1926 and has been recorded by many artists over the years, but it’s most closely associated with Elvis Presley, who made it a #1 hit back in 1960. Some recordings (including Elvis’) feature a spoken bridge that was also included in the original 1927 sheet music. For this chords & lyrics tutorial I just recorded the chorus twice, the first time strumming and the second time fingerstyle. It’s in 3/4 time so strum 3 beats in each measure. The fingerpicking pattern is #13 in my fingerstyle tutorial.
This was one of Ricky Nelson’s great songs and a #1 hit in 1961. The song was written by Jerry Fuller in 1959, who had hoped Sam Cooke would record it. Cooke wasn’t interested but Ricky’s bass player heard it and brought it to him, and he loved it.
Written in 1955 as the theme song for an obscure movie named “Unchained,” this song has become a standard, recorded by hundreds of artists over the years. The most definitive version is the 1965 recording by The Righteous Brothers.
Here’s how I played it…
There are 6 counts in each measure (6/8 time):
1 – Pinch 4th, 2nd, and 1st string with thumb, index, and middle fingers
2 – 3rd string played with thumb
3 – 2nd string played with thumb
4 – 1st string played with middle finger
5 – 2nd string played with index finger
6 – 3rd string played with thumb
That’s how I do it, but if you don’t want to use your thumb that much it’s up to you. You could even use your thumb and 3 fingers and designate a different finger for each string, for example, 4th string thumb, 3rd string index, 2nd string middle finger, and 1st string ring finger. Whatever works for you.
John Prine is my favorite songwriter of all time thanks to his quirky lyrics and simple melodies. This is one of my favorites. According to a John Prine biographer, Spanish Pipedream is “a hilarious Age of Aquarius anthem, the hippie commune ideal summed up in less than four minutes.”
This classic country song written by Dickey Lee and Steve Duffy became a #1 hit on Billboard’s US Hot Country Songs chart in 1962 for George Jones, and also #1 for Anne Murray in 1974 as “He Thinks I Still Care.” It’s been recorded by dozens of others including Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Connie Francis, Patty Loveless, Cher, and many others. I played it here in the key of G with a simple strum that should be easy to strum along with.