"Only the Lonely" is a 1960 song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Orbison's recording of the song, produced by Fred Foster for Monument Records, was the first major hit for the singer. It was described by The New York Times as expressing "a clenched, driven urgency". Released as a 45 rpm single by Monument Records in May 1960, "Only the Lonely" went to No. 2 on the United States Billboard pop music charts on 25 July 1960 (blocked by Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry") and No. 14 on the Billboard R&B charts. "Only the Lonely" reached Number One in the United Kingdom, a position it achieved on 20 October 1960, staying there for two weeks (out of a total of 24 weeks spent on the UK singles chart from 28 July 1960). According to Orbison historian Marcel Riesco's research for "The Authorized Roy Orbison," personnel on the original recording included Orbison's drummer Larry Parks, plus Nashville's regulars, Floyd Cramer on piano, Bob Moore on bass, and Hank Garland and Harold Bradley on guitars, Joe Melson and the Annita Kerr Singers on backing vocals. Drummer Buddy Harman played on the rest of the songs on the session.