Cry (Churchill Kohlman song)

"Cry" is the title of a 1951 popular song written by Churchill Kohlman. The song was first recorded by Ruth Casey on the Cadillac label.[1] The biggest hit version was recorded in New York City by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads on October 16, 1951.

Single by Johnnie Ray
from the album Cry
B-side "The Little White Cloud That Cried"
Released October 1951
Format 45 rpm, 78 rpm
Recorded October 16, 1951
Genre Pop
Length 3:02
Label Okeh
Songwriter(s) Churchill Kohlman
Producer(s) Mitch Miller
Johnnie Ray singles chronology
"Whiskey And Gin"
"Please, Mr. Sun"

Johnnie Ray & The Four Lads version

The Johnnie Ray recording was released on Columbia Records subsidiary label Okeh Records[2] as catalog number Okeh 6840. It was a No.1 hit on the Billboard magazine chart that year, and one side of one of the biggest two-sided hits, as the flip side, "The Little White Cloud That Cried," reached No.2 on the Billboard chart. This recording also hit number one on the R&B Best Sellers lists and the flip side, "The Little White Cloud that Cried," peaked at number six.[3] When the single started to crack the charts the single was released on Columbia Records catalog number Co 39659.

Stan Freberg satirized this song, under the title "Try", and reported getting more angry feedback than from any of his many other parodies.[2]

Ronnie Dove Version

Single by Ronnie Dove
from the album Cry (Ronnie Dove album)
B-side "Autumn Rhapsody"
Released 1966 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1966
Genre Pop music
Length 3:16
Label Diamond Records
Songwriter(s) Churchill Kohlman
Producer(s) Phil Kahl, Ray Vernon
Ronnie Dove singles chronology
"I Really Don't Want To Know"
"One More Mountain to Climb (Ronnie Dove song)"

Ronnie Dove had a Top 20 pop hit with his cover version, bringing it to number 16 in 1966 on Diamond Records. He would perform this song on The Ed Sullivan Show the following year. This was Ronnie's last Top 40 hit.

Chart positions

Chart (1966) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 18
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[5] 16

Lynn Anderson version

Single by Lynn Anderson
from the album Cry
B-side "Simple Words"
Released January 1972 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1971
Genre Country
Length 3:10
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Churchill Kohlman
Lynn Anderson singles chronology
"How Can I Unlove You"
"Listen to a Country Song"

Lynn Anderson had major success in the country music market with her 1972 version, released on Columbia Records, which hit No.1 on the Cashbox country charts, and No. 3 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart.[6] It also charted in the Top 20 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary Charts.

Chart positions

Chart (1972) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 71
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[9] 16
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 77
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 9

Crystal Gayle version

Single by Crystal Gayle
from the album Straight to the Heart
B-side "Crazy in the Heart"
Released July 1986 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1986
Genre Country
Length 4:18
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Churchill Kohlman
Producer(s) Jim Ed Norman
Crystal Gayle singles chronology
"Makin' Up for Lost Time (The Dallas Lovers Song)"
"Straight to the Heart"

Crystal Gayle had her own hit version of the song in 1986, taking it to No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart.[10]

Chart positions

Chart (1986) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[11] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

Dutch-language versions

In 1982, singer/comedian André van Duin recorded it as "Als je huilt" (a double A-side with his take on Edith Piaf's "Les Trois Cloches") which became a #1-hit in the Dutch Top 40 by mid-August.[12] During TV-promotion he wore specially designed specs with an in-built water-sprayer for audience-exposure.[13]

Other versions

  • Stan Freberg did a 1952 parody of Johnnie Ray's version of "Cry" entitled "Try", in which he did an emotional "sobbing out of tune" performance with different lyrics. The lyrics include the title of the B-side song "The Little White Cloud That Cried", in the line "even little white clouds do it". Johnnie Ray was not initially pleased with this parody. However, he later accepted Freberg's version.
  • Brenda Lee recorded the song for her 1961 Emotions album.
  • Gene McDaniels recorded the song for his album 100 Lbs. of Clay! in 1961.
  • Timi Yuro recorded the song in 1961 for her album Hurt!
  • Paul Anka recorded the song as a B-side of "I'm Coming Home" in 1962 on ABC-Paramount 45-10338.
  • Lesley Gore recorded the song for her 1963 debut album I'll Cry If I Want To.
  • Ray Charles also covered the song for his 1964 album Sweet & Sour Tears.
  • Mina sang the song on her 1968 live album Mina alla Bussola dal vivo.
  • Diana Trask took a version to #99 on the country singles charts in 1975.
  • Kevin Coyne included a cover of the song on his 1978 album, Dynamite Daze.
  • Connie Francis recorded the song during her 1989 Muscle Shoals AL session.
  • David Cassidy did a cover of the song for his 2002 album Then and Now.
  • Eros and the Eschaton recorded a version for Bar None Records in 2014.[14]


  1. Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
  2. Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 2 - Play A Simple Melody: American pop music in the early fifties. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  3. Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 484.
  4. "Johnny Ray Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  5. "Johnny Ray Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  6. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 27.
  7. "Lynn Anderson Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  8. "Lynn Anderson Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  9. "Lynn Anderson Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  10. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 132.
  11. "Crystal Gayle Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  12. "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 33, 1982". Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  13. "YouTube: André van Duin - Als je huilt". YouTube. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  14. "Eros and the Eschaton - Cry by BarNoneRecords". Retrieved 2016-10-06.
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