Lonely Avenue

"Lonely Avenue" is a popular song written by Doc Pomus that became a rhythm and blues hit for Ray Charles in 1956.[1] The song drew the attention of the music business to Doc Pomus, who had previously had little success as a songwriter.[2]

"Lonely Avenue"
Single by Ray Charles
from the album Yes Indeed!
A-side "Lonely Avenue"
B-side "Leave My Woman Alone"
Released 1956
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 2:36
Label Atlantic 8025
Songwriter(s) Doc Pomus
Producer(s) Ahmet Ertegün, Jerry Wexler
Ray Charles singles chronology
"Mary Ann"
"Lonely Avenue"
"Drown in My Own Tears"

"Mary Ann"
"Lonely Avenue"
"Drown in My Own Tears"
"Lonely Avenue"
Song by Van Morrison
from the album Too Long in Exile
Released June 8, 1993
Recorded The Wool Hall Studios, Bath, England
Genre R&B, Rock
Length 6:24
Label Mercury, Polydor
Songwriter(s) Doc Pomus
Producer(s) Van Morrison


  • The Animals covered it on the 1977 reunion album Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted
  • The Blues Band covered the song on the album Ready in 1980.
  • Joe Cocker regularly performed the song during his live shows.
  • Lee Dorsey covers this song on his 1982 compilation album All Ways Funky.
  • Tav Falco's Panther Burns included a version of this song on their 1994 album on Marilyn, Deep in the Shadows.
  • Ian Gillan in Gillan & Glover covered the song on the album Accidentally on Purpose in 1988. The track appeared on the soundtrack to Rain Man featuring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.
  • Jimi Hendrix recorded a version in 1969 which was released in 2010 on the compilation West Coast Seattle Boy.
  • John Hermann of Widespread Panic covered the song on his 2001 album Smiling Assassin. The version features Widespread Panic front man John Bell.
  • Colin James released the song on his album Colin James & The Little Big Band 3.
  • Booker T. & the M.G.'s included an instrumental cover of the song on the album Green Onions.
  • Pete Kember covered the song on his 1990 debut solo LP Spectrum.
  • Diana Krall covered the song on the album Glad Rag Doll in 2012.
  • Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded this song on 1963 album "Barefoot Sunday Blues". Melody is superbly performed using cello pizzicato and voice by Eldee Young.
  • Los Lobos covered it on Till the Night is Gone: A Tribute to Doc Pomus released March 28, 1995. It is also included in the Los Lobos box set El Cancionero Mas y Mas on Disc 3.
  • Taj Mahal covered the song on the album Phantom Blues in 1996.
  • Stephen Marley covered the song on his album Mind Control.
  • Van Morrison covered this song on his 1993 album Too Long in Exile, and later included it in the double live album A Night in San Francisco as the first song in a medley that lasted just under 15 minutes. Biographer John Collis says "The 15-minute sequence billed as "Lonely Avenue/4 O'Clock in the Morning (Try for Sleep)", does indeed begin with the Pomus song and includes the Morrison blues in the title, but also wheels on Jimmy Witherspoon for his own medley and also throws in passing quotes from "Be Bop a Lula", Sly Stewart's "Family Affair" (with Jonn Savannah contributing a falsetto) and Roy Orbison's "Down the Line" among other references."[3]
  • Merl Saunders and Friends covered this song on the 1972 album Fire Up Plus
  • Stanley Turrentine performed an instrumental version on his 1968 album Common Touch.
  • Roseanna Vitro included this song in her 1997 CD, Catchin’ Some Rays: The Music of Ray Charles.
  • Kurt Elling and his ensemble performed this song at Lincoln Center in New York in 2012.
  • Edison Electric covered this song on Bless You Dr Woodward Songs from Lonely Avenue
  • James Booker covered the song on his album Classified.


  1. "Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman". www.history-of-rock. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
  2. "Heart of the Matter — Doc Pomus Blues". The Phoenix. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
  3. Collis, John (1996). Inarticulate Speech of the Heart. Little Brown and Company. p. 182. ISBN 0-306-80811-0.

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