Brenda Lee

I'm Sorry

Composed by Dub Albritton / Bo Diddley / Alan Freed / Harvey Fuqua / William "Poogie" Hart / Ronnie Self / Kim Wilson

Song Review by

Following on the heels of Brenda Lee's first big hit, "Sweet Nothin's," "I'm Sorry" reached the top of the charts in the summer of 1960 on its way to becoming her definitive song. Calling the song definitive is no stretch of the imagination, either -- Ben Vaughn wrote a song called "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)," which just illustrates how the tune grabbed the public's imagination. Though it might seem a little dated to some modern ears, it deserves its acclaims, since it is among the finest teen pop songs of its era. Written by Ronnie Self, the song blends elements of teenage rock & roll with a sweeping Nashville-styled production, resulting in a melancholy sigh of regret, delivered with adolescent urgency by Lee. The tune is catchy enough and the production is terrific, but Lee's performance is what brings the song to life, elevating beyond typical teenage melodrama. Since the emotions are fairly adolescent and its style is firmly rooted in its era, the song hasn't been covered much, but it would have been hard to top Lee's original recording, simply because it captures the moment so well.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Brenda Lee Story (Her Greatest Hits) 1974 MCA 2:37
Rock Around the Oldies, Vol. 3 [Universal Special Products] 1989
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:40
Anthology (1956-1980) 1991 MCA 2:40
This Boy's Life 1993
Original Soundtrack
Nouveau 2:40
From the Vaults: Decca Country Classics 1994
Various Artists
Decca / MCA 2:42
Billboard Top Pop Hits: 1960 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 2:43
Stand by Your Man [Nic at Night] 1996
Various Artists
Nick At Nite / Columbia 2:40
Trucker's Jukebox, Vol. 4 [Universal] 1996
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:36
Biggest Summer Hits 1996
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:39
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Brenda Lee 1999 MCA / MCA Nashville 2:40