"I'm Sorry" was written by songwriters Dub Albritton and Ronnie Self. Ronnie Self was a signed songwriter and performer for Columbia and Decca records through the 1950s and '60s. His only charted single was the 1958 "Bop-A-Lena" (#68). Brenda Lee's covers of his songs were his greatest successes.
Guys, you might want to be careful about falling in love with this voice. Brenda Lee was just 15 years old when she recorded the song! Decca records actually held back release on it for a few months while they pondered the legalities of having a teenager sing with such passion about affairs of the heart. In fact, Brenda Lee was a child star, beginning her career at the age of six by winning a school talent show whose reward was to perform live on the local Atlanta radio show, Starmakers Revue. She was born and raised in a poor family in the red-clay belt of Georgia, so even as a tot she was the chief breadwinner for the family.
This song is notable for being one of the first examples of the "Nashville Sound." This sound focuses on stringed instrument sections, backing vocals, and a crooning lead singer - sort of a fusion between country, pop, and a dash of doo-wop. It was pioneered by RCA and Columbia Records in the mid-1950s.
"I'm Sorry" was Brenda Lee's first #1 hit, coming just after "Sweet Nothin's," which had made its marked at #4. It is considered to this day to be her signature song and one of the finest songs of the teen pop genre.