Dean Martin brought "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" to the Top 40 in 1964, and it became one of his signature songs. It was written 20 years earlier by Russ Morgan – a bandleader and popular radio host who first released the tune in 1945 with his orchestra – Larry Stock ("Blueberry Hill
") and James Cavanaugh ("Christmas In Killarney").
The song insists you haven't lived until you've loved – or been loved by someone else. But all the lonelyhearts out there needn't worry because Dean also assures us "everybody loves somebody sometime
Most folks are used to hearing Martin's earlier recording of the song with a brass and string arrangement by Nelson Riddle, which was included on the 1960 Capitol album, This Time I'm Swingin'!
but wasn't released as a single. His hit version
was a more upbeat take arranged by Ernie Freeman and was released in 1964 through Reprise Records, founded by Frank Sinatra.
This was Martin's third #1 hit on the Easy Listening chart.
While Russ Morgan was the first to release the song, which peaked at #14 on the pop chart in 1946, Nat King Cole was actually the first to record it on May 19, 1945. Cole didn't release his rendition, however, until 1966 when it was included on his compilation album The Vintage Years.
Frankie Vaughan's 1967 cover (the B-side to "There Must Be A Way") hit #7 in the UK. It was also recorded by the Mills Brothers, Keely Smith, Steve Lawrence, Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Sam Cooke, Deana Martin, and Michael Buble, among others.
In 2007, the Dean Martin tribute album Forever Cool used archived recordings of the late singer to create duets with contemporary artists. Shelby Lynne, backed by the swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, was Martin's partner on "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You."
This was used in several movies, including Trapped in Paradise (1994), starring Nicolas Cage, Casino (1995), starring Robert De Niro, Things To Do In Never When You're Dead (1995), starring Andy Garcia, Swingers (1996), starring Vince Vaughn, Money Talks (1997), starring Chris Tucker, Payback (1999), starring Mel Gibson, The Mexican (2001), starring Brad Pitt, Death To Smoochy (2002), starring Robin Williams, and Assault on Precinct 13 (2005).
This was also used in several TV shows, including Freaks and Geeks ("Noshing and Moshing," 2000), Cold Case ("A Time to Hate," 2003), ER ("Somebody To Love," 2006), Nip/Tuck ("Allegra Caldarello," 2009), The Simpsons ("The Blue and The Gray," 2011), and The Deuce ("The Principal Is All," 2017).
Under orders from Motown boss Berry Gordy, The Supremes performed this song a number of times in 1965. The song was a way to acclimate the group with older white fans; they performed it on The Ed Sullivan Show and during their run at the upscale Copacabana nightclub that year.