This song was written by Jimmy Holiday and Eddie Reeves in 1971. It has gone on to earn $1,500,000 in publisher and writer royalties.
Originally, this song was demoed for Kenny Rogers, who turned it down. Next it was offered to Ray Charles, who recorded it as part of his album The Volcanic Action of My Soul
in 1971. This actually makes Ray Charles the first to cut this song - however well-known the Sonny and Cher version may be.
In 1971, Cher had just had a #1 hit with "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves
," and the TV show The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour
was just becoming a big hit. During this time, Kapp/MCA Records executive Johnny Musso asked Eddie Reeves for a copy of Ray's album to send along to Sonny and Cher, who were about to record new material. A week later Sonny and Cher had recorded their cover, which became the title of their 1971 album All I Ever Need Is You
as well. This single was to ship 900,000 copies, certifying it as a Gold Record by the RIAA.
Despite Kenny Roger's earlier dismissal of the song, Kenny Rogers and Dottie West covered the song in 1979, when it became a #1 hit for them on the Country Music charts as well. (Check out Eddie Reeves' story