Skip to content

All I Can Do Is Cry

It’s not as much fun listening to the tired-out Tina of the 1970s, so I’m going back to the early Ike and Tina shows for today’s song. “All I Can Do Is Cry” appeared on Live! The Ike and Tina Show, Volume 2, an album they released in 1965.

I don’t have this album, so I can’t refer to its songwriting credits. But if the Internet can be trusted, Etta James released “All I Can Do Is Cry” in 1963, and it was credited to Roquel Davis, Gwendolyn Fuqua and Barry Gordy, Jr.

“All I Can Do Is Cry” is written from the point of view of a woman who is watching the man she loves marry someone else. The Turners elaborate quite a bit on the Etta James song and Tina makes you feel the insane heights of her pain. She is truly magnificent on this recording. In a throaty, almost tear-choked spoken word delivery, Tina narrates the wedding for the audience. Once the vows are exchanged:

And I wanna tell you something, I wanna tell you that, that it was so HARD for me to sit there, and to hear the MAN THAT I LOVE SAY THOSE VERY WORDS when, people, I had waited so long, and I had struggled so hard, I had worked my fingers DOWN TO THE BONE TO PLEASE THE MAN WHETHER HE WAS RIGHT OR WRONG. But he was getting married to another girl. And when the wedding was coming to an end, and ALL OF THEIR FRIENDS was having so much fun, just laughin’ and talkin’ with one another, he had the nerve to walk up to me and, you know what he said? I’m gonna tell you what he said. He said, “Tina, Tina dahling,” he said, “even though we are apart, I’m gonna always reserve a certain little SPOT in the corner of my heart.” Now that was the corner of his heart, he didn’t even stop to the think what was in the corner of my heart. But it was a little too late for that because, people, the wedding was over with. They were marching out of the church. Their friends was throwing RICE ALL OVER their heads. BUT AS I SET THERE BY MYSELF. . .AAAAALLLL ALL I COULD DO, AAALLL I COULD DO WAS CRY. . .

That really knocks me out, that release at the end, when the band kicks it up and Tina just lets loose. What I wouldn’t give to go back to 1965 and catch one of these shows. Listen to it here:

All I Can Do Is Cry

Listening to this track, it seems impossible that the singer will end up as a Buddhist living quietly in Switzerland. I mean, what? When I listen to “All I Can Do Is Cry” it seems more likely that this woman is going to end up as the female version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, setting off pyrotechnics on stage and drinking whiskey while speeding down country roads with the band.

Ooh, now I wish that Ike and Tina would have covered “I Put a Spell on You.”

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] This track was released in 1971, on an album of stuff Little Richard recorded for Vee Jay in the mid-60s. Go ahead and refresh your memory of Ike & Tina’s 1965 version of All I Can Do Is Cry.  (My old post on that song here.) […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *