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"Don't Play That Song (You Lied)" is a song written by Ahmet Ertegün and by the wife of Ben E. King, Betty Nelson. It first recorded by soul singerBen E. King. The title track on King's third album Don't Play That Song!, it reached #2 on the U.S. R&B singles chart and #11 on the pop chart when released as a single on Atco Records in 1962 (see 1962 in music).

Aretha Franklin covered the song for her twenty-first album, Spirit in the Dark, released on Atlantic Records. Her version, performed with the Dixie Flyers, was released as a single in 1970 (see 1970 in music) and peaked at #1 for five weeks on the R&B singles chart and #11 on the pop chart.[1]Franklin's version was certified gold with sales over a million copies. In the United Kingdom it reached #13. This was the first of two covers Franklin did of songs made popular by King. The other was her cover of "Spanish Harlem" in the 1971.

Other acts to have recorded or performed the song include Keith Locke and The QuestsPeppino di CapriAdriano Celentano in 1977 and Mariah Carey. It was also performed to great acclaim on the first season of American Idol by Kelly Clarkson, the eventual winner. More recently Sam Mooreduetted the song with Bekka Bramlett on his 2006 album Overnight Sensational.


  1. Jump up^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 215.

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Preceded by

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder

Billboard Soul Singles number-one single (Aretha Franklin version)

September 12, 1970 - September 26, 1970

Succeeded by

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Diana Ross