The Idea and Writing of the Song
The idea of this song was from Eddy Arnold. He was pulled over the title and a storyline for a couple of years before he took it to a songwriter named Cindy Walker. She was one of Nashville’s most respected songwriters. Not only that, Walker provided Eddy with a number one hit before with 1950’s “Take Me In Your Arms And Hold Me”.
The scenario of “You Don’t Know Me,” was brought to Walker’s attention as she attended Nashville’s annual disc jockey convention in the fall of 1955. As Walker was leaving, she stopped by the RCA Victor suite to say goodbye to producer Steve Sholes. Eddy Arnold walked up to her and said:
“I’ve got an idea for a song called ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ andI was hoping that you could do something with it.”
Eddy Arnold intended to portray a man who is too shy to approach a woman he cares about. And, stands in the shadows as he watches her settle down with another man.
Walker promised Eddy that she would work on the idea. Within days, she completed the song and sent it to her publisher. Although the title and the basic storyline were Arnold’s, the first rendition of “You Don’t Know Me” was issued by pop singer Jerry Vale. He carried it to No. 14 on Billboard’s pop chart in early 1956. Eddy’s country version made it to No. 10 two months later.