Woman_in_cell_playing_solitaire_300In setting out to chronicle the forty-two year history of the song, “Solitaire,” I thought it best to keep the chatter down to a minimum and just let the cover recordings tell the story. At first, I was just going to post only a half dozen or so of the most significant covers of the song, but I  got a bit carried away and went looking for every cover I could possibly find. iTunes and YouTube netted me 25 covers to add to the six I had already  on CD and, rather than exercise anything that folks could possibly misinterpret  as editorial discretion, I decided it would be fun to post them all.  There's no rhyme or reason to the order in which these recordings appear on the list, other than Sedaka's version, by virtue of being the original, gets to go first, followed by the more well known artists and ending with what I consider the oddest or funniest renditions.


Sedaka and I wrote “Solitaire” in 1971. It was one of the first tunes we wrote together and was not very well received by the folks at Don Kirshner Music, our publisher at the time. There seemed to be a general lack of faith in the song’s potential “earning power,” the feeling at the company being that we had written a “nice” song and that we would be better served devoting our efforts to writing hits. Yet, here I am, four decades and at least 47 cover recordings later, talking about what is, essentially, the most covered song that Neil and I have ever written.


At the beginning of this article I promised to keep the chattering down to a minimum and I’ve fudged on that promise a little but, before closing, I would like to emphasize one thing:


There would be no history of “Solitaire” if not for the melodic virtuosity of Neil Sedaka. Regardless of what you may think of this particular style of music, he is a true genius of the genre and artists would not have lined up in droves to sing and play his wonderful melodies were it not so.


  • - Neil Sedaka
  • - The Carpenters
  • - Sheryl Crow
  • - Johnny Mathis
  • - Shirley Bassey
  • - Elvis
  • - Andy Williams
  • - Clay Aiken
  • - Petula Clark
  • - The Searchers
  • - Westlife
  • - Ray Conniff
  • - Rachell Ann Go
  • - Jane Olivor
  • - Nana Mouskouri
  • - Sissel
  • - Patricia Paay
  • - Simon Gallaher
  • - Tommy Fleming and The Irish Orchestra
  • - Jann Arden
  • - Glenn Yarbrough
  • - Brett Smiley
  • - Nora Aunor
  • - Cor Meibon Llanelli Welsh Male Choir
  • - The Wimbledon Girl's Choir


  • - Richard Clayderman
  • - The Elevator Troubadors
  • - Newell Oler
  • - Simply Saxophone
  • - Stan Whitmire
  • - Salsa Rosso
  • - Soft Rock, Inc.
  • - Panpipes


And More

  • Brass Band De Bazuin
  • Serge Nelson
  • The Cory Band
  • Tony Christie
  • Lena Martell
  • Anita Lindblom
  • Vince Hill
  • Vic Damone
  • Lenny Dee
  • Happy Organ
  • Norrie Paramor
  • Gianni Dei
  • Billy Vaughn
  • Norman Candler
  • Johnny Dorelli