Don't Touch Me

"Don't Touch Me"
Single by Jeannie Seely
from the album The Seely Style
A-side "Don't Touch Me"
B-side "You Tied Tin Cans to My Heart"
Released March 1966
Format Single
Recorded March 12, 1966
Genre Country, Nashville Sound
Length 3:04
Label Monument Records
Writer(s) Hank Cochran
Jeannie Seely singles chronology
"Today Is Not the Day"
"Don't Touch Me"
"It's Only Love"
"Don't Touch Me"
Single by Wilma Burgess
B-side "Once Upon a Time"
Released 1966
Genre Country
Label Decca
Writer(s) Hank Cochran
Producer(s) Owen Bradley
Wilma Burgess singles chronology
"Don't Touch Me"
"Misty Blue"

"Don't Touch Me" is the name of a classic country music song originally recorded and made famous by Jeannie Seely in 1966.


"Don't Touch Me" was written by Jeannie Seely's husband, Hank Cochran, the songwriter who wrote Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" and Eddy Arnold's "Make the World Go Away". Country music singer, Buck Owens originally wanted to record the song, but before he could do so, Cochran gave the song to Seely instead. This was the first single recorded by Seely after recently signing with Monument records in early 1966. "Don't Touch Me" was recorded on March 12, 1966, in the Monument studios in Nashville. Later that same month the song was released to country radio stations and became a major hit by late Spring. It remained for three weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard country singles charts, and even went as far as to become a minor pop hit, peaking at No. 85 on the Billboard pop singles chart. However, on the other two country charts (Cashbox and Record World), the song hit the No. 1 spot. Wilma Burgess's version was released almost simultaneously and reached No. 12 on the Billboard charts, receiving more sales on the strength of the Decca label.

At the time the song was released, few women recorded within the conservative confines of country music recorded material describing such explicit sexual desire as expressed in "Don't Touch Me". Following the song's success, other female Country singers to begin to release similarly "risky" songs (e.g. Loretta Lynn's "The Pill", Dottie West's "When It's Just You and Me", Dolly Parton's "Just Because I'm a Woman"). Seely later said in interviews that it was a song that women were thinking and wanted to hear. In 1967, Seely won the Grammy award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Don't Touch Me", becoming only third woman to receive the award (Dottie West was the first to receive the award, when it was first introduced in 1965). "Don't Touch Me" set the stage for a string of Top 10 and Top 20 hits for Seely in the next couple of years.

According to numerous books, "Don't Touch Me" has been classified as a "classic" or "standard" in Country music to record. The song was placed at No. 97 in the book, Heartaches By the Number: Country Music's 500 Greatest Singles, when it was released in 2003.

Chart performance

Jeannie Seely

Chart (1966) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 85

Wilma Burgess

Chart (1966) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 12

Cover versions

"Don't Touch Me" has been covered by a number of other artists in the country field, including Tammy Wynette, on her 1967 debut album, Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad, Don Gibson, George Jones, Lynn Anderson for the album Songs That Made Country Girls Famous (1970), Barbara Mandrell, Lorrie Morgan, Ray Price, Eddy Arnold, and Dottie West.

In a switch of genres, jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald recorded "Don't Touch Me" on her 1968 Capitol Records release, Misty Blue. The song was a hit for soul singer Bettye Swann in 1969.

American singer Etta James recorded a version for her 1997 album Love's Been Rough on Me, put to Blues/R&B tempo.

Connie Francis recorded a version. Eleni Mandell recorded a Pop music version and Carolyn Hester has recorded a Folk music version. The song has even been recorded in a Reggae music version by Nicky Thomas.

Jamey Johnson recorded a version of this song as a duet with Emmylou Harris for his album Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.

In the 1970 film Five Easy Pieces, Rayette (Karen Black), who dreams of becoming a country music singer, sings a few lines of "Don't Touch Me" to her boyfriend Bobby (Jack Nicholson).

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