John Gorka Home videos
49th homemade video (March 7, 2021)

"Love’s Been Good To Me"

On March 7, 2021 John wrote: My late friend Willem Leeuwenhoek requested that I learn Love’s Been Good To Me a few years back. I did, and was able to play it for him in The Netherlands. Written by Rod McKuen, it is one of the only songs that I know of that was recorded by both Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. I hope you like it!


Willem Leeuwenhoek


When John came to the Netherlands in December 2013, Willem Leeuwenhoek was very enthusiastic about the Frank Sinatra version of "Love's Been Good To Me".

It's a Frank Sinatra/Johnny Cash song, written by Rod McKuen.

John stayed for a week in the Hague and he learned the song in a couple of days and played it for the first time "in public" for the 4th John Gorka videosession in the Netherlands (December 16, 2013).


The other 'one song concerts':

- Click here for Red River Valley (April 5, 2020)
- Click here for Better times Will Come (April 12, 2020)
- Click here for Polly Wally (April 19, 2020)
- Click here for Soap Opera (April 26, 2020)
- Click here for Maya May I, (May 1, 2020)
- Click here for My Creole Belle (May 10, 2020)
- Click here for Careless Love (May 17, 2020)
- Click here for You Can Run (May 24, 2020)
- Muting the Sea (May 31,2020)
- Click here for Ignorance and Privilege (June 7, 2020)
- Click here for The Mercy of the Wheels. (June 14, 2020)
- If I Could Forget To Breathe (June 21, 2020)
- Let them in (June 28, 2020)
- Unblind The Referee (July 5, 2020)
- The Dutchman (July 12, 2020)
- Morningside (July 19, 2020)
- Cowboy Song (July 26, 2020)
- That's How Legends Are Made (August 2, 2020)
- If Not Now (August 9, 2020)
- Arroyo Seco (August 16, 2020)

- Shenandoah (August 23, 2020)
- Outside (August 30, 2020)
- Outnumbered (September 6, 2020)
- Brown shirts (September 13, 2020)

- Jack Crows (September 20, 2020)
- Where No Monument Stands (September 27, 2020)
- Blue Chalk (October 4, 2020)
- Zuly (October 11, 2020)
- The Sentinel (October 18, 2020)
- Where The Bottles Break (October 25 2020)
- If I Could (November 1, 2020)
- Particle & Wave (November 8, 2020)
- True in Time (November 15, 2020)
- Edgar The Party Man ( November 22, 2020)
- The Water is Wide (November 29, 2020)
- The Streets of Laredo (December 6, 2020)

- Spanish is the Loving Tongue (December 13, 2020)
- Christmas Bells (December 20, 2020)
- Riverside (December 27, 2020) Recorded earlier
- Auld Lang Syne (January 3, 2021)
- Oh Abraham (January 10, 2021)
- I Know (January 17, 2021)
- Erie Canal (January 24, 2021)
- Branching Out (January31,2021)
- We Thank You For Your Service (february 7, 2021)
- Like My Watch (February 14, 2021)
- Silence (February 21, 2021)
- I Think of You (February 28, 2021 )

Click here to go to the John Gorka "Home videos homepage"


Love’s Been Good To Me
One song Concert (March 7, 2021)



John Gorka - Love Was Good to Me
Recorded in The Hague, the Netherlands on December 16, 2013.
  Love's Been Good To Me
By Frank Sinatra - Album: A Man Alone (1969)




John Gorka played "Love’s Been Good to Me" live in "Het Nutshuis", the Hague on February 5, 2016 on a benefit concert for his friend Willem Leeuwenhoek.
Willem passed away in november 2014.


In 2013 Willem printed this for John Gorka....

In 2016 John played the song again in the John Gorka videosession

John played 4 songs and talked about the story behind each song:

-I Saw a Stranger with Your Hair
-Semper Fi
-Love is Our Cross to Bear
-Love’s Been Good to Me.


Love's Been Good To Me

The song had originally been recorded by The Kingston Trio in 1964. The better-known version was released in 1969 on Sinatra’s A Man Alone, and album comprised entirely of Rod McKuen, songs.

This sort of “concept” album was nothing new for Sinatra, who more or less started the idea in the late 1950s with Come Fly With Me and a series of “come (fill in the blank) with me” follow-ups. Now more than a decade later, Sinatra was fully involved in a series of much more narrowly-focused concept albums. Bossa nova, Duke Ellington, and now McKuen — some of the music was just too obscure and hard to grasp for many pop music consumers. Prior to A Man Alone, he released My Way – Frank Sinatra, which was very safe for traditional fans and should’ve grabbed a lot more sales than it did. It seemed the record buying public was forgetting about Ol’ Blue Eyes. Incidentally, his follow-up to the McKuen concept was Watertown, which would become little more than an answer to the trivia question: “Name the obscure 1970 album Sinatra recorded with the Four Seasons’ Bob Gaudio about a broken man in upstate New York.”

Like “My Way,” the lasting impact and popularity of “Love’s Been Good To Me” belies its original chart success, which wasn’t much. The song peaked at #75 on Billboard, although it fared better on the relatively new Easy Listening charts. For some reason the British listener didn’t take so long to warm up to McKuen’s quirky lyrics of wanderlust; the song went top ten in the UK almost immediately. In its phrasing and pacing the song seems tailor-made for Sinatra, and again like “My Way,” he performed it regularly enough to make it a staple despite its original lukewarm reception by the American public.

At the end of 1969 the song caught Lindsay’s attention, and he promptly decided to include it on his first “grown-up” album. In some circles the question was raised, “does he think he’s Sinatra?” And the answer is no, but he wanted to be respected for his musical talent. While Lindsay’s recording lacks the unique style and timing that made Sinatra so successful, the vocals are as good in almost every other respect. Why then did Mark Lindsay fail to sustain his initial success as an adult contemporary vocalist? The most reasonable explanation seems to be that it was too much of a stretch to go immediately from teen idol to adult standard-bearer. History tells us that Sinatra faced the same difficulties, but that his indomitable will separated him from scores of artists who were unable to recover from career setbacks.

Lindsay wasn’t the only artist intrigued by McKuen’s song. Johnny Cash performed it on his television show, and would revisit it later in his life. Other artists used it as filler material, and a couple of pinup idols attempted to turn it into a teen love ballad; Bobby Sherman released a perfectly dreadful rendition as late as 1971. All of this conspired to make the song a “standard,” even though nobody ever had significant U.S. chart success with the song.

An interesting coda to this story: Just as Sinatra was finding his records ignored by the American public in 1969, Johnny Cash was enjoying a meteoric rebound on the strength of his San Quentin album. In our Feature Artist article this month we mention that Gary Puckett had been the largest selling artist in 1968 — Cash knocked him off that pedestal in a big way in ’69. In fact, almost one out of every ten albums sold in 1969 was a Johnny Cash release. Cash of course fell out of favor again in the 1980s and early 1990s, but rebounded yet again when the American public realized that he was in ill-health and it had better discover this living legend before it was too late. And one of the last songs Cash recorded before he died was — you guessed it — “Love’s Been Good To Me.” The song was included on posthumous Cash album called American V, which went to #1 on both the Billboard pop and country album charts. Oddly enough, this recording is better known than Sinatra’s to many American listeners.

As for McKuen, he composed a host of extremely successful songs in the adult contemporary genre. The most prolific pairing for the beat poet was with Anita Kerr. Although the Kerr albums significantly outsold Sinatra’s McKuen album, those recordings haven’t enjoyed the longevity of Frank’s single song. McKuen’s biggest hit was a flowery song called “Jean,” which was the title track from the Academy Award-winning Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The song was an instant standard, but has dimmed over the years. As of this writing, “Love’s Been Good To Me” is arguably McKuen’s most signficant contribution to the Great American Songbook.

* Thanks to for the information


Other versions of "Love's Been Good To Me"

Rod McKuen (early 1964) The Kingston Trio (at the end of 1964) Johnny Cash (1969) Nina Simone (1993)











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