♫ Rainy Night in Georgia ♫

Written by Tony Joe White in 1967 and popularized by R&B vocalist Brook Benton in 1970, this song has been recorded by a host of other artists as well, including Ray Charles, Randy Crawford, Johnny Rivers, Hank Williams, BJ Thomas and others.

The backstory by Tony Joe White …

When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn’t have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard “Ode to Billie Joe” on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I’m going to write about something I know about. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought … well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.

The Brook Benton version is the most popular …

But I’ve always been partial to Aaron Neville …

Take your pick!

Rainy Night in Georgia
Brook Benton/Aaron Neville

Hoverin’ by my suitcase
Tryin’ to find a warm place to spend the night
A heavy rain a fallin’
Seems I hear your voice callin’
“It’s all right”

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Neon signs a flashin’
Taxi cabs and busses passin’ through the night
The distant moanin’ of a train
Seems to play a sad refrain to the night

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

How many times I’ve wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it, think of it
You just got to do your own thing

I find me a place in a box car
So I take out my guitar to pass some time
Late at night when it’s hard to rest
I hold your picture to my chest
And I’m all right

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Songwriters: Tony White / Tony Joe White
Rainy Night in Georgia by Brook Benton lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

20 thoughts on “♫ Rainy Night in Georgia ♫

  1. In the aftermath of Friday’s disappointment, I neglected to read this post…not quite in a music mood at the time. I have to go with the original Brook Benton, his voice and the music are perfect. 400 versions? Yikes, that is some sort of record I should think…no pun intended. I tend to prefer the originals in music, much like in movies. Some things simply should not be redone…Father of the Bride with Steve Martin in Spencer Tracy’s place?! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh bother! Wrong song, wrong day, or a bit of both. I had just listened to Saturday’s song and realized that I had not listened to or commented on Friday’s. Since I had chided you when you did not post a song, I would be remiss not commenting when you did so. Could you please just cut and paste the part in this comment from ‘400 versions? Yikes’ – through to – ‘no pun intended.’ onto Saturday’s song comment and pretend that you did not already read that here? I would do it if I could, but cut and paste is beyond my scope of computer skills. Excuse me, but Benjamin and I must work on his fine motor skills. The new preschool sent home a 15 page booklet of activities to work on building his strength. I was a bit shocked, I thought that his fine motor skills were motoring along just fine! Oddly enough…cutting and pasting are suggested for strengthening fine motor skills, although not the computer sort I was referring to. Thank-you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🤣 Oh my dear Ellen! You have actually caused full-blown laughter to bubble up from somewhere deep inside me! You are indeed a Gem! Yes, I could cut & paste the comment, but no need … all is well just as it is, and I shall leave it alone, for I’m in a bit of a time crunch today if I want to go out to eat and then the bookstore with the girls. I hope you and Benjamin got those fine motor skills honed! I should probably work on mine, but the hands shake when I do. Hugs, dear friend!

        Like

    • I fully agree with you … there are some things, particularly films, that were near-perfect the first time and the re-make is always a disappointment. In the words of my late husband, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

      Like

  2. Don’t know how you did it, Jill, but I wanted so bad to ask you yesterday to bring us some Aaron Neville. This is not a song I am familiar with by him, but with the trumpet I think I could grow to like it better than Brook Benton’s version, which is spectacular. (Not trying to be nitpicky, but for me Hank Williams is Senior. Junior requires a designation.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really??? Aaron Neville is one of my all-time favourites, along with Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie. All you ever have to do is ask, my friend! I’m still torn between Benton’s and Neville’s versions … whichever one I am listening to at the moment seems to be my favourite! And you are, of course, right about the Hank Williams designation … my bad.

      Like

      • Not a bad about HW, only us oldtimers really know the difference. But, yes, I love Aaron Neville too. The reason I did not ask was you had just gone Soul with Jimmy Ruffin, and I thought you might wait awhile before you went Soul again. But since you mentioned it, how is your Donovan? The British “Bob Dylan” often serenaded me as I wound down from busy days…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am interested in knowing whether you have ever watched the video of Hank Jr. singing with Hank Williams? I should not bore you with history that you most likely already know, but will for Jill. Hank Williams recorded a song in about 1950 that was never released in his lifetime. Hank Jr. was just a baby when his Father died and thus, never actually was able to sing with him. Until 1989, when the new technology of the time produced “There’s A Tear In My Beer”. It won the Video of the Year award that was shared by Hank and Hank Jr. My oldest daughter is a lifelong huge country music lover and of Hank Williams, which is how I first learned of this video. Please excuse my intrusion, but I have an insatiable curiosity that is rather annoying to some. Another question comes to mind…are you a fan of Hank 3? Thank-you!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I grew up with my brothers listening to Hank Sr. Kaliga was a big favourite as a young kid. Hank Jr. I never really got into, but I remember the “Tear in my Beer” duet. Hank 3 I have actually never heard of. Will have to look.
            I do remember Natalie Cole adding her voice to her father’s doing “Unforgettable,” and the Beatles doing “Free as a Bird” after John’s death.
            These days anything is possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bogie nd Bacall starred in a brand new movie one of these days.

            Liked by 1 person

    • I have. There is some beauty in Georgia, especially coastal Georgia. But … it has the distinct disadvantage of being south of the Mason-Dixon line. Isn’t it sad that I think of everything in political terms these days? 😥
      Hugs, Jack ❤

      Like

    • Then I am doing a little happy dance! I wasn’t sure if you would like this one, but I was hoping you would. I actually listened to the Randy Crawford version too, but … I dunno … it just didn’t move me the way these two versions did.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s