♫ Georgia On My Mind ♫

This song was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell in 1930 and although others have recorded it, my favourite, and the one it’s most well-known for, is by Ray Charles.  In 1979, the State of Georgia designated it the official state song.

GorrellIt has been asserted that Hoagy Carmichael wrote the song about his sister, Georgia. But Carmichael wrote in his second autobiography Sometimes I Wonder that saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer told him he should write a song about the state of Georgia. He jokingly volunteered the first two words, “Georgia, Georgia…”, which Carmichael ended up using while working on the song with his roommate, Stuart Gorrell, who wrote the lyrics. Gorrell’s name was absent from the copyright, but Carmichael sent him royalty checks anyway.

Ray Charles, a native of Georgia, recorded a version that went to No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot 100. On March 7, 1979, in a symbol of reconciliation in the aftermath of years of activism and national legislation resulting from the Civil Rights Movement, he performed the song before the Georgia General Assembly. After this performance, the Assembly adopted it as the state song on April 24.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named the Ray Charles version of Georgia on My Mind the 44th greatest song of all time.  I also like Willie Nelson’s version, which he sang at Ray Charles’ funeral, but for me … nobody does it quite like Ray — he puts himself into it.

Georgia on My Mind
Ray Charles

Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)

I said Georgia
Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

I said Georgia
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

Whoa, Georgia
Georgia
No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Songwriters: Hoagy Carmichael / Stuart Gorell
Georgia on My Mind lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Campbell Connelly France

21 thoughts on “♫ Georgia On My Mind ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Georgia On My Mind ♫ — | EffinghamMoves

  2. Jill, thanks for the tribute to Ray Charles and this great song. Seeing the movie “Ray,” made this song more compelling, since he was banned from performing certain venues in the state after refusing to play to an all-white audience, after blacks were denied entry. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

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