♫ Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain ♫

I’ve mentioned a few times that I am NOT a fan of country music, but there are exceptions and one of those exceptions is Willie Nelson.  Now, I don’t like all of Willie’s music, but there are a few that I do love, and tonight’s selection, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, is one such.

Written by songwriter Fred Rose and originally performed by Roy Acuff, this song has been covered by many artists, including Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Russell, and Charley Pride. But the best-known version was recorded by Willie Nelson as part of his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger.

This is, as are most country music fare, a rather depressing song, and singing the song night after night took an emotional toll on Nelson, who was a notorious drinker in the late ’70s.  Willie recalls …

“It’s really difficult to sing ‘Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain’ or ‘Always On My Mind’ without getting emotionally involved, especially when the audience gets emotionally involved and you feel their feelings. You can only wallow in your own misery for so long without saying, ‘Wait a minute, I want a drink!'”

Willie Nelson first made the Hot 100 as a songwriter in 1961 with Crazy (#9, recorded by Patsy Cline) and Hello Walls (#12, recorded by Faron Young), but this was his first trip to the chart as an artist. It was also his first #1 country hit, and it earned him the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Nelson’s singing career took off, and he soon became a household name.

This was the last song Elvis Presley played before he died. In the early morning of August 16, 1977, he played it on his piano in Graceland. Later that day, he died from an overdose of prescription drugs.

Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Willie Nelson

In the twilight glow I see
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain
When we kissed goodbye and parted
I knew we’d never meet again

Love is like a dyin’ ember
Only memories remain

Through the ages I’ll remember
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain

Some day when we meet up yonder
We’ll stroll hand in hand again

In a land that knows no partin’
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Rose Fred
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain lyrics © Sony/atv Milene Music, Campbell Connelly And Co.ltd., Acuff Rose Music, Inc.

♫ Always On My Mind ♫

I am not a fan of country music, cannot tolerate bluegrass or gospel music, but there are a few country singers who strike a chord with me, and at the top of that short list is Willie Nelson.

This was written by the songwriting trio of Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson Thompson. It was originally recorded by Brenda Lee in 1971.  The Country Music Association named this Single Of The Year in 1982. It also did very well at the Grammys, taking the awards for Song Of The Year, Best Male Country Vocal Performance, and Best Country Song. It was the first country song to take Song Of The Year, and it wasn’t until the 2007 ceremonies when another country act got one.  

I did not know that Elvis had ever recorded this song, but he did in 1972.  I am also surprised to find that while his version didn’t chart in the U.S., it reached #9 in the UK. It returned to the UK chart at #17 in 2007 when it was issued as part of a series of Elvis re-releases.  In 1987, the British electronic duo Pet Shop Boys released a dance version of Always On My Mind that was a surprise hit, becoming the Christmas #1 in the UK that year and reaching #4 in the US in May 1988.

Willie Nelson had never heard the song before Johnny Christopher brought it to him and Merle Haggard, who were busy recording the album Pancho & Lefty.  Says Nelson …

“‘Always On My Mind,’ bowled me over the moment I heard it, which is one of the ways I pick songs to record. There are beautifully sad songs that bowl me over … haunting melodies you can’t get out of your mind, with lines that really stick.”

Nelson figured he and Merle Haggard would do the song together, but Haggard didn’t care for it. After they finished recording their album, Nelson stayed in the studio and recorded the ballad solo, just to see what it would sound like. Of course, it sounded like a hit, but Nelson wondered, “We’ll never know what would have happened if Merle had really heard the song right.”

With that said, I give you Willie Nelson and You Were Always On My Mind

Always on My Mind
Willie Nelson

Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have

If I made you feel second best
Girl I’m sorry I was blind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

And maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
I guess I never told you
I am so happy that you’re mine

Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me
Tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
And gi-ve me
Give me one more chance to keep you satisfied
I’ll keep you satisfied

Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: James Mark / Christopher John Lee Jr
Always on My Mind lyrics © Screen Gems-emi Music Inc., Lovolar Music, Budde Songs Inc

♫ Georgia On My Mind ♫ (Redux)

Today, all eyes are on the runoff elections for Senate down in Georgia, and my friend Brian mentioned that he would have “Georgia on my mind” in a comment yesterday.  Naturally, this song popped into my head and I thought … PERFECT!  The perfect song for the day!  My friends, let’s keep Georgia on our minds today, for the very future of our nation may depend on the outcome of today’s elections.  Meanwhile, listen to Ray Charles and let him fill your heart with soul!


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

♫ Always On My Mind ♫

While I am definitely not a country music song, there are a few artists who have done some songs I very much love.  One of those is Willie Nelson, and tonight I wanted to do something different … I’ve been playing a lot of Motown and songs for the times we’re living through, but tonight I wanted to step out of those circles.

Willie Nelson released this in 1982, but before him, B.J Thomas released it in 1970, Brenda Lee released it in 1971 and Elvis Presley in 1972.  Then, in 1987, after performing it on a BBC Elvis tribute show, The Pet Shop Boys released their own version, the only one to soar to the #1 spot in the UK, although Elvis’ version reached #9 in the UK.  My favourite remains Willie’s, but as I have a number of friends across the pond, I will also play Elvis’ and The Pet Shop Boys’ versions.

The song was written by the songwriting trio of Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson Thompson.  Wayne Thompson wrote this song in ten minutes at his kitchen table in Missouri. He competed it in the studio with the help of Christopher and James.

Willie Nelson had never heard the song before Johnny Christopher brought it to him and Merle Haggard, who were busy recording the album Pancho & Lefty.

“‘Always On My Mind,’ bowled me over the moment I heard it, which is one of the ways I pick songs to record.  There are beautifully sad songs that bowl me over … haunting melodies you can’t get out of your mind, with lines that really stick.”

Nelson figured he and Haggard would do the song together, but Haggard didn’t care for it. After they finished recording their album, Nelson stayed in the studio and recorded the ballad solo, just to see what it would sound like. Of course, it sounded like a hit, but Nelson wondered, “We’ll never know what would have happened if Merle had really heard the song right.”

Always On My Mind
Willie Nelson/Elvis Presley/Pet Shop Boys

Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl I’m sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

And maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
I guess I never told you
I am so happy that you’re mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me
Tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
And give me
Give me one more chance to keep you satisfied
I’ll keep you satisfied

Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind

You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Johnny Christopher / Mark James / Wayne Thompson
Always On My Mind lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ King Of The Road ♫

I am trying to play non-angst-y songs at the moment, just fun songs with no deep, dark hidden meanings, no “Oh woe is me, she left me, how will I survive without her?” sort of things.  Just fun.  For one thing, I’m in need of ‘just fun’.  A reader asked me a few days ago how I stay sane, given the amount of time I spend in the dark world of politics in this, the Reign of Trump.  When I read her question, I was puzzled, for … whoever said I’m sane???  But even so, some weeks are harder on the psyche than others, and the past two have been … hard.  So, let’s have some fun, ‘k?

I am not a fan of country music, but there are some songs by artists whose genre is considered Country & Western that … I just don’t think of as being ‘country’.  Most of Kenny Rogers’ music doesn’t hurt my ears with a country twang, and even some of Willie Nelson’s is much to my liking.  Going waaaaaayyyy back, we have Roger Miller, who was dubbed country, and in truth much of his music was, but some was rather a crossover between mild country and pop.

The girls and I were driving back from the bookstore on Saturday night, and I remembered that I had no more cigarettes, so I would be rolling smokes first thing when we got home, which led me to belt out the line to this song that goes …

No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes

This is, in fact, one of the very few songs that I actually know most all of the lyrics to!  And yes, the girls immediately grabbed their ears and plugged them with their fingers when I started belting out.

Released in 1965, the song tells of a happy hobo lifestyle, with few creature comforts but plenty of freedom.

On Roger Miller’s website, it explains that Miller wrote this song over a 6-week span, beginning on a 1964 Midwest TV tour. He wrote the first verse when he saw a “Trailers for Sale or Rent” sign on the road outside Chicago. A few weeks later, he bought a statuette of a hobo in Boise, Idaho airport gift shop and stared at it until he had completed the song.

Miller has given at least one other explanation for how he came up with the song, however. When he was the co-host on the Mike Douglas Show August 11, 1969, he revealed that the idea for “King Of The Road” came when he was driving in Indiana and saw a sign offering trailers for sale or rent, and it stuck in his mind. Said Miller …

“I was doing a show in a place you have probably never heard of called Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and I saw a statue of a hobo in a cigar shop were I was staying. I purchased it and took it to my room and wrote the song.”

To further complicate matters, Nashville lore has it that Miller drew inspiration from the “Trailers for sale or rent” sign at Dunn’s Trailer Court, where he lived when he moved from Amarillo to Nashville with his wife and three kids. This was a popular place for aspiring Country singers on tight budgets: Hank Cochran and Willie Nelson both stayed there as well.

Bottom line?  Who knows?  Who cares?  The song won 1965 Grammy awards for Best Contemporary Rock ‘N Roll Single, Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Best Country & Western Recording, Best Country Vocal Performance, and Best Country Song.

King of the Road
Roger Miller

Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road

Third boxcar, midnight train, destination Bangor, Maine
Old worn-out suits and shoes
I don’t pay no union dues
I smoke old stogies I have found, short, but not too big around
I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road

I know every engineer on every train
All their children, and all of their names
And every hand out in every town
And every lock that ain’t locked when no one’s around

I sing, trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road

Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Roger Miller
King of the Road lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Crazy ♫

I was going to play one for Ellen tonight, but I remembered (with a little nudge of a reminder) that I had promised Larry last week that I would play this by Patsy Cline!  I tend to forget things, like where my car keys are when they are in my hand, and to put clothes into the washer before I run it, so it was no surprise that I forgot to play this for Larry.  Sorry, my friend! I will get to Ellen’s song tomorrow, if somebody will remind me.

Patsy-Cline

I had no idea, until 3 minutes ago, that this song, released in 1961, was written by none other than Willie Nelson!  At the time, Willie was a struggling country singer and got a big break when Cline recorded this and made it a hit. It has become one of Nelson’s most enduring songs. He covered the song for his own debut album, …And Then I Wrote, in 1962.  Willie later revealed that the original title of the song was to be Stupid.

I also did not know that just two months before she recorded Crazy, Ms. Cline was in a serious auto accident and was thrown through the windscreen (remember, they didn’t even have seatbelts back then), and at the first session, she couldn’t hit the high notes because of a broken rib, so the studio musicians recorded their parts without her. Two weeks later, she did her vocals while standing on crutches.

Tragically, Patsy would die in a plane crash just two years after the release of this song, at the young age of only 30.

There is so much fascinating trivia about Patsy Cline that I cannot possibly include it all here, but here are a few tidbits …

  • She was the first female country singer to headline in Vegas
  • She became the first solo female artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973
  • In 1997, Cline’s recording of “Crazy” was named the number one jukebox hit of all time
  • Her given name was Virginia Patterson Hensley and as a child she was known as Ginny
  • In 1993, the U.S. Postal Service created special-issue postage stamps to honor Patsy Cline, along with other country superstars such as Hank Williams, the Carter Family and Bob Wills.
  • When Patsy was 13, she was hospitalized with a throat infection and rheumatic fever. She later said, “The fever affected my throat and when I recovered I had this booming voice like Kate Smith.”

Wikipedia has an impressive amount of detail about Patsy’s life, death, and the mark she left on the music industry … check it out if you’re interested.  And another article I came across, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Patsy Cline, also had some really interesting facts and trivia.

Thanks Larry … I had fun doing the legwork on this one!

Crazy
Patsy Cline

Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
I’m crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then someday you’d leave me for somebody new

Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wondering what in the world did I do?
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying

And I’m crazy for loving you
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I’m crazy for loving you.

Songwriters: Willie Nelson
Crazy lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ 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

The Rainbow Connection …

I have absolutely no idea why I keep feeling a compulsion to share music with you guys every night, and I don’t imagine this will last long.  I suspect it is my way of working through the mass of angst that resides somewhere in the core of me at the moment. As I chat with you all via comments, write my posts for the next day, and do other tasks such as research, scanning the news, etc., I am most always listening to something (sometimes I am simply listening to the purrrrrr of a contented kittie in my lap).  I cannot write while I listen to anything with lyrics, for I am too easily distracted, so while I am writing, I am usually listening to Beethoven’s Pastorale or other classical selections.  But then later, I come upon something and for some reason just feel compelled to share.  Bear with me, for I’m sure this phase will pass, but meanwhile, I hope you enjoy at least some of the tunes.

Tonight, I find myself softly singing the Rainbow Connection … as sung by my favourite, Kermit THE Frog!  ♫  There is a better version done by the Carpenters, but somehow … sometimes … nothing will do but the Kermit version! (For the record, Willie Nelson even did a version of this, which I have not heard.  I love Willie … in some things, like Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain, and Always on my Mind, but the Rainbow Connection???  NO … just no.)