Georgia on My Mind

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Georgia on My Mind is the title of a jazz standard that was written by the American composer Hoagy Carmichael in 1930 and became a hit in various musical styles in numerous cover versions .

History of origin

Hoagland Howard "Hoagy" Carmichael had composed over a dozen songs by the time Georgia on My Mind was written. His first known composition was the Riverboat Shuffle by the Wolverine Orchestra , recorded on May 6, 1924 with Bix Beiderbecke , when Carmichael was still studying law in Indiana. The original Cotton Club Orchestra recorded an early cover version of this on April 27, 1925. On October 31, 1927, Carmichael made his first recordings for Gennett Records under the name Hoagy Carmichael and his Pals ; from this session came his composition Stardust , which was composed before Georgia on My Mind .

Hoagy Carmichael & Orchestra - Georgia on My Mind

The idea for Georgia on My Mind came from the saxophonist Frank Trumbauer , who encouraged Carmichael to write a title about Georgia. “Why don't you write a song about Georgia? Nobody has suffered financial losses for writing a song about the South. ”The experts disagree on whether the US state Georgia or Carmichael's sister Georgia was meant. Together with the lyricist Stuart Gorrell, a former classmate of Carmichael and then a bank clerk, the song was written in the spring of 1930. Carmichael was employed by a broker and wrote Georgia on My Mind and other titles in his spare time. The Liedbrücke refutes that it could refer to the state of Georgia ; she mentions "other arms reach out to me" and "other eyes smile tenderly" (other arms reach out towards me, other eyes smile lovingly), so that the interpreter longs for a woman. The song is in AABA form and has 32 bars. The A parts are in major, while the B part has a minor characteristic.

Carmichael insisted on recording the title first. In the recording session on September 15, 1930, his orchestra consisted of himself (vocals) and renowned musicians such as Bix Beiderbecke (cornet), Ray Lodwig (trumpet), Jack Teagarden and Boyce Cullen (trombone), Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet / alto saxophone), Bud Freeman (tenor saxophone), Pee Wee Russell (alto saxophone), Irving Brodsky (piano), Joe Venuti (violin), Eddie Lang (guitar), Min Leibrook (bass saxophone) and Chauncey Morehouse (drums). Many of the members later led famous jazz bands. However, the composer's original has not yet made it onto the charts.

First cover versions

Trumbauer's orchestra recorded the title on June 24, 1931 and thus reached number ten in the charts. In the meantime, Carmichael had had a publishing contract with Southern Music Publishing since 1930 , in time enough to register Georgia on My Mind as the first song . The copyright for this was not registered until December 22, 1930. Louis Armstrong recorded the song on November 5, 1931; only Mildred Bailey's version, published in January 1932, reached the charts again with a rank of 19. In June 1941, Gene Krupa remembered the title and took him to number 17 on the charts with his orchestra (vocals Anita O'Day ). These were not convincing successes.

Ray Charles picks up the song

Ray Charles - Georgia on My Mind

Ray Charles had the record label Atlantic Records leave until 1 November 1959 after he Although four top positions here within five years Rhythm & Blues - Hit Parade land, but no convincing crossover could produce in the white Pophitparade. The first song for the album The Genius Hits the Road was created on March 25, 1960, Georgia on My Mind, in just 4 takes. The LP was recorded in two extensive sessions on March 25th and 29th. The single was released on August 19, 1960 as ABC Paramount 10135 and became the first hit for Ray Charles in the Pophitparade, a mixture of pop, jazz and blues. Georgia on My Mind was thus able to reach the top position in the American charts for the first time. The trend-setting recording for Ray Charles also received two Grammy Awards for best male performance and best performance of a pop single. The single, accompanied by Ralph Burns and his orchestra, became a million seller . The Charles version helped revitalize the song and reached number 44 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 best songs of all time .

More cover versions

The Righteous Brothers put their version on the market in February 1966 without any particular response, followed by Wes Montgomery in July 1968 . Willie Nelson’s April 1978 version again triggers honors. Nelson received a Grammy for Best Male Vocalist for Georgia on My Mind in 1979 . With Willie Nelson, Georgia on My Mind is now also a top hit in the Country & Western charts. Michael Bolton covered the song in August 1990 .

The Swing - Ballade was by many jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald , Billie Holiday , Fats Waller , Nat Gonella and his New Georgians, Django Reinhardt or Oscar Peterson interpreted.

The group The Band released the recorded on October 30, 1976 Title in November 1976 with Richard Manuel as the lead singer in order to support the presidential campaign of Jimmy Carter . Carter was Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975 and was elected 39th President of the United States in 1977.

Annie Lennox , Otis Redding , Gladys Knight , James Brown , Maceo Parker , The Righteous Brothers , Michael Bolton , Widespread Panic , David Bromberg , Van Morrison , The Spencer Davis Group , Bing Crosby , Hildegard Knef , Helge Schneider , Thomas Quasthoff have other versions , Coldplay or Jacob Collier .

The Austrian Austropop singer Hubert von Goisern has dedicated a version of the song with a new text to his home town Bad Goisern .

In the Beatles song Back in the USSR , the line of text "... that Georgia's always on my mind!" Alludes to the song and the ambiguity of the toponym Georgia in English, which not only describes the US state but also the former Soviet Republic of Georgia .

Prince didn't release a cover version, but named Georgia on My Mind as one of 55 songs that inspired him musically.

Statistics and awards

The ASCAP has copyrighted 358 titles for Carmichael. The song received a BMI award , it has been covered over 100 times, making it one of the most frequently covered titles.

On April 24, 1979, Georgia on My Mind was declared a state song for the state of Georgia, and even here the love for the state of Georgia is highlighted as part of the official justification. The introductory text gives a single indication that the state cannot be meant, as is often assumed in the literature. Carmichael himself, in his autobiography Sometimes I wonder (1965), nourishes the opinion of the professional world, which follows the state thesis.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Description at (Engl.)
  2. The album with titles about places in the US promotes the notion that the state of Georgia could be meant
  3. ^ Joseph Murrells, Million Selling Records , 1985, p. 140
  4. ^ ASCAP via Hoagie Carmichael
  5. BMI | Repertoire search. Retrieved April 16, 2020 .
  6. ^ Richard Sudhalter, Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael , 2002