Ray Charles – Georgia On My Mind

About The Song

Songwriter and bandleader Hoagy Carmichael wrote Georgia On My Mind in 1930, while he was living in New York. The story goes that he and his room-mate, a banker named Stuart Gorrell, were looking out of the window at the wet weather and decided to write a song together about the warmer southern state. However Carmichael had a sister named Georgia and it’s possible the song is about her. Interestingly it was the only lyric that Gorrell ever wrote – perhaps one of the greatest ‘one hit wonders’ in musical history!

In 1960, Ray Charles, a native of Georgia, recorded a version of the song that went to No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot 100. Charles’ hit rendition would become the most widely-known version of the tune from this time on. It would also be the song most associated with his musical career.

Charles came from Georgia, and despite losing his sight at the age of 7 was a prodigious pianist, strongly influenced by blues, rhythm and blues and gospel styles. He idolised artists such as Louis Jordan and Nat King Cole, and blended these styles together to create his own sound, which many identified as the beginning of soul music.

In 1979 the Georgia General Assembly adopted Georgia On My Mind as their state song.

See also  Ray Charles – Hit The Road Jack



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