Georgia On My Mind

abc5c7b1fa267b187c01f17404144d74  Download    This is the day, in 1979,  when Ray Charles sang this song at the ceremony where it was named the official state song of Georgia.  So what was the state song before that?  Wait…. let me look.  Oh, yeah… “Sweet Georgia Brown”.  They made the right decision…

Hoagy Carmichael wrote this tune in 1930 – for his sister, not the state.  For his sister?  That’s a little weird.  Frankie Trumbauer had the first major hit with it in 1931.  You remember Frankie, don’t you?  But, of course, Ray had the biggest hit with “Georgia On My Mind” in 1960 and his version is just classic.  However, in 1962, Ray Charles was banned from the state of Georgia.  Can you do that?  Seems he canceled a concert in Augusta in ’61 after finding out the dance floor was restricted to “whites only”, while blacks had to sit in the balcony.  So he was prohibited from performing anywhere in the state of Georgia for 17 years.  Fascinating, since he was born there.  Apparently, the state song ceremony was a reconciliation of sorts.  Who knew?

This is the way we do it – short, sweet, and bluesy.  It’s on the Pop/Rock list for singers who need backups.  Wait for the final guitar chord –  cool, I think… but of course I would.


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