Georgia On My Mind (3:39)

Cover of Ray!

From Ray! and 450 other releases

“Georgia on My Mind” is a song written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics). It is the official state song of the U.S. state of Georgia. Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy’s sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or to a woman named “Georgia”. Carmichael’s 1965 autobiography, Sometimes I Wonder, records the origin: a friend, saxophonist and bandleader Frankie Trumbauer, suggested: “Why don’t you write a song called ‘Georgia?’ Nobody lost much writing about the South.” Thus, the song is universally believed to have been written about the state.

It was not until Ray Charles’ 1960 recording on The Genius Hits the Road that the song became a major hit, reaching the number one spot for one week in November 1960 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. On March 7, 1979, in a mutual symbol of reconciliation after conflict over civil rights issues, he performed it before the Georgia General Assembly (the state legislature). After this performance, the connection to the state was firmly made, and then the Assembly adopted it as the state song on April 24.
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