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Tennessee Waltz

by

Patti Page



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King in 1947 and was originally a hit for Pee Wee King in 1948. Patti Page's recording is the best known version of this song, selling 10 million copies, the largest selling record by a female artist in recording history.
This was concurrently #1 on the pop, country and R&B charts, a feat no other artist in recording history can claim.
In 1965 this became one of the state of Tennessee's official state songs. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
Patti Page originally recorded the country waltz to serve as a B-side. The record company was betting on its flip side, a Christmas novelty, "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," which disappeared within weeks of its release, to be replaced by "Long Long Ago". "Mercury wanted to concentrate on a Christmas song and they didn't want anything with much merit on the flip side," Page later recalled. "They didn't want any disc jockeys to turn the Christmas record over. The title of that great Christmas song was "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," and no one ever heard of it."
This was the last song to sell a million copies of sheet music.
The success of the Patti Page version led to covers by Jo Stafford and Les Paul with Mary Ford (both of which reached the Top Ten) whilst versions by Teddy Johnson and Anita O'Day both topped the UK charts.
Patti Page
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Comments (10):

On December 2nd, 1947 Pee Wee King recorded "Tennessee Waltz" at the RCA Victor studios in Chicago; and in early 1948 the recording peaked at #3 on Billboard's C&W Singles chart (his next two charted records on the country charts were "Tennessee Tears", it reached #12, and "Tennessee Polka", which peaked at #3)...
R.I.P Mr. King, born Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski, 1914 - 2000.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
On December 30th, 1950 "Tennessee Waltz" became #1 and remained in the top spot for nine weeks. But strangely, when Billboard had it's Year-End Top 100 Songs of 1951 the song was ranked at #18!!!
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
In 1959 this song charted twice; Bobby Comstock peaked at No. 52 and Jerry Fuller took it to No. 63, and then in 1964 Sam Cooke topped out at No. 35!!!
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Jesse Winchester's song, "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" can be heard as a sequel to this tune. It's on his first album.
- Daniel, Seattle, WA
Pee Wee King, real name Julius, was driving his pick up truck and listening to the radio, when he heard Bill Monroe's "Kentucky Waltz". He thought there should be a waltz for Tennessee too, so he started thinking of lyrics. He grabbed the only thing he could find to write on, a box of stick matches, and quickly wrote down what he had. Then he got help from his band's lead vocalist, Redd Stewart, and together they finished the song.
- Terry, Willmar, MN
We invite you to visit our tribute site to the man behind the song, 'Tennessee Waltz' - Redd Stewart: www.reddstewart.com

Enjoy!
- Sharon, Elizabeth City, NC
Think about this for second. The line in the song I believe is "She was dancing with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz". But this song is the "Tennessee Waltz". Right?? Is there actually a Tennessee waltz?? Follow my question?? Is there two songs with this title?? Patti Page's and the song they were dancing to mentioned in the song??
- Alan, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
There are two terrific covers of this -- one is by the always wonderful Eva Cassidy on her "Imagine" CD. The other is by Norah Jones, which I found by accident on YouTube recently. I don't know which CD it's from but it is a memorable performance.
- Jerry, Brooklyn, NY
I really like Leonard Cohen's version. He added an extra verse at the end:

So I was dancin' through the darkness, to the Tennesse Waltz, and I feel like I'm fallin' apart. And it's stronger than drink and its deeper than sorrow, this darkness she's left in my heart...
- Madison, Norway, ME
This song is beautiful no matter who sings it but when Patsy Cline sang it you just wanted to stop and listen over and over again no matter what kind of music you normally listened (or listen) to and the crossover hit it became made all the sense in the world. Over the years I have enjoyed the response I always saw when someone younger discovered this song..
- Savannah, Galveston, TX
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