This song was written by the Louisiana swamp rocker Tony Joe White, who first recorded it on his second album, Continued
, in 1968. The song is ode to loneliness and fatalism, as it finds our hero outside in the rain with nowhere to go and no woman to love him. "I knew about rainy nights in Georgia," White said in our 2013 interview
. "When I got out of high school, I went down to Marietta, Georgia to live with my sister and get a job. I got a job driving a truck for the highway. Then every time it would rain, I would get to stay home and play my guitar. So I remembered them rainy days and rainy nights down there."
White had a hit of his own with "Polk Salad Annie
," which hit #8 in the US in August 1969. Benton's version of "Rainy Night In Georgia" peaked at #4 in March 1970.