Georgia welcomes you
Like many other songs, "Georgia on my Mind" is steeped in myth. Even today, due to the process of history, the song is believed to have been created in honor of the US state of Georgia. It gets plenty of airtime as just such a song. But the truth may lie elsewhere.
Here are some facts which shed some light on the subject. The song was written and first recorded way back in 1930. The composer was the vocalist and the famous band leader Hoagy Carmichael, who featured on the recording made in New York. The song was successful but not a hit. Thirty years later, Ray Charles made the song his own. He was born in Georgia and his version saw the song hit #1 on the charts. Almost 20 years later, Charles performed it for the local state legislature and today it has become the official song of the state.
But that was never its original intention. In fact, the lyricist wrote the words for the composer's sister, Georgia Carmichael. If you study the lyrics, you will see they could relate to a woman or to a state. But regardless of its origins, "Georgia on my Mind" has been hugely popular with artists. Here are just a few of the greats who have recorded this song: Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald, Willie Nelson, Louis Armstrong, Nat Gonella, Glenn Miller, Jo Stafford, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Jones, Coldplay, Oscar Peterson, Gladys Knight, Dean Martin and many, many more. Why? Perhaps because it has a wonderful melody, a laid back feel, and it stirs feelings of home and patriotism. In 2003 Rolling Stone
magazine declared "Georgia On My Mind" to be one of the top 50 greatest songs of all time. Not bad for a lyric about a friend's sister.
Forsyth Park Walkway and Fountain, Savannah
You'll have plenty on your mind when you visit Georgia. Music is a major part of the life of the city. The Georgia Music Hall of Fame is a magical celebration of the music of many great musicians, including Ray Charles, Otis Redding, James Brown, Little Richard, Johnny Mercer and more. There's even a section devoted to kids. In the museum, you wander the streets of music discovering instruments, musical styles, composers and performers. The souvenirs have to be seen to be believed.
Four major interstate highways lead you into Georgia, where a visit is fine almost any time of the year. Spring and fall are ideal and even the winters are usually quite mild. The flora is fabulous with azaleas and dogwoods, magnificent when in full bloom.
The towns and cities have much to offer, including a wide range of hotels. But if you enjoy the great outdoors, then Georgia is the place to be. There are dozens of state parks where you can fish, climb, camp, swim, and breathe that glorious fresh air.
Rock City is a great place to visit. The birds, the scenery, the walks and the history make it a fascination destination for the whole family. Did you know there are places where you can see into seven different states? Truly, Georgia must be close to the center of the world!
~ Cen Fox
Georgia On My Mind Songfacts
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