For the Charles Sheffield novelette, see Georgia on My Mind (novelette).
"Georgia on My Mind"
Single by Ray Charles
from the album The Genius Hits the Road
B-side "What'd I Say"
Released September 1960
Label ABC Records
Writer(s) Hoagy Carmichael (music)
Stuart Gorrell (lyrics)
"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.
The song was first recorded on September 15, 1930 in New York by Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke on muted cornet and Hoagy Carmichael on vocals. The recording was part of Bix Beiderbecke's last recording session. The recording was released as Victor 23013 with "One Night in Havana".
Frankie Trumbauer had the first major hit recording in 1931 when his recording made the top ten on the charts. Trumbauer had suggested that Carmichael compose the song. Another 1931 hit version was Mildred Bailey's vocal made with members of Paul Whiteman's Orchestra (Victor 22880).
Ray Charles, a native of Georgia, recorded it in 1960 on the album The Genius Hits the Road. It became Georgia's state song in 1979. Inspired by this blues version, Willie Nelson introduced the song to country audiences in 1978 as a #1 Country/Western hit.