Ray Charles – Hallelujah I Love Her So

This is one of those songs where I could listen to it on a loop and be happy. Ray Charles wrote this song with a gospel feel to it. It was released in 1956 and it peaked at #5 in the R&B charts.

He went to a state school for the blind in St. Augustine, Florida. He became a professional musician after leaving there in 1945, after the death of his mother. A piece of advice that Ray’s mother gave to him: “You’re blind, not stupid.”

He moved to Seattle because it was the farthest, he could get from Florida. Jack Lauderdale, one of the first black record label owners, signed Charles to the Downbeat label, for whom Charles had his first hit in 1949, Confession Blues. The recording session for it was noteworthy for another reason…Charles recorded it while there was a musicians’ strike. The union fined him $600,  his life savings at that point for the infraction.

Charles’ recording contract was sold to Atlantic Records in 1952, shortly after he moved to LA. He formed his own band in 1954 and started to release records.

This song was in the Quarrymen and early Beatles repertoire and a big influence. The first time I heard this song was on the Live! at the Star Club 1962 album released in 1977. The album was recorded in 1962 in the audience by “King Size” Taylor, lead singer of the Dominos. He claims he asked Lennon if that was alright and John verbally agreed to the group being recorded in exchange for Taylor providing the beer during their performances. It was recorded on a low-grade reel to reel in the audience. The Beatles tried to block the release but were unsuccessful. I for one am glad it wasn’t blocked.

It shows how raw they were in the early days. This was recorded right after The Beatles sacked Pete Best and Ringo was brought in.

The lead singer on the Beatles version was that famous Beatle named Horst Fascher. Actually, Horst was a protector of the band and the only favor he asked was to occasionally sing a song. Fascher meant a lot to the Beatles and he worked at the Hamburg clubs they played in.

According to Mark Lewisohn (author of Tune In)… Hamburg was very important to the Beatles. In their first trip to Hamburg, they accumulated around 415 hours of stage time. The Beatles had to be the most experienced rock group in the world, not just Liverpool. When they got back to Liverpool people were amazed and they were the number 1 band in their hometown from then on.

Eddie Cochran and George Jones made chart versions of this song.

Hallelujah I Love Her So

Let me tell you ’bout a boy (girl) I know
He(She) is my baby and he (she) lives next door
Ev’ry morning ‘fore the sun come up
He (she) brings my coffee in my fav’rite cup
That’s why I know, yes, I know
Hallelujah, I just love him (her) so
When I’m in trouble and I have no friends
I know hel’ll (she’ll) go with me until the end
Ev’rybody asks me how I know
I smile at them and say he (she) told me so
That’s why I know, yes, I know
Hallelujah, I just love him (her) so

Now if I call him (her) on the telephone
And tell him (her) that I’m all alone
By the time I count from one to four,I hear him (her) on my door
In the evening when the sun goes down
When there is nobody else around
He (she) kisses me and he (she) holds me tight
He (And) tells me “Baby, (Daddy) ev’ry thing’s all right”
That’s why I know, yes, I know
Hallelujah, I just love him (her) so

[Repeat]

Frankie Miller – I Can’t Change It

This is the kind of song and artist I like posting. I call it New Old music because not everyone has heard of Frankie Miller like Neil Young and other artists.

I was watching Life On Mars when this song came on in an emotional scene. I’d never heard of it before. I never heard of Frankie Miller but what a singer. He wrote this song when he was 12 years old. Ray Charles ended up recording it also. Frankie’s voice plus this song is incredibly powerful.

Ray Charles did his usual fantastic job on it but I like Frankie’s stark arrangement. I can’t say enough about his voice. In some of his other songs, he reminds me of Bob Seger with even a little stronger voice. He wrote Ain’t Got No Money that Seger covered.

In 1994 while he was forming a band with Joe Walsh he had a brain aneurysm. He has fought back but sadly he can no longer perform.

If you don’t know much about him he is worth looking up.

I Can’t Change It

My friends can’t find some things I say
Must be the way I say those things
My friends can’t find some things I do
Must be the way I do those things
I can’t change it
But I’m trying to do right

I used to steal I used to fall
Was I wrong I can’t recall
I stole in love but all in all
Was I wrong I don’t recall
I can’t change it
But I’m trying to do right

Is it bad to look inside yourself and decide to go
To someone who can show the way complete
Are you glad to lose the doubts you thought would never go
When them inside hallucinations had you beat

My own true love has gone away
What can I say she left that day
The moon still shines a different way
What can I say
She left that day
I can’t change it but I’m waiting patiently

Ray Charles – Georgia On My Mind

I first heard this at home because my mom had Ray Charles’s greatest hits. One of the most beautiful songs ever…and Ray’s voice made it that much better.

This was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell in 1930. Carmichael was an actor, performer, and popular songwriter, some of his other compositions include “Stardust” and “Winter Moon.” Gorrell was a banker living in New York City, and he wrote the lyrics.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1960. Mr. Charles had an incredible 75 songs in the top 100, 11 top 10 hits, and 3 number 1 hits.

On April 24, 1979, this became the official state song of Georgia.

From Songfacts

It’s possible that this was written about a woman, not the state. Carmichael and Gorrell didn’t live in Georgia, but Carmichael did have a sister named Georgia.

This was a #10 hit for a jazz saxophone player named Frankie Trumbauer in 1931. Many artists have recorded it over the years, including Louis Armstrong, James Brown (a Georgia native), Django Reinhardt, and Willie Nelson. Charles’ version is by far the most famous.

Charles decided to record this song after his driver suggested it, since Ray kept singing it while riding in the car.

Ray Charles was born in Albany, Georgia. His family moved to Florida when he was still a baby.

The orchestra was arranged by Ralph Burns, Woody Herman’s pianist.

This was recorded quickly in New York City – it took only four takes to complete (compared to Charles’ usual 10-12 takes).

This won Grammy awards for Best Male Vocal Recording and Best Pop Song Performance. The album also won for Best Male Vocal Performance Album, and another song on the album, “Let the Good Times Roll,” won for Best R&B Performance, giving Charles a total of four Grammys in 1960.

Five different versions of this song have made the US Hot 100. Here the four that came after Charles’ recording:

Righteous Brothers (#62, 1966)
Georgia Pines Candymen (#81, 1967)
Wes Montgomery (#91, 1968)
Willie Nelson (#84, 1978)
Michael Bolton (#36, 1990)

This was the first of three #1 singles on the US Hot 100 for Ray Charles. “Hit the Road, Jack” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” are his others.

The song “Georgia on My Mind,” with lyrics by Mr. Stuart Gorrell and music by Mr. Hoagy Carmichael, has an enduring quality that has made it one of the best-loved songs in America for many years.

Although “Georgia on My Mind” describes a Georgian’s love for his state, its beautiful melody and lyrics have given the song a worldwide appeal.

“Georgia on My Mind” has been recorded by many outstanding artists, but the rendition by Mr. Ray Charles, a native Georgian, which was first recorded in 1958, has been greatly enjoyed by music lovers throughout the world.

It is appropriate that the official State song should be a beautiful song that has wide appeal throughout the country, and “Georgia on My Mind” is an outstanding example of these qualities.

Willie Nelson sang this at Charles’ funeral in 2004.

Charles won eight awards at the 2005 Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Album of the Year (for Genius Loves Company). He was honored throughout the show; Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx performed this as part of the tribute. Foxx had recently portrayed Charles in the movie Ray.

Nelson’s version was recorded for his 1978 album, Stardust, a collection of pop standards. Rick Blackburn, an executive at CBS Records Nashville who went on to become president of Atlantic Records, thought Nelson was nuts for taking on the project, thinking it would alienate his growing fanbase. Blackburn recalled Nelson’s response in the 1988 biography Willie: “Willie said, ‘Great songs are great songs no matter when they’re written. The other thing is, my audience right now is young, college age, and mid-twenties. They’ll think these are new songs, and at the same time we’ll get the sentiment of the older audience who grew up with these songs but don’t necessarily know the artist. We will bridge that gap.”

Nelson was right. The album went to #1 on the country albums chart and stayed on the chart for ten years. His rendition of “Georgia On My Mind” was also a #1 hit on the country singles chart and earned him the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1979.

Georgia On My Mind

Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)

I said Georgia
Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

I said Georgia
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

Whoa, Georgia
Georgia
No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind