|Single by Roy Orbison|
|from the album In Dreams|
|B-side||"Mean Woman Blues"|
|Released||August 1, 1963|
|Recorded||November 1961, at Monument Records|
|Genre||Country pop, rockabilly|
|Writer(s)||Roy Orbison, Joe Melson|
|Roy Orbison singles chronology|
Roy Orbison version
A plaintive ballad, "Blue Bayou" was originally recorded by Roy Orbison at the end of 1961, but released by Monument as the double A-side track on a Monument Records single in the UK, yet was issued at the 'B'-side single in the US, peaking at #29; "Mean Woman Blues" was a US #5, released in August 1963, written by Claude Demetrius and originally recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957). In the UK both sides peaked at #3 as a double A-sided single on London Monument, HLU 9777. The song also appeared on Orbison's 1963 full-length album In Dreams.
US: Monument Records 824
- "Blue Bayou" (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson) – 2:29 - Recorded in late 1961.
- "Mean Woman Blues" (Claude Demetrius) – 2:23
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|Australian Singles Chart||1|
|UK Singles Chart||3|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||10|
|US Billboard Hot R&B Sides||26|
|US Billboard Pop Singles||29|
References in popular culture
This song has been used in several motion pictures including:
- The Man Who Fell to Earth, Nicolas Roeg (1976) starring David Bowie
- Last Orders, Fred Schepisi (2001)
- Dreamcatcher, Lawrence Kasdan (2003)
- Man on Fire, Tony Scott (2004)
Linda Ronstadt version
German 7" single
|Single by Linda Ronstadt|
|from the album Simple Dreams|
|B-side||Depending on the country of release, this side would either be reserved for the songs "Old Paint", "Love Me Tender, "Maybe I'm Right, or "Poor Poor Pitiful Me".|
|Released||August 23, 1977(US)|
|Genre||Country rock, Rock ballad|
|Writer(s)||Roy Orbison, Joe Melson|
|Linda Ronstadt singles chronology|
Linda Ronstadt took the song to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late 1977 — where it held for four weeks — as well as #2 Country and #3 Easy Listening. It also reached #2 — for four weeks — on the Cash Box Top 100 chart.
The single was RIAA certified Gold (for sales of over 1 million US copies) in January 1978. It was the first of Ronstadt's three Gold singles. Don Henley of the Eagles sang backup on the recording. "Blue Bayou" was later certified Platinum (for over 2 million copies sold in the United States). It was a worldwide smash and was also popular in a Spanish-language version called "Lago Azul".
Ronstadt later performed the song on an episode of The Muppet Show.
Because of this song, Dickson's Baseball Dictionary records that a "Linda Ronstadt" is a synonym for a fastball, a pitch that "blew by you." That phrase was coined by Mets broadcaster Tim McCarver during a Mets telecast in the '80s. 
US: Asylum Records E-45431
- "Blue Bayou" (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson) – 3:57
- "Old Paint (traditional, arranged by Linda Ronstadt) – 3:05
|US Billboard Adult Contemporary||3|
|US Billboard Country Singles||2|
|US Billboard Pop Singles||3|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||3|
|UK Singles Chart||35|
Other English cover versions
Besides Linda Ronstadt, many other artists have covered "Blue Bayou" in English; among them are:
- Tracy Huang (zh), 1978, album Just The Way You Are,
- the Dutch singer Piet Veerman (nl), 1980, album Back to You,
- Tony Christie, 1983, album Country Love,
- Dolly Parton performed the song on her 1987-88 variety show, in an episode filmed in New Orleans.
- Lynn Anderson, 1989, album Rose Garden (a compilation not to be confused with Lynn Anderson's single from 1970 of the same title Rose Garden),
- Andy Tielman, 1990, album Now and Forever,
- the English pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck, 1991, album Träumen mit Engelbert 2,
- Ed Bruce, 1995, album Puzzles,
- The Cox Family, 1995, album Beyond the City,
- the Maltese country singer Marisa D’Amato, 1998, album Makin’ Believe,
- A-Mei Chang, 2001, album Journey,
- Raul Malo, 2004, album Nashville Acoustic Sessions,
- Deborah Sasson (de), 2004, album Pop Classics,
- Martina McBride, 2007, album Waking up Laughing
- the Australian a cappella group The Idea of North, 2007, album Live at the Powerhouse,
- The Mavericks, 2008, album Covers,
- Norah Jones with M. Ward, 2010, album ...Featuring Norah Jones,
- the Swedish singer Christer Sjögren, 2011, album Kramgoa låtar 2011,
- Damien Leith, 2011, album Roy: A Tribute To Roy Orbison,
- Andrea Corr, 2011, album Lifelines,
- Chris de Burgh, 2011, album Footsteps 2,
- Swiss (a reggae singer of Tongan origin in New Zealand), 2012, single Blue Bayou (a reggae version of the song).
Cover versions in other languages
- German: Danny Marino (de), title: "Blue Bayou", 1963, single Blue Bayou / Bald geh´n die Lichter aus (Polydor – 52 180),
- Spanish: the Mexican singer Lalo Carrión, title: "Sueño Azul", 1964, single Sueño azul (ORFEON – 45-1470),
- Spanish: Linda Ronstadt, title: "Lago Azul", 1977, single Lago Azul (Asylum Records – E-45464),
- German: the Swiss singer Paola Felix, title: "Blue Bayou", 1978, single Blue Bayou (CBS – S 6180),
- Spanish: the Italian singer Iva Zanicchi, title: "Lago Azul", 1978, single Lago azul/Se riesci a non morire (RIFI – MO 1867),
- French: the French singer Mireille Mathieu, title: "À Blue Bayou" (fr), 1978, album Fidèlement vôtre (fr) (Philips – 9101 707, Ariola – 26 446 IU, Polydor – 2424 182),
- Italian: the Italian singer Iva Zanicchi, title: "Con la voglia di te", 1978, album Con la voglia di te (it) [RIFI – RDZ ST 14290],
- Norwegian: the Norwegian country singer Lillian Aslekand (no), title: "Blue Bayou", 1978, album Countryjente (no) (Talent – TLS 3042),
- German: the Greek singer Nana Mouskouri, title: "Blue Bayou", 1978, album Lieder, die die Liebe schreibt (Philips – 9129 001; Ex Libris – PH 6858 091),
- Icelandic: the Icelandic singer Þuríður Sigurðardóttir (is), title: "líknandi tár", 1991,
- Spanish: the Mexican singer/actress Bibi Gaytán, title: "Lago Azul", 1994, album Manzana verde,
- Spanish: the Mexican singer Roberto Jordan, title: "Bahia Azul", 1995, album 15 Grandes Exitos (Dismex Sonoamerica – 9026),
- Finnish: Anna Eriksson, title: "Rakkauden Saari", 1997, album Anna Eriksson (MTV-Musiikki – MTVCD 124),
- Estonian: Tarmo Pihlap (et), title: "Koju Läen", 1997, album Kutse tantsule nr 5 (et) (Aidem Pot – POT CD 1040),
- Finnish: Kari Tapio, title: "Tuun Blue Bayou'uun", 1998, album Sinut tulen aina muistamaan (fi) (AXR – AXRCD 1151),
- Spanish: the Argentine-Italian singer Semino Rossi, title: "Lago Azul", 2011, album Augenblicke,
- German: the Austrian singer Andy Borg, title: "Blue Bayou", 2011, album Komm ein bisschen mit,
- English (verses) + Hawaiian (chorus): the Hawaiian/American singer Faith Ako, title: "Blue Bayou", 2013, album Kulaiwi – My Beloved Homeland.
- "Roy Orbison website". Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- "irishcharts.ie search results for Blue Bayou". Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- "norwegiancharts.com". Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- "Allmusic - Roy Orbison - Billboard singles". Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- "Blue Bayou by Linda Ronstadt". Wax.fm. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- "Blue Bayou". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- "W. W. Norton and Company". Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- "Allmusic - Linda Ronstadt - Billboard singles". Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- "everyhit.com search results". Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- New Zealand Singles Chart: Swiss - "Blue Bayou" song page