Blue Bayou

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This article is about the Roy Orbison song. For other uses, see Blue Bayou (disambiguation).
"Blue Bayou"
Single by Roy Orbison
from the album In Dreams
B-side "Mean Woman Blues"
Released August 1, 1963 (1963-08-01)
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded November 1961, at Monument Records
Genre Country pop, rockabilly
Length 2:29
Label Monument
Writer(s) Roy Orbison, Joe Melson
Producer(s) Fred Foster
Roy Orbison singles chronology
"Blue Bayou"
"Pretty Paper"

"Blue Bayou" is the title of a song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, and originally sung by Orbison. It later became Linda Ronstadt's signature song.

Orbison version[edit]

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.[1] The song also appeared on Orbison's 1963 full-length album In Dreams.

"Blue Bayou" reappeared on his 1989 posthumous album A Black & White Night Live, from the 1988 television special on Cinemax.

Track listings[edit]

7" vinyl[edit]

US: Monument Records 824

Side one

  1. "Blue Bayou" (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson) – 2:29 - Recorded in late 1961.

Side two

  1. "Mean Woman Blues" (Claude Demetrius) – 2:23

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1963) Peak
Irish Singles Chart[2] 1
Australian Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 3
Norwegian Singles Chart[3] 10
US Billboard Hot R&B Sides[4] 26
US Billboard Pop Singles[4] 29

References in popular culture[edit]

This song has been used in several motion pictures including:

Ronstadt version[edit]

"Blue Bayou"
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".[5]
Released August 23, 1977 (August 23, 1977)
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Country rock, Rock ballad
Length 3:57
Label Asylum
Writer(s) Roy Orbison, Joe Melson
Producer(s) Peter Asher
Linda Ronstadt singles chronology
"Lose Again"
"Blue Bayou"
"It's So Easy"

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.[6] "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. [7]

Track listings[edit]

7" vinyl[edit]

US: Asylum Records E-45431

Side one

  1. "Blue Bayou" (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson) – 3:57

Side two

  1. "Old Paint (traditional, arranged by Linda Ronstadt) – 3:05

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[8] 3
US Billboard Country Singles[8] 2
US Billboard Pop Singles[8] 3
Chart (1978) Peak
New Zealand Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart[9] 35

Other cover versions[edit]

The song was recorded by Australian a cappella group The Idea of North and Swiss singer Paola Felix.

Damien Leith covered "Blue Bayou" on his 2011 album Roy: A Tribute To Roy Orbison.

Andrea Corr performs "Blue Bayou" on her 2011 album Lifelines.

Chris de Burgh covered the song on his 2011 album Footsteps 2.

Ed Bruce covered the song on his 1995 album Puzzles.

Deborah Sasson (de) recorded "Blue Bayou" for her 2004 album Pop Classics.

Nana Mouskouri covered a German version of the song, entitled "Ich Will Heim Zu Dir, Blue Bayou", in 1978.

"Blue Bayou" has been recorded by other artists in many languages, including in the French language by France's Mireille Mathieu. Mexican singer/actress Bibi Gaytán recorded a Spanish version of this song in 1994 titled "Lago Azul", which was released as the first single from her second studio album Manzana verde.


  1. ^ "Roy Orbison website". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  2. ^ " search results for Blue Bayou". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "Allmusic - Roy Orbison - Billboard singles". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Blue Bayou by Linda Ronstadt". Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  6. ^ "Blue Bayou". Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  7. ^ "W. W. Norton and Company". Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  8. ^ a b c "Allmusic - Linda Ronstadt - Billboard singles". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  9. ^ " search results". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 

External links[edit]