Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

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"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
Single by Willie Nelson
from the album Red Headed Stranger
Released July 1975
Format 7"
Recorded February 9–12, 1975
Genre Country
Length 2:21
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Fred Rose
Producer(s) Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson singles chronology
"Sister's Coming Home"
(1974)
"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
(1975)
"Fire and Rain"
(1976)

"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" is a song written by songwriter Fred Rose. Originally performed by Roy Acuff, the song was later recorded by Willie Nelson as part of his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger. Both the song and album would become iconic in country music history, and jump start Nelson's success as a singer and recording artist. (He had thus far been primarily successful as a songwriter for other artists.)

Song history[edit]

Originally recorded in 1945 by Acuff, "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" was recorded by Hank Williams in 1951 for the Mother's Best Flour Hour. Other early remakes of the song were made by Ferlin Husky (album Ferlin's Favorites - November 1959), Slim Whitman (album Country Favorites - 1959), Gene Vincent (recorded October 15 1958/ album Crazy Times! -1960), Bill Anderson (album...Sings Counrty Heart Songs - January 15 1962), John D. Loudermilk (album Country Love Songs Plain and Simply Sung Country Love Songs Plain and Simply Sung - August 1968), and Conway Twitty (album Hello Darlin' - June 1970).

The version by Willie Nelson, recorded for his 1975 concept album, Red Headed Stranger, about a fugitive preacher on the run from the law after killing his wife, was lauded by country music historian Bill Malone as "a fine example of clean, uncluttered country music, [with] a spare arrangement that could have come straight out of the 1940s."[1] Rolling Stone noted the song was delivered with his "jazz-style phrasing" and was "the beating heart of Red Headed Stranger."[2]

Chart success and legacy[edit]

Prior to the success of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," Nelson had enjoyed widespread success primarily as a songwriter, with such songs as "Crazy" (Patsy Cline) and "Hello Walls" (Faron Young). As a performer, meanwhile, Nelson had hit the Top 10 of the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart just twice; it had happened in 1962, once as a solo artist ("Touch Me") and again as part of a duet with Shirley Collie ("Willingly"). Thereafter, Nelson had approached the Top 20 on occasion, but went 13 years without a Top 10 hit.

In October 1975, the song became Nelson's first No. 1 hit as a singer, and at year's end was the third-biggest song of 1975 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.[3] In addition, the song gained modest airplay on Top 40 radio, reaching number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" #302 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 21
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 2
Canadian RPM Top Singles 40
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 9
Australian Kent Music Report 57
Preceded by
"Daydreams About Night Things" by Ronnie Milsap
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

October 4, 1975 – October 11, 1975
Succeeded by
"Hope You're Feelin' Me (Like I'm Feelin' You)" by Charley Pride

Later versions[edit]

Elvis Presley finally recorded "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" (having sung it privately with friends and family for years while accompanying himself on piano) in the Jungle Room at Graceland on 7 February 1976. This was the last known song that Elvis Presley sang (at the piano in the rest area of his Racquetball Court located to the rear of Graceland) before his death on August 16, 1977.[6]

The song has also been recorded by Olivia Newton-John (album Come On Over - March 1976), Jim Nabors (album Town & Country - 1976), Billy "Crash" Craddock (album Billy "Crash" Craddock - December 15 1977), The Reivers (album Translate Slowly, recorded as Zeitgeist, 1985), Charley Pride (album Back to the Country - 1986), Roger Whittaker (album I'd Fall in Love Tonight - 1989), Foster & Allen (album I Will Love You All My Life - August 5 1997), Glenn Yarbrough (album All Time Favorites - September 9 1997), Eva Cassidy (album Somewhere - August 26 2008), and UB40 (album Getting Over the Storm - September 2 2013). The Czech rendering "Pláčou tvoje modré oči" was recorded by Věra Martinová (cs) in 1985.

South African singer Ray Dylan recorded a cover on his album "Goeie Ou Country - Op Aanvraag". [7]

UB40 recorded a reggae version on their album Getting Over the Storm in 2013. [8] It reached number one on the charts in Aruba. [9]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malone, Bill, "The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music" ((booklet included with The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music 8-volume set). Smithsonian Institution, 1981).
  2. ^ ain "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," from the "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time," Rolling Stone, November 2004.
  3. ^ [1] Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles year-end chart - 1975.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 450. 
  5. ^ [2] "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time," Rolling Stone.
  6. ^ "Rescued Chile miner tours Graceland as Elvis fan". Foxnews. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.musica.co.za/cd/id/6005298026996/Ray_Dylan-Goeie_Ou_Country_-_Op_Aanvraag#contents Retrieved 10 January 2014
  8. ^ http://renownedforsound.com/index.php/single-review-ub40-blue-eyes-crying-in-the-rain/ Retrieved 10 January 2014
  9. ^ http://www.hit94fm.com/top20.html

See also[edit]

  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944-2005," 2006.
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006," 2007.

External links[edit]