Maybe It Was Memphis

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"Maybe It Was Memphis"
Single by Pam Tillis
from the album Put Yourself in My Place
B-side "Draggin' My Chains"
Released November 25, 1991
Format CD single
Recorded 1991
Genre Country
Length 3:59 (album version)
Label Arista Nashville
Writer(s) Michael Anderson
Producer(s) Paul Worley, Ed Seay
Pam Tillis singles chronology
"Put Yourself in My Place"
(1991)
"Maybe It Was Memphis"
(1991)
"Blue Rose Is"
(1992)

"Maybe It Was Memphis" is a song written by Michael Anderson, and recorded by American country music artist Pam Tillis on two separate occasions. The second recording was released in November 1991 as the fourth single from her album Put Yourself in My Place.

History[edit]

Tillis first cut the song on Warner Bros. Records in the late 1980s[1] under the production of Josh Leo, but did not release this version until Warner issued the album Pam Tillis Collection in the mid-1990s.

Her second version of the song was recorded on her 1991 album Put Yourself in My Place, from which it was released in November 1991 as the fourth single. It was also her third Top Ten hit on the Billboard country charts, peaking at number 3 there. "Maybe It Was Memphis" was also nominated for the Country Music Association's Song of the Year in 1992.[2]

According to Arista Records' then-senior director of marketing Mike Dungan, executives were reluctant to release the song due to its more pop sound, and held off on doing so until Tillis had established herself.[3]

Content[edit]

The song is a mid-tempo ballad in which the female narrator recalls a former lover whom she met in Memphis, Tennessee. It is in the key of A major with a vocal range of A3-E5. The main chord pattern on the verses is A-D twice, E-D twice, and E-G-A.[4]

Michael Anderson wrote the song in 1983. In an article for TAXI, he described the song writing process:[5]

I believe I wrote the last verse soon after the first verse – may have been the same night - and I knew it was the last verse. I didn’t want the standard “happy ever after” storyline – and I couldn’t see it ending badly – so I left it open – just the way it was. I imagined myself back in LA remembering it all and just wrote that[…]I decided to just write a filler verse and then I would record it that way and change it when I got back to LA. So I made up some stuff about Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and country love songs (“summer night beauty took my breath away” was directly from “Southern Summer Nights” [sic] by Glen Campbell and one of the song books – never even liked that song but the concept worked in context). I recorded it the next day and never changed the verse.

American Idol & The Voice[edit]

On May 24, 2011, Lauren Alaina performed the song during the finale of American Idol. Carrie Underwood selected the song as part of the round of competition in which each contestant's idol chose their song. On May 8th, 2013, during the live rounds of the fourth season of The Voice, Danielle Bradbery from Blake Shelton's team sang it as her song.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991-1992) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 4
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1992) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[8] 60
US Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 29

Danielle Bradbery[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs 25
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 92
Canadian Hot 100 92

References[edit]

External links[edit]