Maybe It Was Memphis
|"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|
|Length||3:59 (album version)|
|Producer(s)||Paul Worley, Ed Seay|
|Pam Tillis singles chronology|
"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.
Tillis first cut the song on Warner Bros. Records in the late 1980s 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||4|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||3|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||60|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||29|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs||25|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||92|
|Canadian Hot 100||92|
- "Nashville's sophomores in spotlight". York Daily Record. 1992-09-30. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2064." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. February 29, 1992. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- "Pam Tillis Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Pam Tillis.
- "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1992". RPM. December 19, 1992. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- "Best of 1992: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1992. Retrieved August 15, 2013.