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.

Roy 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
Belgium[3] 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:

Linda 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) (US)
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 versions[edit]

Besides Linda Ronstadt, many other artists have covered "Blue Bayou" in English; among them are:

Versions in other languages[edit]


  1. ^ "Roy Orbison website". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  2. ^ " search results for Blue Bayou". Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "". 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. 
  10. ^ New Zealand Singles Chart: Swiss - "Blue Bayou" song page

External links[edit]