Hey Joe (Carl Smith song)

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"Hey Joe"
Single by Carl Smith
Released May 19, 1953 (1953-05-19)
Genre Country
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Boudleaux Bryant
Carl Smith singles chronology
"Do I Like It?"
"Hey Joe"
"Satisfaction Guaranteed"

"Hey Joe" is a 1953 popular song written by Boudleaux Bryant. It was recorded by Carl Smith for Columbia Records on 19 May 1953 and spent eight weeks at #1 on the U.S. country music chart.[1] Later in 1953, Kitty Wells recorded an answer record also titled "Hey Joe" which hit number eight on the Jukebox Country & Western chart.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

A cover version, sung by Frankie Laine and produced by Mitch Miller, reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in October 1953.[3]

It was Laine's second UK chart topper, but unlike his long-lasting "I Believe", it only stayed in the chart for eight weeks, after reaching number one in its second week on the chart.[3] That week Laine had three singles in the chart, which at that time consisted only of twelve songs.[3] The following week, Laine's third number one hit in the UK, "Answer Me" entered the chart, giving Laine one third of all records on the listing.[3]

Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley recorded a new version of the song with the modified title: "Hey Joe, Hey Moe", with lyrics specially rewritten for the project by Boudleaux Bryant, as the title song to a duet album issued in 1981. The song, released as the lead single to the album, was a top-10 country hit that year.

"Hey Joe" is not the same song as Jimi Hendrix's first UK hit in 1967—"Hey Joe".[3] It was Bryant's first number-one record. He later wrote songs with his wife Felice for The Everly Brothers.[3]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 318. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 376. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 8. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
Preceded by
"It's Been So Long" by Webb Pierce
Country & Western National Best Sellers
number one single by Carl Smith

August 22, 1953
Succeeded by
"A Dear John Letter" by Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky
Preceded by
"Look at That Girl" by Guy Mitchell
UK Singles Chart Number 1 single
Frankie Laine

23 October 1953 for 2 weeks
Succeeded by
"Answer Me" by David Whitfield