Little Green Apples

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Little Green Apples"
Single by O. C. Smith
from the album Hickory Holler Revisited
B-side "Long Black Limousine" (non-UK)
"Gas, Food, Lodging" (UK)
Released September 1968 (1968-09)
Format 7"
Recorded 1968 at Columbia Recording Studios, Hollywood
Genre R&B, soul
Length 3:58
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Bobby Russell
Producer(s) Jerry Fuller[1]
O. C. Smith singles chronology
"Main Street Mission"
"Little Green Apples"
"Isn't It Lonely Together?"
"Main Street Mission"
"Little Green Apples"
"Isn't It Lonely Together?"

"Little Green Apples" is a song written by Bobby Russell. Originally written for and released by American recording artist Roger Miller in 1968, it also was released as a single by American recording artists Patti Page and O. C. Smith in separate occasions that same year. Miller's version became a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and on the UK Singles Chart, while Page's version became her last Hot 100 entry and Smith's version became a No. 2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song earned Russell two Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Country Song. In 2013, "Little Green Apples" was covered by English recording artist Robbie Williams featuring American recording artist Kelly Clarkson, which became a top 40 hit in Mexico.


According to Buzz Cason, who partnered Bobby Russell in the Nashville-based Rising Sons music publishing firm, Russell wrote both the songs "Honey" and "Little Green Apples" as "an experiment in composing", anticipating a potential market for true-to-life story songs...with more 'meat' in the lyrics [than was] standard" for current hits.[2] Russell wrote "Little Green Apples" for Roger Miller to record and Miller made the first recording of the song on January 24, 1968 in a session at Columbia Recording Studio Nashville produced by Jerry Kennedy.[3] Released as the lead single from the album A Tender Look at Love, "Little Green Apples" afforded Miller his final Top Ten C&W hit at #6 and also his final Top 40 crossover reaching #39 on the Hot 100 in Billboard. In the UK Miller's "Little Green Apples" reached #19 in the spring of 1968 – when it also reached #46 in Australia – and in the spring of 1969 the track returned to the UK chart reaching #39.[4]

Patti Page recorded "Little Green Apples" for her C&W-oriented album Gentle on My Mind whose title cut shared the Easy Listening Top Ten with Roger Miller's "Little Green Apples". Page's version of the latter was released as a single in June 1968 reaching #11 Easy Listening and affording Page the final Hot 100 appearance of her career at #96.

O. C. Smith had recorded "Little Green Apples" at Columbia Studios LA for Hickory Holler Revisited, the parent album of his Top 40 hit "Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp". The track "Main Street Mission" was issued as the follow-up single, but as Buzz Cason recalls "a disc jockey in Detroit played the album cut [by O. C. Smith] of 'Little Green Apples' one morning". That single spin triggered "such a reaction and rash of phone requests [as to] prompt [the deejay] to call Steve Popovich, head of promotion for Columbia in New York [City]",[5] and "Little Green Apples" replaced "Main Street Mission" as Smith's current single. Smith's version was a #2 hit on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in Billboard and was certified Gold for domestic sales of one million units.[6] The song won its composer Bobby Russell the 1969 Grammy Award for Song of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.[7]

Chart positions[edit]

Other notable versions[edit]

The song has been covered by the following artists and groups:


  1. ^ "Biography". Jerry Fuller's official website. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ Billboard vol 80 #13 (March 30, 1968) p.51
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Chart appearances for the song "Little Green Apples"". the database of popular music. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ Living the Rock 'N' Roll Dream : The Adventures of Buzz Cason; Hal Leonard Corp Milwaukee WI (2004) ISBN 0-634-06672-2; p.192
  6. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 248. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  7. ^ "O. C. Smith, 65, Singer-Minister Who Had a Grammy Award Hit". The New York Times. November 27, 2001. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book 1940–1969 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-44439-5. 
  9. ^ "Archive Chart: 1968-02-04" UK Singles Chart.
  10. ^ "Roger Miller – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Roger Miller.
  11. ^ "Roger Miller – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Roger Miller.
  12. ^ "Roger Miller – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Roger Miller.
  13. ^ "Patti Page – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Patti Page.
  14. ^ "Patti Page – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Patti Page.
  15. ^ "O.C. Smith – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for O.C. Smith.
  16. ^ "O.C. Smith – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for O.C. Smith.
  17. ^ "O.C. Smith – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for O.C. Smith.
  18. ^ "Mexico Inglés Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. March 1, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2013.  (subscription required)
  19. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1968". Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  20. ^ Graff, Gary (September 12, 2013). "Lily Allen duets with Robbie Williams on his new album 'Swings Both Ways'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved September 13, 2013.