Misty (song)

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Single by Johnny Mathis
from the album Heavenly
B-side "The Story of Our Love"
Released September 1959
Format 7"
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Erroll Garner
Certification Silver (BPI)
Johnny Mathis singles chronology
"Small World"
"The Best of Everything"

"Misty" is a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner. Originally composed as an instrumental following the traditional 32-bar format and first recorded for Garner's 1955 album Contrasts, the tune was later paired with lyrics by Johnny Burke and became the signature song of Johnny Mathis, appearing on his 1959 album Heavenly and reaching number 12 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart later that year. Country and pop singer Ray Stevens had a number 14 hit with his cover version of "Misty" in 1975 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been recorded many times including versions by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

Johnny Mathis version[edit]

Background and release[edit]

Johnny Mathis had heard Erroll Garner play the song, and told him that he'd love to sing it if Garner had lyrics for it. Garner was in attendance when Mathis later recorded the song.[1]

Although there were already several released versions,[1] the Mathis version recorded in 1958 popularized this virtually unknown Garner song and inspired Clint Eastwood to use it in his movie Play Misty for Me, a low-budget film that proved to be a huge box-office smash. Eastwood, a fan of Mathis, ended up paying a nominal fee for the Garner recording in his film. The Mathis recording of "Misty" sold well over two million copies in the US alone.[citation needed]

The song is most associated with Mathis despite various recordings over the years by other artists. The Johnny Mathis version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. His version of the song plays prominently in a ballroom dancing scene in the 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook.

Chart performance[edit]


Johnny Mathis -USA-GOLD single award 1960. (over 2.5 million USA sales)

Country Provider Certification
United Kingdom BPI Silver

Ray Stevens version[edit]

Single by Ray Stevens
from the album Misty
B-side "Sunshine"
Released April 1975
Format 7"
Genre Country
Label Barnaby
Writer(s) Erroll Garner
Ray Stevens singles chronology
"Moonlight Special"
"Indian Love Call"

Background and release[edit]

In 1975, Ray Stevens released an up-tempo country rendition of this song. It is the title track of his twelfth studio album. Stevens recounted that the song was recorded on the second take when experimenting in the studio. The 1975 country version by Ray Stevens won a Grammy in the category of Music Arrangement of the Year.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly singles Chart (1975) Peak
Austrian Top 40 11
Australian Singles Chart 5
Canadian RPM Hot Country Singles 2
Canadian RPM Top Singles 15
Canadian RPM Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 6
Euro Hit 50 9
Ireland 2
New Zealand 11
South African Singles Chart 5
UK 2
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 14
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 18
Year-end Chart (1975) Rank
Australia [4] 39
Canada RPM Top Singles 135
New Zealand [5] 28
UK [6] 30
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [7] 130

Other versions[edit]

"Misty" has been covered many times, by such artists as:


External links[edit]