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|Single by Eddy Arnold|
|from the album The Last Word in Lonesome|
|B-side||"Calling Mary Names"|
|Recorded||20 April 1966|
|Eddy Arnold singles chronology|
"Misty Blue" is a song written by Bob Montgomery in 1966 which has become a hit in the pop, C&W and soul fields through various versions, the most successful being the 1976 pop/soul hit by Dorothy Moore.
C&W hit versions
Montgomery wrote the song for Brenda Lee; he recalls: "I wrote 'Misty Blue' in about twenty minutes. It was a gift and it was perfect for Brenda Lee, but she turned it down. Her producer Owen Bradley loved the song and as he couldn’t push her to do it, he cut it country style with Wilma Burgess." Burgess recorded the song in a 24 March 1966 session at the Columbia Recording Studio in South Nashville; after another track from the same session, "Don't Touch Me", was released to become a number 12 C&W hit that summer, "Misty Blue" was released in October 1966 to spend most of December 1966 and January–February 1967 in the C&W top ten, peaking at number 4 and was Burgess' highest charting release.
Eddy Arnold recorded "Misty Blue" in a Chet Atkins-produced session at the RCA Victor Studio on 20 April 1966; included on the June 1966 album release The Last Word in Lonesome, Arnold's "Misty Blue" had a belated single release in May 1967 to introduce The Best of Eddy Arnold compilation album. Besides virtually matching Burgess' success with the song—Arnold's version peaking at number 3 on the C&W chart—Arnold's "Misty Blue" became the first version of the song to crossover to the pop field, reaching number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1967 and rising as high as 3 on the Easy Listening. The single's pop chart peaks in Cash Box and Record World were respectively number 20 and 48.
Ella Fitzgerald, more known as a jazz singer, recorded a country-style version of the song in 1968 not unlike Wilma Burgess' original recording.
Billie Jo Spears had a number 5 C&W hit with "Misty Blue" in 1976 after the Dorothy Moore pop/soul hit version had revived interest in the song.
R&B hit versions
|Single by Dorothy Moore|
|from the album Misty Blue|
|A-side||"Here It Is"|
|Producer(s)||Tom Couch, James Stroud|
|Dorothy Moore singles chronology|
The first R&B recording of "Misty Blue" appeared on the 1968 album "Simon Sings" and was subsequently released as a 1972 single by Joe Simon, which while not one of his biggest R&B hits at number 47, did return "Misty Blue" to the Hot 100 at number 91 (on the Cash Box pop chart, it peaked at number 62).']
In 1973 Dorothy Moore recorded "Misty Blue" at Malaco Records in Jackson, Mississippi cutting her vocal in a single take: Malaco owner Tommy Couch was familiar with the song via the Joe Simon version. Malaco, then a production company, were unable to successfully shop Moore's recording of "Misty Blue" to a label, and in November 1975 the cash-strapped Malaco used the last of its resources to press Moore's "Misty Blue" and release it on the Malaco label. Henry Stone through his TK Productions picked the single up for national distribution and began promoting it heavily using his own independent network.
After receiving its initial airplay in Chicago and Washington DC, Moore's single broke in the southern states in April 1976 and three months later it was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1976 the single reached number 2 on the R&B chart and 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as number 14 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 19 song for 1976.
"Misty Blue" was also a UK hit, reaching number 5 there on the chart dated for the week of 8 August 1976. Moore's single also achieved hit status in Australia (5), Canada (4), New Zealand (4), South Africa (11) and also Brazil, ranking at number 19 on Brazil's Top 100 singles of 1976, while a re-release would rank at 56 on Brazil's Top 100 singles of 1983. Moore's version is included on the soundtrack of the 1996 movie Phenomenon and also the 2008 movie Made of Honor. In 2014 Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue" had been on the iTunes blues top ten charts in up to nine countries for the last three years. When first released, her "Misty Blue" was on the B-side.
Bob Montgomery estimates there are over 200 versions of "Misty Blue". In 2002, the English trip hop trio Amillionsons released a song which heavily sampled the track titled "Mistiblu", which reached number 39 in the UK. Monica covered the song on her 1998 multi-platinum album The Boy Is Mine. Mary J. Blige performed it at one of the Share My World Tour shows, which was released into The Tour. Cyndi Lauper covered the song as part of her classic country album Detour in 2016 and also included it as part of the set list on the associated tour.
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