Tennessee Stud

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"Tennessee Stud" is a song written by Jimmy Driftwood, who originally recorded and released it in 1959.[1] "Tennessee Stud" is considered to be Driftwood's most recorded song.[2]


The song tells a story about the adventures of a man and his horse, a courageous, sun-colored, green-eyed stallion he nicknamed the "Tennessee Stud". The song's timeline appears to take place during a period of over twenty years, beginning in 1825 and ending after the Great Flood of 1844.

After some trouble with his sweetheart's father and her outlaw brother, the man sends her a letter through his uncle and then rides away on his horse, the Tennessee Stud. Together they have a series of adventures, including winning big in a horse race against a Spanish foal south of the border, outmaneuvering a band of Indians, and then escaping after a shootout with a gambler who insulted Tennessee.

Eventually the man and his horse both become lonely and homesick, and ride back to Tennessee where the man gives his girl's father and outlaw brother their comeuppance. He and his girl, on her "Tennessee Mare", ride off together across "the mountains and the valleys wide", and then after crossing the "Big Muddy", and "fording the flood", build a cabin and settle down; the man and his girl marry and have a baby while Stud sires a colt with the mare.

Eddy Arnold recording[edit]

Eddy Arnold was the first artist to cover the song.[3] His version was a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart in 1959, and was nominated for a Grammy Award in both country and folk categories the same year.[2]

Chart history[edit]

Chart (1959) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 48
U.S. Billboard Hot C&W Sides[5] 5

Cover versions[edit]

Other artists who have covered the song include:


  1. ^ a b c Koch, Stephen; Brantley, Max (March 17, 2005). "Tennessee Stud". Arkansas Times. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b Stone, Peter. "Jimmy Driftwood". Cultural Equity. Association for Cultural Equity. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Cover versions of Tennessee Stud written by Jimmie Driftwood". Secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 43.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 31.