The Wayward Wind

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"The Wayward Wind" is a country song written by Stanley Lebowsky and Herb Newman.[1]

In 1956 versions were recorded by Gogi Grant, Tex Ritter, and Jimmy Young, of which Grant's was the biggest seller in the United States and Ritter's in the United Kingdom. The song reached No. 1 on the Cash Box chart, which combined all recorded versions, the Gogi Grant version reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart on its own. Billboard ranked it as the No. 5 song for 1956.[2] It became a gold record.

Grant's version depicted a man, who lived , in the past, in a shack by the railroad tracks, who wandered endlessly, whom the singer was in love with, until he disappeared, as the man was the "Next of kin/ to the Wayward Wind".

The Gogi Grant version was noted for a female wordless chorus, sliding up and down the notes, heard at both the beginning and the ending of the song, as to depict the sound of the wayward wind blowing.

In 1961, Grant's recording was reissued and reached Billboard No. 50 and Cash Box No. 78. That same year, Patsy Cline made a recording, which did not chart.

In 1963 a new recording was made by Frank Ifield, which reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks duration.[3]

The song made the Billboard country chart in the 1980s in a version by Sylvia, with accompaniment by James Galway.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose the song as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[4]

Recorded versions[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Anne Murray[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 70
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[6] 6
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Position
Canada Adult Contemporary Tracks (RPM)[8] 44
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 69


  1. ^ {{cite book "The Wayward Wind" was written by Marguerite Workman and sold to Tex Ritter for 50 dollars. | first= Jo | last= Rice | year= 1982 | title= The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits | edition= 1st | publisher= Guinness Superlatives Ltd | location= Enfield, Middlesex | page= 70 | isbn= 0-85112-250-7}}
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1956
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 147. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2375." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. January 31, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2394." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. February 28, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2412." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. March 14, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "RPM Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
Preceded by
"Diamonds" by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan
UK number one single (Frank Ifield version)
February 21, 1963 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Summer Holiday" by Cliff Richard and The Shadows