Georgia on My Mind was a hit for Ray Charles. However, the song was written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell.
Carmichael wrote in his autobiography, Sometimes I Wonder, that bandleader and saxophonist Frankie Trumbeuer suggested he write a song about the state of Georgia.
Trumbeuer suggested “Georgia, Georgia” as the opening and Gorrell wrote the remainder of the lyrics. Carmichael wrote the music.
Carmichael and his Orchestra first recorded the song on September 15, 1930, in New York. In 1931, Frankie Trumbeuer had the first hit single with the song.
In 1960, Ray Charles, a Georgia native, recorded the song for his album The Genius Hits the Road.
Willie Nelson recorded the song in 1978 for his album Stardust. He would win a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his version of the song the next year.
In 1979, the state of Georgia voted the song as their state song. This decision was inspired when Charles performed the song for the Georgia General Assembly on March 7, 1979.
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