Sunday Music – Tennessee Waltz

Posted on Sun 09/18/2011 by


Today’s music video is ‘Tennessee Waltz’ from Patti Page.

This video was posted to You Tube by burltable449

How often is it that such a well known popular song has an interesting history behind it.

Such is the case with today’s song, ‘Tennessee Waltz’ from Patti Page, this cover being the most popular version of the song.

There is some conjecture as to who really did write the song, but it was recorded originally by Pee Wee King’s Golden West Cowboys. Pee Wee King mentions that he and Redd Stewart wrote the song while driving to a Grand Ole Opry appearance in Nashville.

The pair was listening on the radio to a new song by Bill Monroe called ‘The Kentucky Waltz’, and this inspired them to write this new song. King composed the music while Redd Stewart, humming that tune, wrote the lyrics on a matchbox. Some time elapsed before King and his band recorded the song in 1947, and released it, at the same time as another version of the same song recorded by Cowboy Copas was also released. Copas was a vocalist with Pee Wee King’s band. Both versions of the song reached the Top Ten of the Country Charts, King’s at Number 3 and Copas’ at Number 6.

Patti Page released her version as the B Side to her Christmas Single in 1950. This B Side became enormously popular, crossing over into the mainstream charts and staying in that chart for 30 weeks, well into 1951, including thirteen weeks at Number One, nine of those weeks consecutively. The song was hastily re released as an A Side Single after the Christmas run for that Single.

The song was so popular it was covered by Jo Stafford and Les Paul and Mary Ford at the same time as Patti’s version, and at one stage all three were in the charts together, in fact all of them in the Top Ten. Even Pee Wee King re released the song and it rose up the Country Charts again. The Fontaine Sisters also cut their own version of the song and it also went to Number 20 on the Charts in that same period, 1950/51.

The song has been further covered over the years by around 30 other artists and bands.

The Patti Page version was the second of her 4 Number One Hits in a stellar career that also includes nearly 20 other songs that made it into the Top Ten.

Over the years this song alone has sold more than fifteen million copies, and a small fact about this song in a time when million selling records and CD’s are becoming a little easier to achieve, this was the last song to sell one million copies of the sheet music.

I have featured another of Patti’s hits, Old Cape Cod in the Sunday Music Post at this link.

The following video of the same song is the original from the composer Pee Wee King, and it’s different to hear the changed lyrics comparison between a man and a woman singing the song, after having heard only the Patti Page version for so many years.

This video was posted to You Tube by flashbell

Posted in: Music, Videos