Wednesday, April 6, 2022

READERS CONTRIBUTIONS WEEK: CHOICES


Choices

Back in February I posted the following 2 items as the Thought For the Day:


It inspired the below email from Tim B, a Bytes regular contributor and who I consider a friend, though we have never met or spoken. Tim hails from the red hills of Georgia, US of A,

Tim’s email:
Morning Otto, at least it’s morning here in Jawja. I strum the guitar, badly, and the song I am now working on is called “Choices”. It’s a simple three chord country song by George Jones and I thought it funny, ironic, prescient, and all those words, that the quote for the day was about choices.

The words:

I’ve had choices since the day I was born
There were voices that told me right from wrong
If I had listened, I wouldn’t be here today
Living and dying with the choices I’ve made

I was tempted by an early age I found
I liked drinkin’, oh, and I never turned it down
There were loved ones but I turned them all away
Now I’m living and dying with the choices I’ve made

I guess I’m paying for the things that I have done
If I could go back, oh, Lord knows I’d run
But I’m still losing at this game of life I’ve played
Living and dying with the choices I’ve made.

Have a great day and stay safe.

Tim B
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Thank you, Tim.

Here is the video and the video link for George Jones’s “Choices”:


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In a similar vein about choices good and bad, here is one of my favourite numbers by the late and great Oz C&W singer Slim Dusty . . .

The Biggest Disappointment:


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Some additional comments:
  • My use of the phrase “red hills of Georgia” comes from the “I have a Dream” speech of Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that one day out in the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
  • That speech is all about choices.
  • Read about it, and the speech in full, at the US Embassy site at:
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And on the aspect of songs and Jawja . . .

I first heard the song Georgia when sung by Ray Charles but I absolutely love the version (with haunting harmonica) by Willie Nelson:

Ray Charles version:



Willie Nelson version:

From the Stardust album:



Live (2018):



Ray Charles and Willie Nelson as a duet:



- From Wikipedia:

"Georgia on My Mind" is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that same year by Hoagy Carmichael. However, the song has been most often associated with soul singer Ray Charles, who was a native of the U.S. state of Georgia and recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road.

In 1979, the State of Georgia designated Ray Charles's version the official state song.

It has been asserted that Hoagy Carmichael wrote the song about his sister, Georgia. But Carmichael wrote in his second autobiography Sometimes I Wonder that saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer told him he should write a song about the state of Georgia. He jokingly volunteered the first two words, "Georgia, Georgia...", which Carmichael ended up using while working on the song with his roommate, Stuart Gorrell, who wrote the lyrics. Gorrell's name was absent from the copyright, but Carmichael sent him royalty checks anyway.


Stuart Gorrell's letter to the Bremen Enquirer, August 3, 1961

In 1960, Ray Charles, a native of Georgia, recorded a version of the song that went to No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot 100. Charles' hit rendition would become the most widely-known version of the tune from this time on. It would also be the song most associated with his musical career.

Willie Nelson recorded the song on Stardust, his 1978 album of standards. It was released as single, peaked at No. 1 for a single week, and ranked for sixteen weeks on a country chart.



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