[Dixielandjazz] Tennessee Waltz

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 13 08:59:13 PDT 2009

Dear Listmates:

Here's more than you want to know about The Tennessee Waltz. Basic  
facts are that there is no specific dance, Tennessee Waltz, Patti Page  
is the top record seller of it at over 10 million, and it is the #2  
most played song in the USA. after White Christmas.

BTW, Norah Jones has a pretty good, recent, rendition of it.


Steve Barbone

The Tennessee Waltz (1947)
Co-writer: Redd Stewart
Artists: Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys, Cowboy Copas, Roy  
Acuff, Patti Page, Lacy J. Dalton, Les Paul, Sammy Kaye, Spike Jones,  
Guy Lombardo, Louvin Brothers, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Margaret  
Whiting, Chet Atkins, Faron Young, The Ames Brothers, Connie Francis,  
and many others.

Many country hit songs were created as the result of the writer being  
inspired by listening to another song.  Such was the case in the  
creation of the country standard, "Tennessee Waltz."

Pee Wee King, was on the road to Nashville, Tennessee with his band  
vocalist and good friend, Redd Stewart.  He and Redd would often ride  
in the luggage truck together while on the road, so as to be by  
themselves to concentrate on their songwriting.  As they crossed the  
Texas/Arkansas border in Texarkana, the radio was blaring out Bill  
Monroe's "Kentucky Waltz," which prompted the two of them into a  
discussion as to why there had never been a waltz written about the  
state of Tennessee? Pee Wee and Redd decided that it had probably just  
been overlooked by the music business folks and that the two of them  
should do so right away before someone else did!  The duo decided to  
write a set of lyrics to "No Name Waltz," a tune that the band had  
used as a theme song for several years, but had never taken the time  
to write lyrics to the melody. So on a late Friday night in 1946,  
while crossing the Texas/Arkansas border, Pee Wee King and Redd  
Stewart wrote the lyrics to what would become one of country music's  
most popular tunes - "The Tennessee Waltz."

The RCA single of "The Tennessee Waltz" made the country charts on  
April 3, 1948 and peaked at number 3.  It was on the charts for 35  
weeks.  The record also scored a number 30 on the pop music charts.  
Cowboy Copas also scored a number 3 hit on the song that same year,  
while Roy Acuff's version made it to number 12.  Patti Page's 1951  
version of the tune topped out at number 2, while Pee Wee re-recorded  
the song, which made it to number 6. Lacy J. Dalton recorded it in  
1980 and took it to number 18.

In 1965, Tennessee Waltz became the fourth official song of the  
state.  It was adopted by Senate Joint Resolution 9 of the 84th  
General Assembly.

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