"Georgia on My Mind"

Chris Higgins
YouTube / YouTube

On April 24, 1979, Georgia adopted the song "Georgia on My Mind" as its official state song. Official recognition of the song came after Ray Charles performed it for the Georgia General Assembly the month before, and state legislators proceeded to write the lyrics into the Georgia Code -- it's § 50-3-60, labeled "Official Song" (you can even look it up).

Although "Georgia on My Mind" in the modern era is thought of as a Ray Charles song, it was written way back in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics), and has been performed by tons of artists through the decades. Tonight, let's sit back and celebrate 34 years of "Georgia on My Mind" as the sweet song that keeps Georgia on our mind.

Ray Charles (1960s?)

The provenance of this video is unknown, but it has 16 million views on YouTube. It's terrific. Presumably this followed his hit 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road, which featured a bunch of place-related songs from around the US.

Willie Nelson and Ray Charles (1986)

Oh, this is fun. Willie and Ray duet.

Ray Charles (1976)

On Midnight Special.

Billie Holiday (1941)

Billie Holiday takes a swing at the classic.

Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli, Hot Club of France (1936)

Django performs a version in Paris with his longtime collaborator Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

Hoagy Carmichael and his Orchestra

Hoagy Carmichael and his orchestra, including Bix Beiderbecke, in their September 1930 version of the song.