Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

First recorded by Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys (1947).
Also recorded by Hank Williams (1951), Elvis Presley (1976), Eva Cassidy (2008).
Hit versions by Willie Nelson (US #21/C&W #1 1975), UB40 (ARU #1 2013).

From the wiki: “‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ is a song written by songwriter Fred Rose, and first recorded by Roy Acuff in 1947. The song was also recorded in 1951 by Hank Williams for the Mother’s Best Flour Hour radio program.

“The version by Willie Nelson, recorded for his 1975 concept album, Red Headed Stranger, was lauded by country music historian Bill Malone as ‘a fine example of clean, uncluttered country music, [with] a spare arrangement that could have come straight out of the 1940s.’ Rolling Stone noted the song was delivered with his ‘jazz-style phrasing’ and was ‘the beating heart of Red Headed Stranger.’

“Elvis Presley finally recorded ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ (having sung it privately with friends and family for years while accompanying himself on piano) in the Jungle Room at Graceland on 7 February 1976. This was the last known song that Elvis Presley is thought to have recorded before his death on August 16, 1977.

“UB40 recorded a reggae version on their 2013 album Getting Over the Storm. It reached #1 on the charts in Aruba.”

Hank Williams, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (1951):

Willie Nelson, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (1975):

Elvis Presley, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (1976):

Eva Cassidy, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (2008):

UB40, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (2013):

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