“Georgia on My Mind” is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that year. It has often been associated with Ray Charles, a native of Georgia who recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road. In 1979 Georgia designated this as the official state song.
Five different versions of this song have made the US Hot 100. Here the four that came after Charles’ recording: Righteous Brothers (#62, 1966) Georgia Pines Candymen (#81, 1967) Wes Montgomery (#91, 1968) Willie Nelson (#84, 1978) Michael Bolton (#36, 1990).
On April 24, 1979, this became the official state song of Georgia, replacing a song title “Georgia.” Ray Charles performed the song the ceremony that day, where it was decreed: The song “Georgia on My Mind,” with lyrics by Mr. Stuart Gorrell and music by Mr. Hoagy Carmichael, has an enduring quality that has made it one of the best loved songs in America for many years. Although “Georgia on My Mind” describes a Georgian’s love for his state, its beautiful melody and lyrics have given the song a worldwide appeal. “Georgia on My Mind” has been recorded by many outstanding artists, but the rendition by Mr. Ray Charles, a native Georgian, which was first recorded in 1958, has been greatly enjoyed by music lovers throughout the world. It is appropriate that the official State song should be a beautiful song that has wide appeal throughout the country, and “Georgia on My Mind” is an outstanding example of these qualities.