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Patti Page's recording of the song for the Mercury label sold some three million copies, becoming one of the best-selling singles of its time. Fifteen years later ''Tennessee Waltz'' became an official song of the State of Tennessee. View all New York Times newsletters.


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In Mr. King recorded his only personal No.

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It became a million-record seller for RCA Victor. The trio also wrote the hit ''You Belong to Me,'' which was recorded for Columbia by Jo Stafford and sold two million copies. It was successfully revived 10 years later by the doo-wop group the Duprees. Over the course of his career, he wrote or co-wrote more than songs. He also worked at other jobs in the country music business. King was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

King; a brother, Ervin Kuczynski; a sister, Irene Cetnarowski; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Please upgrade your browser.

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Patsy Cline ~ Tennessee Waltz

Sign Up. As of , it was the biggest-selling song ever in Japan.

Tennessee Waltz | Operatunity

All versions of the lyrics narrate a situation in which the persona has introduced his or her sweetheart to a friend who then waltzes away with her or him. The lyrics are altered for pronoun gender on the basis of the gender of the singer. The popularity of "Tennessee Waltz" also made it the fourth official song of the state of Tennessee in Pee Wee King , Redd Stewart , and their fellow Golden West Cowboys members were en route to Nashville "close to Christmas in " when King and Stewart, who were riding in a truck carrying the group's equipment, heard Bill Monroe 's new song " Kentucky Waltz " on the radio.

Stewart had an idea to write a Tennessee waltz using the melody of King's theme song: "No Name Waltz", and wrote the lyrics on a matchbox as he and King thought up the words.

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Acuff-Rose Music , the publisher, did not immediately register a copyright to the song when it was presented to the company by King and Stewart and did not obtain the "consummate proof of ownership, and the key to protecting a songwriter's property" until February Page cut "The Tennessee Waltz" in a November session in New York City with Rael conducting his orchestra: her vocal was cut multitracked with three voices, with two, and as a single voice with Page herself selecting the two-voice multitracked vocal featured on the single as released.

In , the same year as Patti Page's hit recording, Spike Jones and his City Slickers recorded a parody featuring a duet with singers sporting Yiddish accents.


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In Damita Jo had a non-charting single release of "Tennessee Waltz". In "Tennessee Waltz" was recorded in a rock and roll ballad style by Alma Cogan ; this version was 1 in Sweden for five weeks and also reached 14 in Denmark while a German language rendering with lyrics by Theo Hansen reached 10 in Germany. Released 1 March 1 , Ain't That Good News would be the final album release of new material by Cooke, and "Tennessee Waltz," coupled with another album track: " Good Times ," would be the final Sam Cooke single released during the singer's lifetime, with "Tennessee Waltz," the original B-side, becoming sufficiently popular to chart at Cooke performed "Tennessee Waltz" — and also " Blowin' in the Wind " — as a guest on the premiere of Shindig!

Al Hirt released a version on his album, Live at Carnegie Hall.

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Manfred Mann included a version of the song on their number-one EP in Lacy J. It is featured as extra material on the following DVD-release of the show.


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  • Leonard Cohen released a live version of "Tennessee Waltz" recorded in — one of the few covers he's ever cut — on his album Dear Heather ; this version featured an additional verse written by Cohen himself. After every home game, the Appalachian State University Marching Mountaineers perform the song during their post-game show. Baylor University's Golden Wave Band plays the song at the end of each home game, a tradition possibly begun with a request from former Head Coach Grant Teaff.

    The song was also used in an instrumental form in the final scenes of the film Primary Colors where Jack Stanton dances with his wife at his Inauguration Ball.