Booker T. & the MG´s: Georgia on My Mind - Sheet Music Download

Interpreter: Booker T. & the MG´s
Music Genres: Rock
Level: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Order No. 101-565-8001d
Publisher: jazzinotes
Transcription: Right hand Note-for-Note, left hand arranged, incl. chord symbols
Delivery Option: Download

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Interpreter Booker T. & the MG´s
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Words by Hoagy Carmichael, Stuart Gorrell
Subgenres Blues-, Funk- & Jazz-Rock
Instruments El. Organ solo
Instruments on the Recording El. Organ, El. Guitar, El. Bass, Drums
Transcription Right hand Note-for-Note, left hand arranged, incl. chord symbols
Album Booker T & the MG´s - Booker T & the MG´s play the 'Hip Hits'
Duration 2:39
Level 2
Pages 3

Booker T. & The MG’s (Memphis Group) was an American soul band who gained popularity in the early 60’s through their instrumental hits.  The story behind their instrumental titles goes back to the Rockabilly singer Billy Lee Riley, who simply didn’t show up to one of their planned studio sessions. The band used the time to record an instrumental title. However there was still side B of the planned single. Booker T (e-organ) and Steve Crooper (e-guitar) quickly came up with a riff, and half an hour later they recorded the roughly arranged track.  The second take was used for side B of the single, and was named Green Onions, released in May, 1962.  Only three months later, the producer and distributor contacted them and insisted that the single be released on the Stax label – get this – in reversed order, with Green Onions on side A! This reversal lead to an enormous success: four weeks as Nr 1 in the US Rhythm&Blues charts, and Nr 3 in the pop charts.  After this they released many more instrumental titles, especially instrumental versions of well-known pop songs and jazz standards, such as Georgia On My Mind and The Letter, both available from jazzinotes.

Georgia On My Mind was composed in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael.  He is not talking about the southern state in the USA, but rather about Carmichael’s sister (the lyricist was a school friend of the composer’s and employed at a bank, where Carmichael was actually a broker and only composed in his free time).  The form is AABA with 32 bars and a characteristic tension between minor and major (ending finally in minor).  The first recording features Carmichael also as a vocalist.  Almost all of the musicians who played with him later became famous and led their own bands, for example Bix Beiderbecke (cornet), Jack Teagarden (trombone), Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet/alto saxophone) und ‘Bud’ Freeman (tenor saxophone). However, the original was not successful in the charts.  It was not until Ray Charles’s version in 1960 that the song became popular.  It has also been interpreted by jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, Django Reinhardt and Oscar Peterson.  The Oscar Peterson version will also be available soon from jazzinotes. 

There are also many pop/rock/funk/cabaret/classical cross-over versions from, for example, Otis Redding, James Brown, Maceo Parker, Michael Bolton, Van Morrison, Bing Crosby, Coldplay, Hildegard Knef, Helge Schneider and Thomas Quasthoff.

The song was also at one point politically charged, when The Band (Bob Dylan’s backing band, among others) played it during the election in which Jimmy Carter was voted in – this time referring to Georgia as the state where Jimmy Carter was governor. 

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