August 13

A Country Blues Set in Various Styles, “Corrine, Corrina”

A Country Blues Set in Various Styles, "Corrine, Corrina" 1
The first artist to record the country blues “Corrine, Corrina” in 1928, Bo Carter | Photo credit:

If you’re looking for a traditional song that has thrived through the decades and appeared in almost every music style, then you’re on the right page. Perhaps a favorite among various artists, “Corrine, Corrina” was originally a country blues song. Literature shows that the first-ever recording of the song was made in 1928 by an early American blues musician Bo Carter. Since then, the old tune has been recorded countless times by various artists and in different musical styles. Here is Carter’s original recording of “Corrine, Corrina.”

Various Musical Styles

While the author of the tune is unknown, a commercial sheet music song called “Has Anybody Seen My Corrine” existed earlier showing much likeness to “Corrine, Corrina.” The song was published under the name of Roger Graham in 1918. That same year, two versions of the song, namely vocal and instrumental, were recorded.

There appeared to be more recordings of the song in blues style considering it being originally a country blues. Different blues music artists had covered the song including Charlie McCoy (1928), Walter Davis (1939), and Big Joe Turner (1941), among others.

In addition to blues, “Corrine, Corrina” was also interpreted in jazz, folk, rock and roll, country, and Western swing. Notable recording of the song was that of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys in 1940. Their adaptation of “Corrine, Corrina” ended in its entry to the standard repertoire of all Western swing bands. Accordingly, this influenced the Cajun bands and several country artists alike to record their own interpretations of the song.

Country Versions

There are two groups of country musicians who had recorded the song. One belongs to the earlier period from the late 1920s up to mid-1930s. The second refers to the later years. Dean Martin was the first from the latter group of country singers to cover the song. His version appeared on his sophomore country music album called Dean “Tex” Martin Rides Again that was released in 1963. A decade later, Merle Haggard and The Strangers performed their version of the song on the live album The Fightin’ Side of Me.

Again, after twenty years, another cover of “Corrine, Corrina” came out. To note, this adaptation of the tune charted on the country music list. The American country music group “Asleep at the Wheel” collaborated with Brooks & Dunn for the recording of the song. Their cover appeared on the group’s 1993 album A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys. The following year, their version entered Billboard Hot Country Songs chart peaking at No. 73.

Here is Dean Martin’s version of the song. The video includes clips from the movie Marriage on the Rocks.

Watch the live performance of “Corrine, Corrina” by Merle Haggard as a tribute to Bob Wills and his band.

Did you enjoy this piece?

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Bo Carter, bob wills, corrine corrina, Country Blues, dean martin, merle haggard, The Texas Playboys

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