Again, welcome to the 4th episode of the Cover Wars. This episode is all about the song about a prisoner dreaming of going home, “Green, Green Grass of Home”.
Composition of the Song
Did you know that this song was not an original by Porter Wagoner? “Green, Green Grass of Home” was written by Curly Putman. He was at work when he wrote this song. While at work, he had an idea for a song, Putman remembered seeing a movie titled “The Asphalt Jungle”. The final memorable scene is what stuck with him:
The robber gets within view of his old country home up on a hill when the police caught and killed him.
This thought was the foundation for the song “Green, Green Grass of Home”.
The Original Version of the Song
When Putman finished the song, the initial response from the music executives was the song was “dated”. It was something that might have been recorded 20 years before. However, Putman didn’t give up and he pitched the song to a producer, Kelso Herston. Herston needed a song for one of his artists, Johnny Darrell. Darrell was the first one to record “Green, Green Grass of Home”. However, his version of the song didn’t reach the national playlist.
Check his version of the song together with the song, “My Elusive Dreams” below.
The Porter Wagoner Version
Porter Wagoner loved doing recitations and he did them extremely well. It was his idea to recite the last verse on his recording of “Green, Green Grass Of Home”. and after that, all subsequent versions featured that narration on the last verse. Even though he popularized the song, his version only reached the fourth spot on the Country Chart.
Watch his version below.
The Tom Jones Version
Last but not the least, Welsh singer, Tom Jones did his cover of the song in 1966. Jones was appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965. While he was in New York, he visited Colony Records and he asked if they had any new works of Jerry Lee Lewis and he was given the new country album.
Tom Jones was impressed with the song and he recorded and release the song in the United Kingdoms and it reached the No. 1 spot on December 1. It stayed there for over seven weeks! The record sold 1.23 million copies in the UK as of November 12. Although his version topped the UK charts, it only reached the No. 11 on pop and No. 12 on easy listening on the Billboard US Charts.
Watch his version below. Listen closely and note the difference between the three versions.
So whose version is the best in your opinion? Well if you’re going to ask me, I think Tom Jones totally nailed the song. The version of Porter Wagoner and Johnny Darrell was amazing, don’t get me wrong. However, Tom Jones’ version has a sexiness added to it and I think that’s what makes his version the best out of three. How about you? Leave your comments in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to like and share this post. Bless Your heart!