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Jerry Ott’s Superb Version of “Old Rivers” by Walter Brennan

Jerry Ott + Old Rivers

Who would have imagined that more than fifty years after its release, Jerry Ott, often referred to as the “Glory Road Traveler,” would have the best cover of country music icon Walter Brennan’s iconic song “Old Rivers”? 

Curious? If you want to know the difference between Jerry Ott’s version and Walter Brennan’s original take on the song, scroll down below. 

Walter Brennan’s Original Version 

Released in 1962, Walter Brennan’s song “Old Rivers” was written by Cliff Crofford, a known songwriter of the 60s who worked for artists like Gene McDaniels, Merle Haggard, and Faron Young

“Old Rivers” quickly rose up the charts, landing at no. 2 on the “U.S. Billboard Easy Listening” and no. 3 on the “U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles”. Aside from that, it also landed a place in both the Canadian and UK charts, making it one of Walter Brennan’s greatest hits. 

“Old Rivers” is a song commemorating a cherished friendship, a story  Brennan has recited with emotion and sincerity. The way he sings every note with his husky, deep country voice has sucked a bulk of fans into listening to it more.

Jerry Ott’s Version of the Song 

Jerry Ott, a former band member of an Oklahoma Quartet, migrated to Oregon in 1974 and began singing solo for local churches across the region. However, among all of his performances, his rendition of the Walter Brennan classic song “Old Rivers” in 2009 remains one of his most well-known performances. 

Although Ott still kept the original way Brennan sang the song, with the way he sang the lyrics of the piece with emotions, he opted to tweak his enunciation a little bit, giving the song a touch of his own style and a fresh and modern feel.

So, if you want to check out Jerry Ott’s version of the hit Walter Brennan song “Old Rivers,” you should definitely watch his live performance below.

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