“Tennessee Waltz” is a popular country music song composed by Redd Stewart and sang by Pee Wee King. Written in 1946 and first released in 1948, the song became a multi-million seller. The other name behind its great success is Patti Page via a 1950 recording—“The Tennessee Waltz”. And, in Japan, it was the biggest selling song ever.
The song narrates a time when the narrator introduced his or her sweetheart to a friend. This friend happens to waltz away with her or him. They altered the lyrics of the song for pronoun gender on the basis of the gender of the singer. The song is self-referential, which means it is a song about itself.
Due to the popularity of “Tennessee Waltz”, they made it the fourth official song of the state of Tennessee in 1965.
Patti Page’s Recording
Patti Page recorded the song as “The Tennessee Waltz”. Her cover served as B-side to the seasonal single “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus”. Cline recorded it under Mercury Records, then cataloged as #5534 at the end of 1950. Many claimed that Page herself chose to record “Tennessee Waltz”, the C&W version, as it is her father’s favorite song. In addition to that, Jerry Wexler, a record reviewer for Billboard brought “Tennessee Waltz” to the attention of Jack Rael Page’s manager. Wexler played him a new R&B rendition by Erskine Hawkins. In a November 1950 session, Page with Rael conducting his orchestra cut “The Tennessee Waltz” in New York City.
A few days after its release, “The Tennessee Waltz” entered the Pop Music chart of Billboard. Since November 10, 1950, it had a 30-week chart run that peaked at number one on the December 30, 1950 chart. The track remained at the top for a total of nine weeks. Being a number 2 C&W hit,
“The Tennessee Waltz” became Page’s career record.
Several artists made different covers of the song. Another was Patsy Cline’s under Decca records in 1962.