Green Green Grass of Home
While watching television one evening in 1965, Curly Putnam saw the 1950 movie The Asphalt Jungle, starring Marilyn Monroe and Sterling Hayden. He was impressed by the scene in which criminal Hayden (who had been shot) struggled to go home and see his farm one last time. The house was located on a hill surrounded by “green, green grass”. It took Putnam about two hours to write the song, which has became a country standard.
Tom Jones had the biggest hit with Green Green Grass of Home (Parrot 40009). He first sang the song on a TV show in England in 1965. The response was so terrific that he recorded it the following year. Green Green Grass of Home sold over a million copies worldwide and peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 chart. In England, it was number one for six weeks. Bandleader Skitch Henderson recorded an instrumental version in 1968 (Columbia 44333) that went to #30 on the Easy-Listening chart. Most of the top country artists have recorded Green Green Grass of Home at one time or another.
Red West first heard Green Green Grass of Home on a 1966 Jerry Lee Lewis LP, Country Songs for City Folks (Smash SRS 67071). At the time, he urged Elvis to record the song, but Elvis decided against it. While travelling back to Memphis in 1970 in his personal Greyhound bus, Elvis heard Tom Jones’s recording on the radio. He stopped the bus and had Marty Lacker call disc jockey George Klein. Klein played the record several times on the air for Elvis during the next few hours. On March 11, 1975, at RCA’s Hollywood studios, Elvis finally recorded Green Green Grass of Home.
The old home town looks the same as I step down from the train
Yes, they'll all come to see me,
arms reaching smiling sweetly
Where it was released:
Released for the first time on the album Elvis Today »
– Our Memories of Elvis, Volume 2 (1979) »
- Our Memories of Elvis, Volume 1, 2 & 3 (2012) - FTD »
- Hits of the 70s (2012) - FTD »
– Las Vegas 1975 (2016) - FTD »
- Elvis Presley is Alive and Well and Singing in Las Vegas, Volume 1 (1975) - No label
- The Vegas Years, 1972-1975 (1976) - TAKRL