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Green Green Grass of Home

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(Putnam)

Information:
This classic country song was written by Claude (Curly) Putnam, Jr. in 1965 and first recorded by Porter Wagoner (RCA 47-8622) that same year. Wagoner’s recording was a #4 country hit.

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.

Lyrics:

The old home town looks the same as I step down from the train
And there to meet me is my mama and my papa
Down the road I look and there runs Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching smiling sweetly
Oh, it's good to touch the green, green grass of home

The old house is still standing though the paint is cracked and dry
And there's an old oak tree that I used to play on
Down the lane I'd walk with my sweet Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they'll all come to see me, arms reaching smiling sweetly
Oh, it's good to touch the green, green grass of home

Then I awake and look around me at four grey walls that surround me
And I realize I was only dreamin'
There's a guard and there's a sad old padre, arm and arm we'll walk at daybreak
Again I'll touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they'll all come to see me in the shade of that old oak tree
As they lay me neath the green, green grass of home

Where it was released:
Released for the first time on the album Elvis Today »
 

LPs/CDs:

- Elvis Today (1975) »

– Our Memories of Elvis, Volume 2 (1979) »

- Walk a Mile In My Shoes – The Essential 70’s Masters (1995)

- Great Country Songs (1996)

- The Country Side of Elvis (1999)

- Legendary Elvis Presley (2000)

- Live In Las Vegas (2001)

- The Country Side of Elvis (2001)

- Country Collection (2001) – Time Life

- Elvis 6363 Sunset (2001) – FTD »

- Elvis 70’s (2001)

- Great Country Songs – Remastered (2003)

- Big Boss Man (2005) - FTD »

- Elvis Today (2005) – FTD »

- Our Memories of Elvis, Volume 1, 2 & 3 (2012) - FTD »

- Hits of the 70s (2012) - FTD »

– Las Vegas 1975 (2016) - FTD »

 

Bootleg Releases:

- Elvis Presley is Alive and Well and Singing in Las Vegas, Volume 1 (1975) - No label

- The Vegas Years, 1972-1975 (1976) - TAKRL

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