WFMU Ichiban, Rock and Soul with Debbie D

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Joe Tex's Green Green Grass Of Home

Yesterday, Dr. Filth put up a fine post examining the intersection of the worlds Joe Tex and Roger Miller, which reminded me of another Joe Tex effort that came out of the country field.

The Green, Green Grass Of Home begins with a man happily recounting his eagerness to return to the familiar comforts of home after a long absence. There is, however, a catch. As the song unfolds, we learn the man is actually a Death Row prisoner and he's only been dreaming of going home. In reality, he is to be executed the following morning.

It's become something of a standard in the years since 1965 when singer Johnny Darrell released the original version of the song, followed almost immediately by Porter Wagoner's definitive interpretation, in which he added an extra layer of intensity by doing the final verse as a recitation. Tom Jones took the song to #1 in the UK in '67 and Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Hank Snow, among many others, also recorded memorable versions.

So, all that said, check out Joe Tex's moving version of The Green Green Grass Of Home, performed live on Spanish television in 1968.