Lesson Plan


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Lesson notes

"Georgia On My Mind" is a poignant jazz tune that has been recorded by dozens, if not hundreds of musicians. Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics) wrote "Georgia" in 1930 as dual tribute to Hoagy's sister, Georgia Carmichael, and to the state of Georgia. The tune reached mass appeal in 1960 when Ray Charles covered it on his album The Genius Hits The Road (although several artists had recorded successful versions prior to Charles' hit). "Georgia" also has significance in the civil rights movement. In 1961, Ray Charles was banned from performing in Georgia (his home state) for refusing to play at a segregated venue; "Georgia On My Mind" was the tune he played in front of the Georgia State Assembly, 16 years later, as a symbol of reconciliation. The state of Georgia then adopted Charles' version of the tune as the official Georgia state song.