Tennesse Waltz and genre bending

Steve Pastor

Staff member
If you stick to certain sources, you would think that creativity in American music was a one way street. One of my projects is to document the fact that a good song is a good song, and things flowed back and forth among musicians and musical genres. (I'm not the first to do this, and I'm WAY behind the curve.)

Some of you may know of Sam Cooke.
This song was written by Polish American Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski, better know as Pee Wee King. King was big in "country" music, and one album at least dubs him "King of Western Swing." (Fans of Bob Wills would dispute this, and Spade Cooley was known as the King of Western Swing to people in Los Angeles and the West Coast back in the 40s and 50s.) Redd Stewart, who was vocalist with King at the time, wrote the lyrics.

Here's a few versions of the song, starting with King's. (What's that bit about the pyramids - You Belong to Me -being a country song?)

Here's two version of the song as done by Sam Cooke in 1964.
Check out the "Go Go dancers"!
This one's actually from Shindig!.

Another version from 1950 by erskine Hawkins.

And the most popular version by Patti Page, also 1950.

Nora Jones...

Man, there are SO many good versions of this song, and you can even dance to some of them!


Well-Known Member

Agree. The mixing of cultures (New Orleans as an example) and popular music genre blending is why American music is still the world's pop music.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
So the song mentioned in the Pee Wee King clip is "You Belong to Me."

It is credited to three writers: Pee Wee King, Chilton Price, and Redd Stewart. Miss Price, a songwriting librarian at WAVE Radio Louisville, had written the song in its virtual entirety as "Hurry Home to Me" envisioning the song as an American woman's plea to a sweetheart serving overseas in World War II. Afforded songwriting credit on the song mostly in exchange for their work in promoting it, King and Stewart did slightly adjust Price's composition musically and lyrically, shifting the focus from a wartime background "into a kind of universal song about separated lovers" and changing the title to "You Belong to Me". Price had previously had success with another hit which she had written, "Slow Poke", under a similar arrangement with the two men.

I think this is the version I remember.

The first recording...
And, huh, backing by "The Dude Martin Band" ---- "Western Swing band called Dude Martin and His Round Up Gang . The band was very popular in Northern California during the 30s to the early 50s. Popular enough to have two radio programs a day during the Depression and, later, a daily TV show that won numerous awards. Their dances were usually to a full house." I see someone wrote a book about them. Funny, only libraries in California have copies of it!

Read more about the song here http://web.archive.org/web/20050817174123/http://www.cincypost.com/2002/sep/27/cloon092702.html
Last edited by a moderator:

Dance Ads