EVERY BILLBOARD HOT 100 SINGLE 1970- #22 -“RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA”- BROOK BENTON

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Every Billboard Hot 100 Single 1970- #22 “Rainy Night In Georgia”- Brook Benton. January 17, 1970.

  • Single-“Rainy Night In Georgia”- Brook Benton
  • Record Company- Cotillion
  • Genre: Soul
  • Written by- Tony Joe White
  • Time: 3:29
  • B-side:”Where Do I Go From Here”
  • Album- Brook Benton Today
  • Grade: A+
  • Peaked at #4 spent 15 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100.

Brook Benton had 49 Hot 100 singles on the pop chart  and 24 Top 40 hits from 1958-72. “Rainy Night In Georgia” was his final Top 40 hit. While is biggest chart success was “The Boll Weevil Song” #2 in 1961- “Rainy Night In Georgia” is the song he is most remembered for. Tony Joe White who had his big hit “Polk Salad Annie” in 1969 had written and performed “Rainy Night In Georgia” in 1967 and was the first to release the song on his album just before Brook Benton released it as a single. Here is what Tony Joe White had to say about his writing “Rainy Night In Georgia.”

“When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn’t have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard “Ode to Billie Joe” on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I’m going to write about something I know about.[2] At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought … well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.”

Brook Benton died at the age of 56 in 1988 of pneumonia. Tony Joe White died in October 2018 at 75 of a heart attack- he was active until the end having released a new album a month before his passing.

2 responses to “EVERY BILLBOARD HOT 100 SINGLE 1970- #22 -“RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA”- BROOK BENTON

  1. Good origin story, and Tony Joe White has a kickass voice, just like Brook does. Brook can hit those low notes just right. There is such a mournfulness to this song!

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