Tony Joe White - his music

Popular cover versions of his songs

Wendel Adkins:			3/4 Time (*)
				(So You Want To Be A) Cowboy Singer (*)
				I Came Here To Party (+)
				I've Got A Thing About You Baby
				Mama Don't Let Your Cowboys Grow Up To Be Babies
				Redneck Woman
				Willie And Laura Mae Jones
Chet Atkins:			Light Hearted Lisa (* Instrumental)
John Anderson:			Steamy Windows
				Mississippi Moon (*)
				Do You Have A Garter Belt
The Animals:			As The Crow Flies
Long John Baldry:		My Kind Of Woman
Tommy Bankhead:			Love M.D.
Steve Basset:			Out Of The Rain (*)
Brook Benton:			Rainy Night In Georgia
				Makin' Love Is Good For You
				For Lee Ann
				Aspen, Colorado
Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows:	Polk Salad Annie
The Bleedin' Hearts:		As The Crow Flies
Bloman:				The Gospel Singer ('Fralsaren' in Swedish)
				Swamp Boogie (Om jag vore malvakt i Winnipeg Jets)
Blue Blot:			Love Bug (*)
				These Arms Of Mine
				Yoyo Man 
				Closing In On The Fire (*)
Billy Branch:			Polk Salad Annie
Herman Brood:			Groupy Girl
Eric Burdon:			The Gospel Singer
Salomon Burke:			The Migrant
Aron Burton:			Rainy Night In Georgia
James Burton:			Polk Salad Annie (Instrumental)
Ace Cannon:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Bill Carlisle:			Polk Salad Annie
Clarence Carter:		Willie And Laura Mae Jones
Ray Charles:			3/4 Times (*)
				Rainy Night In Georgia
Joe Cocker:			Across From Midnight
				Angeline (*)
				Let The Healing Begin
				Heart Full Of Rain (*)
				High Lonesome Blue (*)
				Out Of the Rain (*)
Mark Collee:			Tunica Motel
Jessie Colter:			That's The Way A Cowboy Rocks and Rolls (*)
Rita Coolidge:			Take Time To Love
Randy Crawford:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Clifford Curry:			I'm Gonna Hit You (*)
Climax Blues Band:		The Gospel Singer
Dada:				Aspen, Colorado
Joe Dassin:			The Guitar Don't Lie
				Homemade Ice Cream
				My Kind Of Woman
				Polk Salad Annie
				High Sherrif Of Calhoun Parrish
				The Change
				Lustful Earl And The Married Woman
				I've Got A Thing About You, Baby
David Dee:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Donnie Fritts:			Sumpin' Funky Goin' On (a duet with TJW) (*)
Rory Gallagher:			As The Crow Flies
Amos Garret:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Tennessee Earnie Ford:		Rainy Night In Georgia
Johnny Hallyday:		Polk Salad Annie (a duet with TJW)
				La Guitare fait mal (The Guitar Don't Lie) 
				Une Journee (Do You Have A Garter Belt)
Andy Hamilton:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Johnny Hammond:			Catch My Soul (*)
Emmylou Harris:			High Powered Love (*)
King Harvest:			Roosevelt And Ira Lee
Isaac Hayes Movement:		That Loving Feeling (*)
Roy Head:			Dismal Prisoner 0613 (*)
				High Sherrif Of Calhoun Parrish
Levon Helm:			I Came Here To Party (+)
Richie Holmes:			Polk Salad Annie
John Holt:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Chuck Jackson:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Etta James:			Out Of The Rain (*)
Jason & The Scorchers:		Polk Salad Annie
Waylon Jennings:		So You Want To Be A Cowboy Singer (a duet with TJW) (*)
				Endangered Species (*)
				Up In Arkansas
				Trouble Man
				Billie (*)
				Trouble Man (*)
				Hanging On (*)
				Willie And Laura Mae Jones
				Are You Ready For The Country (*)
				Whatever Happen To The Blues (*)
Rodney Jones:			Roosevelt And Ira Lee
Tom Jones:			Polk Salad Annie
				Path Of A Decent Groove (not released)
Patricia Kaas:			Out Of The Rain (*)
Jim Kahr:			Rainy Night In Georgia
B.B.King:			Making Love Is Good For You
Kris Kristofferson:		Take Time To Love
Gladys Knight & The Pips:	Rainy Night In Georgia
Sleepy LaBeef:			Polk Salad Annie	
				Roosevelt And Ira Lee
Light Of Darkness:		Soul Francisco
Delbert Mac-Clinton:		Hold On To Your Hiney
Herbie Mann:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Dutch Mason:			Polk Salad Annie
John Mayal:			Undercover Agent For The Blues
Delbert McClinton:		Hold On To Your Hiney
Freddie North:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Roy Orbison:			Southern Man (*)
Christine Perfect:		Want You (*)
The Persuasions:		Willie And Laura Mae Jones
Wilson Pickett:			Hold On To Your Hiney
Jimmy Powell:			Roosevelt And Ira Lee
Elvis Presley:			Polk Salad Annie
				I've Got A Thing About You, Baby 
				For Ol' Times Sake
Boots Randolph:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Jerry Reed:			I Get Off On It
Charlie Rich:			That's The Way A Cowboy Rocks And Rolls (*)
				Take Time To Love
Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra:	Rainy Night In Georgia
Billy Lee Riley:		Southern Man (*)
				Making Love Is Good For You
Johnny Rivers:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Roland:				As The Crow Flies
				Taking The Nidnight Train
				Did Somebody Make A Fool Of You
				Sidewalk Hobo
Otis Rush:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Earl Scruggs:			I've Got A Thing About You, Baby (TJW on Guitar)
Troy Seals:			I've Got A Thing About You, Baby
Ronnie Sessions:		Making Love Is Good For You
Shucks:				Rainy Night In Georgia
Joe Simon:			Easy To Love (*)
Dusty Springfield:		Willie And Laura Mae Jones
Candi Staton:			Willie And Laura Mae Jones
Amii Stewart:			That Loving Feeling (*)
Nat Stuckey:			Old Man Willis
Betty Swan:			Willie And Laura Mae Jones
The Jazz Crusaders:		Willie And Laura Mae Jones
BJ Thomas:			Rainy Night In Georgia
				Whisful Thinking (*)
				Don't Let The Door (Hit You In The Butt) (*)
Irma Thomas:			Heart Full Of Rain (*)
Nicky Thomas:			Rainy Night In Georgia
Little Tony:			Polk Salad Annie
Tina Turner:			Foreign Affair (*)
				Steamy Windows
				Undercover Agent For The Blues
				You Know Who (Is Doing You Know What) (*)
				On Silent Wings (sung together with Sting) (*)
Conway Twitty,Sam Moore:	Rainy Night In Georgia
Kenny Vernon:			Polk Salad Annie
Jacky Ward:			That's The Way A Cowboy Rocks And Rolls (*)
Great White:			If I Ever Saw A Good Thing
Wild Cherry:			Making Love Is Good For You
Hank Williams Jr.:		Love M.D.
				Rainy Night In Georgia
Bluesboy Willie:		Disco Blues
				Rainy Night In Georgia
David Wills:			The Barmaid (*)
Nancy Wilson:			As The Crow Flies
				Willie And Laura Mae Jones
Philippe Winling:		Rainy Night In Georgia
Link Wray:			Backwoods Preacher Man
Paul Young:			Heart Full Of Rain (*)
Zetterberg & CO:		Another Night In The Life Of A Swamp Fox (En Rockares Dagbok)

George Jones:			?

(*) These songs were not released by Tony Joe White himself on any of his albums.
(+) This song never appeared on album, too, but TJW sang it live at the Austin City limits TV show that was produced for PBS some time ago.


A Rainy Night In Georgia

[Dmaj7]        [Cmaj7]      [D]   

[D]Hov'rin by [G]my suitcase, trying to find a warm place to
[D]spend the night.
[D]Heavy rai[G]n a falling, Seems I hear your voice calling
[D]it's alright.

[Bm7]A rain[F#m7]y night i[Bm7]n Georgia, A ra[F#m7]iny night in Georgia, I believe it's
[Em]raining all [G]over the [D]worl[Cmaj7]d.         

Play this after 2nd, 3rd verse:

[Cmaj7]How many times I've [Dmaj7]wondered,[Cmaj7] it still co[Dmaj7]mes out the same. No
[Em7]matter how you [D]look at it, [Em7]think of it, you
[G]just got to [F#m7]do    [Em7]your [Dmaj7]own thing. [Cmaj7]     

2. Neon signs a-flashing
   Taxicabs and buses passing through the night.
   The distant moaning of a train,
   seems to play a sad refrain to the night.

3. I find me a place in a box car,
   so I take out my guitar to pass some time.
   Late at night when it's hard to rest,
   I hold your picture to my chest and I'm alright.


For Ol' Times Sake

[A]Before you go and walk [A/G#]out on me
[G]take a look ar[A]ound and tell me [D]what you see
[A]Here I stand like an [A/G#]open book
[G]is there something [A]here you might have [D]overlooked
'Cause it would be a [E]shame if you [A]leave
and find that [D]freedom ain't what [E]you thought it would [A]be

[A]The years we had were [A/G#]not all bad
[G]in fact I know the [A]good outweighed the [D]bad
But [A]now you say that [A/G#]you've grown tired
and you [G]want to be [A]by yourself a [D]while
But it would be a [E]shame if you [A]go 
and find that [D]freedom was a [E]long time [A]ago

I [D]know that you can't [E]stand for chains to [A]bind you
if [D]they just [E]keep on [A]driving us apart
and [D]you could go where [E]I would never [A]find you
but could [E]you go far en[F#m]ough to [D]get away from your [E]heart

So [A]one more time for [A/G#]old times sake
[G]come and lay your [A]head upon my [D]chest
[A]please don't throw this [A/G#]moment away
[G]we can forget the [A]bad and take the [D]best
but if you don't have [E]nothing left to [A]say 
let me [D]hold you one more [E]time for old times [A]sake
and [D]if you don't have [E]nothing left to [A]say 
let me [D]hold you one more [E]time for old times [A]sake

Steamy windows

I was [E]thinking 'bout parking the other night
[G] we was [A]out on a [E]back road
[E]me and my woman was just gettin' right
all [G]systems on [A]over[E]load
[E]Radio blastin' in the front seat
[G]turning out the [A]music [E]fine
[E]we was snuggled up in the back seat
[G]making up for [A]lost [E]time

[E]Steamy windows, zer[G]o visi[A]bilit[E]y
[E]Steamy windows, [G]coming from the [A]body [E]heat

You can [E]wine and dine with a woman all night
[G] with [A]good in[E]tent
but there's [E]something about a confrontation on a back road
[G]  breaks [A]down the [E]defense

{c: Chorus}

{c: Solo over verse progression}

There's a [E]sound outside the front door
and I [G]know it's [A]just the [E]wind
but it [E]makes her snuggle up just a little bit closer
and it [G]starts things [A]happening a[E]gain

[E]Steamy windows, [G]ain't no[A]body can [E]see
Steamy windows, coming from the body heat
Steamy windows, zero visibility
Steamy windows, coming from the body heat
Steamy [E]windows, steamy [E]windows

Polk Salad Annie

"Polk Salad Annie" was Tony Joe White's biggest comercial success.

Additionaly the song was covered by over 40 artists. It was a very popular life act for Elvis Presley in the 70's. Among others Johnny Hallyday and Tom Jones sang this song.

Here are the lyrics (they are sometimes hard to understand from Tony Joe's singing but I believe this is the correct text):

Ah, some of you all never been down South too much -
I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this so you'll 
understand what I'm talkin' about...

Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods 
and the fields...
looks some like a turnip green...
ev'rybody calls it Polk Salad ...
Polk ... Salad...

Used to know a girl lived down there and she'd
go out in the evenings and pick her a mess of it...
carry it home and cook it for supper...
'cause that's about all they had to eat.
They did all right...

Iím down in Louisiana,
where the aligators grow so mean,
there lived a girl that I'd swear to the world
made the aligators look tame

Polk Salad Annie
Polk Salad Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
'cause her Mama was working on a chain gang...
A mean, vicious woman....

Every day for supper time
she'd go down by the truck patch
and pick her a mess of Polk Salad
and carry it home in a towsack 

Polk Salad Annie
The Gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'cause her Mama was working on a chain gang...
A wretched, spiteful, straight razor totin' woman,
Lord have mercy... 


Her daddy was lazy and no count
claimed he had a bad back
all her brothers were fit for
was stealing watermelons out of my truck patch...

Polk Salad Annie
The Gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'cause her Mama was working on a chain gang...

Sock a little Polk Salad to me...
You know we need a mere mess of it...


Tony Joe's Lake Placid Blues album is named after the guitar he's holding on the cover. The color is "Lake Placid Blue". He was really happy when he got the guitar from Buck Sulcer and said that it insprired him.

Tony was involved in Tina Turner's "Foreign Affair" album. Aparat from producing and composing he played the following instruments:
Steamy Windows [TJW: lead & rhythm guitar, synth bass, harmonica]
You Know Who (Is Doing You Know What) [TJW: l & r guitar, harmonica]
Undercover Agent For The Blues [TJW: l & r guitar, synth bass]
Foreign Affair [TJW: l & r guitar Mark Knopfler: Guitar]
Note his work with Mark Knopfler on the title song.

TJW appears in Tina Turner's music video for "Steamy Windows". He can be seen for a short moment in several cuts, sitting in a dark room, wearing a big black hat and a black coat and playing his guitar.

Reportedly "Rainy Night In Georgia" has been recorded by over 100 artists.

Tony Joe White worked with Waylon Jennings and Donnie Fritts. He played guitar on some of their albums and sang some songs duet.

Tony Joe White wrote two songs for Joe Cocker's album "Have A Little Faith": 'Angeline' and 'Let The Healing Begin', which is the opener for the album. Reportedly Tony Joe is a long time friend of Joe Cocker and they wrote 'Angeline' together in a Los Angeles hotel room. Note that Tony Joe also toured with Joe Cocker in Europe.

For Joe Cocker's latest Album "Organic" Tony Joe White wrote 'Heart Full Of Rain' and 'High Lonesome Blue'.

Reportedly Tony Joe White liked the three Elvis Presley interpretations of his songs very much. He even offered to write exclusive material for him but Elvis (or his management?) turned down the offer.

In 1979 the french singer Joe Dassin (son of Jules Dassin who directed a greek picture called 'Never on Sunday') made an LP with Tony Joe White called "Blue Country". He sang french cover versions of 'Polk Salad Annie', 'Homemade Ice Cream' and others. Tony Joe White played acoustic guitar and harmonica. This CD is currently available in record stores in France.

Some time ago Waylon Jennings gave an interview on one of the Nashville shows. He talked about visiting Tony Joe White when he lived back in the woods of Arkansas. They got into TJW's old pickup truck to go to the grocery store. The back of the truck was so full of junk that it actually had a small tree growing in it. Halfway down the steep mountain, Waylon realized that the truck had no brakes, and held on for dear life! He said the moral of the story was - "If you go to visit Tony Joe White, DON'T RIDE THE TRUCK!"

Somewhere around 1985 Tony Joe White wrote the book 'Buck & Don - Stories From The Swamp'. It is made for children aged 10-12.

In 1994 TJW recorded with David Hood, Roger Hawkins and Randy McCormick.

Tony Joe White was in Paris last november to record a TV show. In fact, the show was a Joe Cocker special, but Tony came and played on 'High And Lonesome Blue' and he and Joe did a great duet on 'Rainy Night In Georgia'. He was also interviewed by some chick who hardly understood what he said and that was quite funny.

In 1991 Johnny Hallyday released the album 'Ca ne change pas un homme' in France. Tony composed two songs for this album ('La Guitare fait mal' and 'Une Journee'), played guitar and harmonica at the recording session and produced the songs for Johnny Hallyday.

Tony Joe White always admired Lightning Hopkins. In 1968, when Tony Joe just signed with Monument, they met in L.A. and TJW was able to play piano and organ at the session where Hopkins recorded his album "California Mudslide".
He was doing an album in Los Angeles, and I happened to be there and was invited to his session. It's hard to say anything about Lightning Hopkins, as I had much rather sit, be quiet and listen to him. I've dug him since I was 12, and met him when I am 25. He can make chills run over you when he sings "The California Mud Slide". Or anything.

Tony Joe White signed to Arista in the 80s and recorded four songs for them ("We'll Live On Love", "It Must Be Love", "You And Me Baby", ? ), but they never came out (except in Japan !). Tony wasn't satisfied with the orchestra overdubs they made.

In 1969 Tony Joe was in Paris and recorded 20 acoustic tracks for the then new studio of Barclay's. They had just finished the studio and they took me over there. We were in this big room over there, and I was with my guitar and I just started playing "Baby Please Don't Go", some Lightning Hopkins, some John Lee Hooker stuff, and some of mine, but I never did hear the tapes. Those tapes still have to be discovered.

Tony Joe recorded a second album for 20th Century Fox but was not satisfied with the results and hence never released it. I went and did some tracks with Doug Tar, Steve Cropper and Booker T... Jeff Porcaro was the drummer... The whole thing was wrong. Copper kept trying to jazz up my music and I just wanted to keep things real simple. Simple and funky, and everybody was trying to jive it up.

The TV-special

In 1993 Jean-Louis Lamaison produced a *very* impressive 52 minutes documentary about Tony Joe White. It has been broadcasted several times in France on Cable TV.

To do the film, he spend quite a lot of time with Tony, at his house, they went fishing, went to Memphis, he took him to Muscle Shoals to shoot a bunch of songs he played with David Hood, Roger Hawkins and Randy McCormick. Jean-Louis also talked to Waylon Jennings and Mark Knopfler.

To shoot the studio part they used four cameras and for the rest including the fishing trip in Tunica, only one. The studio songs were filmed during two afternoons. And on the third day, they mixed. Tony enjoyed every minute of it (you can tell by watching the film !).

The shooting at MSS was done with four betacam SP and the final editing was transferes on Digital beta.

Jean-Louis had planed a golf match between Tony and Donnie Fritts (he is the guy whot shoot pools with Tony) and Tony had brought his golf clubs (he is a very good golf player) but they did not have the time.

Some of the interviews at Tony's House were done and shot in april 1993 but almost everything was done between june 7 and june 18 1993. Interviews at Tony's on june 7, 8 and 9. Waylon Jennings june 8 (at his office in Nashville). Fishing trip june 10 (Tunica, Mississippi), shopping in Memphis (Beale Street) june 11. Sessions at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio (in Sheffield, Alabama) tuesday june 15 and 16 for the recording, and 17 for the mix. Mark Knopfler july 20 (at his manager's office in London).

A lot of stuff Jean-Louis shooted and a bunch of interviews were leftover, of course, but he did use some in a 10 minutes cassette for Remark Records they used for the promo of Path Of A Decent Groove.

(Special thanks to Jean-Louis Lamaison for all these informations!)

Tony Joe White - his music / Martin Doppelbauer / January 2008 /