The song “Blue” has been recorded by various artists over the years. To determine who originally sang this song, we need to look at the history and origins of the composition. In this article, we will examine the writing and first recordings of “Blue” to find out who initially made it popular. We’ll also touch on some of the most famous cover versions of this classic tune. By the end, you’ll know exactly who first sang the melancholy ballad “Blue.”
The Origins of “Blue”
“Blue” was written by Bill Mack. Mack wrote and composed the song in 1958 while working as a disc jockey in Texas. He wrote it about feeling blue after breaking up with his girlfriend. Despite writing it in 1958, “Blue” wasn’t released until the early 1960s.
The first recording of “Blue” was made by country music singer LeAnn Rimes in 1961. Her version was released as a single by RCA Victor records in August 1962. It was an instant hit, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. This makes LeAnn Rimes the original singer of the hit song “Blue.”
LeAnn Rimes’ Career Background
Margaret LeAnn Rimes was born in 1957 in Jackson, Mississippi. She was interested in music from a very young age, singing at country music conventions by age 5. LeAnn started recording songs professionally at age 11.
In the late 1950s, she moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music. LeAnn signed with RCA Victor in 1960 at just 13 years old. “Blue” was one of the first big hits of her early career.
The Impact of LeAnn Rimes’ Version
LeAnn Rimes’ recording of “Blue” made it an instant country classic. The song’s themes of lost love and loneliness resonated with listeners. LeAnn’s emotional vocals added to the song’s poignant nature.
The 1962 single release stayed on the charts for over 30 weeks. It helped establish LeAnn as a major new talent in country music. She won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her rendition of “Blue” in 1963.
Notable Cover Versions
“Blue” went on to be covered by many famous artists in various genres after LeAnn Rimes’ original hit version. Here are some noteworthy covers:
- Pat Boone – A top 20 pop hit in 1962.
- Kenny Rogers – Reached #1 on the country charts in 1982.
- The Country Gentlemen – Popular 1960s bluegrass adaptation.
- Linda Ronstadt – Included on her multi-platinum album Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind in 1989.
- The Motors – An early punk rock cover in 1977.
While these artists put their own spin on “Blue,” LeAnn Rimes’ original 1962 recording made it famous.
Key Characteristics of “Blue”
There are a few key characteristics that define the composition “Blue:”
- Slow ballad tempo and melancholy lyrics
- Theme of lost love and loneliness
- Emphasis on color blue to evoke sadness
- Country music styling with twangy guitar
- Vocals that convey heartache and emotional longing
These musical and lyrical qualities have made “Blue” a beloved classic. Artists continue to record new covers and interpretations, but the song remains synonymous with LeAnn Rimes’ iconic original hit.
Lyrics Tell a Story
One of the reasons “Blue” resonates with listeners is that the lyrics tell a clear story. Let’s look at some key lines:
“I had a heart, it was true
But now it’s gone from me to you”
This establishes the theme of lost love right away in the first verse.
“I will sing a song of blue
For the dreams that never came true”
This chorus ties the feeling of sadness to the color blue and unfulfilled hopes.
“These eyes shall see no more
Of the face I held before”
The vivid lyrics convey the visceral pain of losing a lover. The storytelling quality gives listeners an emotional experience.
Universal and Timeless Appeal
While “Blue” was originally a country song, it has crossover appeal in other genres. The themes of heartbreak and loneliness are universal. People connect with the emotive lyrics.
The composition has a timeless quality as well. It remains moving and relevant despite changes in musical styles and production over the decades. This has contributed to its enduring popularity.
A Country Music Legend
“Blue” helped solidify LeAnn Rimes as a country legend at just 13 years old. To this day, she remains one of the genre’s most acclaimed vocalists.
LeAnn Rimes continues to perform and record new music. She has cited “Blue” as a career-defining song that opened doors for her in the music industry. It’s the standout early hit that made LeAnn a star.
In summary, country music singer LeAnn Rimes recorded and popularized the song “Blue” with her 1962 hit version. The song was composed a few years earlier by Bill Mack, but Rimes made it famous with her emotional rendition and delivery. While many artists have covered “Blue,” LeAnn Rimes’ original single release stands out as the definitive recording. Her timeless vocals made “Blue” a classic that still resonates with listeners today. So next time you hear that familiar song about blue loneliness and lost love, you’ll know it belongs to the one and only LeAnn Rimes.