Ten Songs You May Not Know Were Covered: Misty (#4)

@FourWalls (22001)
Louisville, Kentucky
October 25, 2016 8:24pm CST
I've shocked people with a pair of top ten lists of hits that were covers. Here I'm turning the tables, highlighting the cover versions that were hits but have slipped into obscurity since the time it was a hit. #4: Misty Play "Misty" for me! The classic song "Misty" is almost universally and inseparably linked to Johnny Mathis. Others have recorded it, of course, but it's Johnny Mathis' 1959 version that was put in the Grammy Hall of Fame. So if you're going to cover a song that is that closely tied to an artist you need to do something to make it special. In 1975 Ray Stevens did just that: taking a page from Homer & Jethro's 1966 version of "Misty" (done as a bluegrass song), Stevens released an upbeat country version, complete with fiddles and steel guitar. Stevens' version went to #14 on the pop charts (no kidding!) as well as #3 on the country chart. It also won Stevens his second Grammy award, for the arrangement. (Your worthless trivia: although Stevens is well-known for his comedy and novelty songs, his two Grammy awards have been for "serious" songs: this one and "Everything Is Beautiful." He's never won a comedy Grammy.) The fact that Ray Stevens not only recorded this song but had a good-sized hit and won a Grammy for it might be news to just about everyone except the most ardent Ray Stevens fans. Misty Written by Johnny Burke and Errol Garner Originally a hit for Johnny Mathis, 1959 Covered by Ray Stevens, 1975 Look at me...Ray Stevens style:
UK hit 1975 peaked at No.2, 10 weeks on chart
4 people like this
4 responses
@porwest (19326)
• United States
29 Apr 18
It always amazes me when I find out a certain song is a cover. The ones that aren't so obvious of course. It's also fun to find out some very famous musicians who write the songs for other famous musicians. Like Billy Joel for example. He of course wrote the Garth Brooks hit, "Shameless."
1 person likes this
• Bournemouth, England
29 Oct 16
The Ray Stevens version of Misty came almost from nowhere to reach no. 2 on the UK charts that summer (he followed it with a minor hit here with his version of Indian Love Call). British songwriter Tony ('Downtown') Hatch was a judge on a TV talent show and seemingly every time a band came on doing a cover of anything, he would sing the praises of that Ray Stevens cover of Misty as an example of excellence in doing a very unusual version of a song.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (43433)
• Denver, Colorado
29 Oct 16
Yeah, I had no idea, let alone that he'd won a Grammy for it. Interesting.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (94756)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Oct 16
It is news to me. Co-writer Errol Garner was a famous pianist and performer in his own right.
1 person likes this