Many Georgias On My Mind

Many Georgias On My Mind

Ray Charles’s may be the most famous…
but a few preceded it …
…and still others later!


It was on this date, November 14, in 1960 that Georgia On My Mind by  Ray Charles was #1 Billboard Hot 100, but the song was already 30 years on when Charles had his hit.

Stuart Gorrell (lyrics) and Hoagy Carmichael (music) wrote the song.

According to the “National Anthems of the World” site: Hoagy Carmichael went to Indiana University and one of his best college chums was Stuart Gorrell. Hoagy Carmichael was going to be a lawyer and Stuart Gorrell,…had promised someone that he would eventually be a success in the world of business. 

The two of them were together at a party in New York and Hoagy Carmichael played what he had of the “Georgia” music line for Stuart Gorrell… After the party broke up, the two of them went back to a friend’s apartment and worked on the tune throughout the night. Stuart Gorrell wrote what he thought would be a good lyric line on the back of a post card…and showed it to Hoagy Carmichael.

Hoagy Carmichael went on to write many more songs…and Stuart Gorrell kept his promise and became a Vice President at Chase Bank. Stuart Gorrell never tried to write another song lyric. (click for full article >>> Story of “Georgia On My Mind”)

Carmichael’s version was recorded in 1930:

Many Georgias On My Mind

Frank Trumbauer

…but it was a friend of Carmichael’s, Frank Trumbauer, whose version became the song’s first hit the following year.

Many Georgias On My Mind

Mildred Bailey

Mildred Bailey also recorded the song in 1931,

Many Georgias On My Mind

Gene Krupa & Anita O’Day

…the drummer Gene Krupa and his orchestra reached No 17 in 1941 with Anita O’Day on vocals

Many Georgias On My Mind
Gene Krupa & Anita O’Day

Many Georgias On My Mind

Ray Charles

According to the “Life of a Song” site, in 1960 “Rising star Ray Charles had left Atlantic Records in order to gain greater artistic control, higher royalties and mainstream acceptance at a time when albums were starting to outsell singles. His first LP for his new label ABC-Paramount was The Genius Hits the Road, a 12-track concept album themed on places in the US; “Georgia on My Mind”, the standout track, was sandwiched between “Alabamy Bound” and “Basin Street Blues”. Released as a single, it reached No 1 in November 1960 and won a Grammy Award. (click for the full account >>> The full story!)

Here is a live version. To say Charles does a soulful version would be redundant:

Many Georgias On My Mind

The Band

The song continued it’s cat-like life and in 1976 The Band’s cover was part of Jimmy Carter’s successful presidential run. I love this live version from “The Last Waltz.” Love you, Richard Manuel.

and finally…

Many Georgias On My Mind

Ludacris, Field Mob, & Jamie Foxx

Also from the “Life of a Song” site: In 2005 the Albany rap group Field Mob’s “Georgia”, with Atlanta-raised Ludacris and Jamie Foxx (who played Ray Charles in the 2004 biopic), bookended a rap on the gritty reality of the state’s underbelly with the rose-tinted yearnings of Carmichael and Gorrell’s song. The idea worked, not least because “Georgia on My Mind” is a brilliant work of imaginative fiction that captures the yearnings of the homesick soul. That fact and fantasy are so out of step only adds to the pathos.”

Many Georgias On My Mind Mind, 

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism


National Women’s Trade Union League

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

November 14, 1903: at the AFL convention in Boston, women unionists united to form the National Women’s Trade Union League and elect Mary Morton Kehew president and Jane Addams vice-president. The National Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL) was established to advocate for improved wages and working conditions for women. (see January 25, 1904)

Yale University admits women
November 14 Peace Love Art Activism
Amy Solomon ’73 (center) was the first woman to register as a student in Yale College.

November 14, 1968:  Yale University announced would admit admit women. From the New York Times, “For the first time in its 265-year history Yale University will admit undergraduate women next fall to “enhance its contribution to the generations ahead.” (Yale to admit women) (see Nov 22)

Nancy Pelosi minority whip

November 14 Peace Love Activism

November 14, 2002: minority whip since 2001, Californian Nancy Pelosi became the first woman elected as Democratic Minority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The NY Times article began: House Democrats turned to Representative Nancy Pelosi of California today to try to reverse their political fortunes, electing her their leader. She becomes the first woman to head a party in either house of Congress. (Pelosi chosen) (see December 10, 2003)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism



On April 18, 1946: a thirty-two-year-old Navy veteran named Davis Knight married Junie Lee Spradley, a white woman. In June 1948, the state of Mississippi indicted Mr. Knight for violating a law that prohibited “marriage or cohabitation between white persons and those with one-eighth or more Negro or Mongolian blood.” At trial, Mr. Knight insisted that he was white: his wife believed him to be white and his Navy service records listed him as white. Mississippi set out to prove he was black.

The whole case turned on the race of Mr. Knight’s deceased great-grandmother, Rachel; if she was black, Mr. Knight was at least one-eighth black and guilty of the charge. As evidence of Rachel’s race, the State presented several elderly witnesses, including an eighty-nine-year-old white man who testified that Rachel had lived on his father’s plantation and was a “known Negro.”

On December 18, 1948 Mississippi convicted Knight of miscegenation and sentenced him to five years in prison for marrying outside of his race. Knight appealed.

On November 14, 1949 the Mississippi State Supreme Court reversed Knight’s conviction. The Court held that, in Mr. Knight’s particular case, the State had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that his grandmother Rachel was fully black, so it had not proved that Mr. Knight was at least one-eighth black.

Though the decision did not strike down the state’s miscegenation law, or prevent future prosecutions of others, many white Mississippians protested the decision, hanging members of the court in effigy. The state’s ban on interracial marriage would stand for nearly two more decades, until the United States Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia struck down remaining anti-miscegenation laws in Mississippi and seventeen other states.

Jo Ann Robinson

In 1950, Jo Ann Robinson became president of the Women’s Political Council in Montgomery, AL. As president, she began to study the issue of bus segregation, which affected the many blacks who were the majority of riders on the city system. First, members appeared before the City Commission to report abuses on the buses, such as blacks who were first on the bus being required later to give up seats for whites as buses became crowded. The commission acted surprised but did nothing. (BH & Feminism, see March 31)

In 1953 Jo Ann Robinson and other local black leaders met with the three commissioners of Montgomery. Robinson’s group complained that the city did not hire any black bus drivers, said that segregation of seating was unjust, and that bus stops in black neighborhoods were farther apart than in white ones, although blacks were the majority of the riders. The commissioners refused to change anything.

Robinson and other WPC members met with bus company officials on their own. The segregation issue was deflected, as bus company officials said that segregation was city and state law, but the WPC achieved a small victory as the bus company officials agreed to have the buses stop at every corner in black neighborhoods, as was the practice in white neighborhoods. (BH, see June 8; Feminism, see May 18, 1954; Montgomery, see March 2, 1955)

 Voting Rights

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

November 14, 1960: in Gomillion v. Lightfoot, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a redistricting plan enacted by the Alabama legislature, which redrew the boundaries of the City of Tuskegee. The court found that the plan — which changed the city’s shape from a square to a 28-sided border violated the 15th Amendment to the Constitution and was done expressly to exclude black voters from city elections.(VR, see March 26, 1962)

School Desegregation

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

November 14, 1960: 6-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first black child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans.  Bridges was in first-grade when she started attending William Frantz Elementary School as the court-ordered integration of public schools began in New Orleans. Some in the crowd carried a black doll in a baby’s casket. Federal Marshal Charles Burks and three other marshals escorted the Bridges to and from school for several weeks before local police took over that duty. Eventually the crowds dispersed and she no longer needed protection. Normal Rockwell’s cover depicting Ruby Bridges first day at an all-white school.

In 1963 Norman Rockwell depicted a young black girl carrying textbooks and a ruler being led by marshals past a wall marred by a splattered tomato and a scrawled racial epithet.(BH, see Nov 26; SD, see March 27, 1962)

Medgar Evers

November 14, 1964: William L Walter, the district attorney who prosecuted the case against Byron De La Beckwith, announced that Beckwith would not be tried a third time for the murder of Medgar W. Evers unless new evidence is obtained. (BH, see Nov 18; see Evers for expanded chronology)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

November 14 Music et al

November 14 – 20, 1960:  “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles #1 Billboard Hot 100. (see Georgia for much more)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism


November 14, 1965: the Battle of Ia Drang Valley was the first major battle between regular U.S. and People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) troops. The two-part battle occurred at landing zones X-Ray and Albany in Ia Drang Valley, Central Highlands of South Vietnam. Despite heavy casualties on both sides, both claimed the battle was a victory. The battle was considered essential as it set the blueprint for tactics for both sides. American troops continued to reply on air mobility and artillery fire, while the Viet Cong learned that by quickly engaging their combat forces close to the enemy, they could neutralize American advantages (see Nov 17)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

Space Race, Apollo 12

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

November 14 – 24, 1969,  Space Race: Apollo 12 took off. Pete Conrad and Alan Bean will collect lunar samples, as well as parts of the unmanned Surveyor 3. From the New York Times, “Three American astronauts were ready tonight to embark tomorrow on man’s second voyage to land on the moon, a trip aimed at a more thorough scientific investigation into the origin and nature of the earth’s only natural satellite.” (see Apollo 12) [the audio clip is the Byrds song, Armstrong, Aldrin, & Collins. I know it’s not for Apollo 12, but I like the song and…well…close enough.](see April 11 – 17, 1970)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

Iran hostage crisis

November 14, 1979: President Jimmy Carter issued Executive Order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States and U.S. banks in response to the hostage crisis. (see Nov 17)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism


November 14, 1985: lesbian and gay rights activists held a town hall meeting on this day in New York City. Two weeks later, GLAAD [Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] was formed.

GLAAD gave special focus to changing American culture regarding homosexuality.

The GLAAD Mission Statement (in part): “GLAAD works with print, broadcast and online news sources to bring people powerful stories from the LGBTQ community that build support for equality. And when news outlets get it wrong, GLAAD is there to respond and advocate for fairness and accuracy.” (see June 30, 1986)

American Catholic Bishops side against gay marriage

November 14, 2015: Catholic Bishops sided with those who conscientiously object to gay marriage and maintain their opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide. These pro-traditional marriage views were expressed during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall General Assembly meeting, the first meeting for the bishops since the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in the June 26, 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges. (see Dec 14)


November 14, 2017: in Australia, 61.6 percent in favor of same-sex marriage in a historic survey that, while not binding, paved the way for Parliament to legally recognize the unions of gay and lesbian couples. [NYT article] (see Nov 27)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

Stop and Frisk

November 14, 2013: New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman analyzed 150,000 arrests that resulted from 2.4 millions stops by the NYPD between 2009 and 2012. About half of the arrests lead to convictions and about a quarter lead to prison sentences, according to the report released. The other half were never prosecuted, dismissed or resulted in adjournments in contemplation of dismissal – a legal term for cases in which a judge allows a case to be dismissed after a probationary period of usually six months to a year. The report also said the stop-and-frisk arrests resulted in a 24 percent incarceration rate.

The chief spokesman for the police, John McCarthy, called the analysis “flawed” and said it underestimated the value of the tactic. [NY AG article] (see Nov 22)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical News

November 14, 2017: federal officials restarted a nuclear fuel testing facility about 50 miles west of Idaho Falls, Idaho amid efforts to boost the nation’s nuclear power generating capacity and possibly reduce concerns about nuclear power safety.

The U.S. Department of Energy said the facility began operating for the first time since it went on standby status in 1994. Nuclear fuel testing is expected to begin next year.

The Energy Department proposed resuming operations at the Transient Reactor Test Facility in 2013 as part of former President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by generating carbon-free electricity with nuclear power. Nuclear power currently produces about 19 percent of the nation’s energy. [AP article] (see Nov 21)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

Crime and Punishment

November 14, 2019: the MDRC (originally Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation) published a report called Evaluation of Pretrial Justice System Reforms That Use the Public Safety Assessment regarding New Jersey’s implementation of its Criminal Justice Reform Act (January 1, 2017).

The report’s findings about the CJR included:

  • Fewer arrest events took place following CJR’s implementation. There was a reduction in the number of arrest events for the least serious types of charges — namely, nonindictable (misdemeanor) public-order offenses.
  • Police officers appear to be issuing complaint-summonses more often and seeking complaint-warrants less often since CJR was implemented.
  • Pretrial release conditions imposed on defendants changed dramatically as a result of CJR. A larger proportion of defendants were released without conditions, and rates of initial booking into jail were lower than predicted given pre-CJR trends.
  • CJR significantly reduced the length of time defendants spend in jail in the month following arrest.
  • CJR had the largest effects on jail bookings in counties that had the highest rates of jail bookings before CJR.

(next C&P, see Dec 18)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

FREE SPEECH, US Labor History & Colin Kaepernick

November 14, 2017: Pizza chain Papa John’s apologized for its CEO John Schnatter’s claim that protesting National Football League players had hurting profits.

On its official Twitter account Papa John’s  “sincerely” apologized “to anyone that thought they [Schnatter’s remarks] were divisive.” “That definitely was not our intention,” the company added.

Schnatter’s remarks also led to the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer to endorse Papa John’s as the official pizza of the self-proclaimed alt-right — an accolade the company rejected. (FS, LH, and CK, see Nov 20)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism

Immigration History

November 14, 2020: federal judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that Chad Wolf was not legally serving as acting Homeland Security secretary when he signed rules limiting applications and renewals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program [DACA], and those rules were thus invalid.

In July, Wolf had issued a memo saying that new applications for DACA, the Obama-era program that shielded undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation, would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review. [CNN story] (next IH, see Nov 18); next DACA, see Dec 4)

November 14 Peace Love Art Activism