“The Tennessee Waltz” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

The Tennessee Waltz

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Leonard Cohen’s early fondness for this song is documented in this excerpt from Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016) [bolding mine]:

[Leonard Cohen] put coins in the jukebox to listen to “The Great Pretender,” “Tennessee Waltz,” and anything by Ray Charles.

“Tennessee Waltz” was written by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King in 1946 and first released in January 1948. The song became a hit as a Patti Page recording in 1950.

Leonard Cohen not only evidenced his devotion to the song by shoving  his coins into a jukebox but also released a live version of “Tennessee Waltz,” featuring an additional verse written by Cohen himself, recorded in 1985 on his 2004 album Dear Heather.

Patti Page – Tennessee Waltz

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