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"Blue Bayou" is the title of a classic hit song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson and sung by Orbison. It later became Linda Ronstadt's signature song.

Roy Orbison version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

A plaintive ballad, "Blue Bayou" was originally recorded at the end of 1961, but released by Monument as the double A-side track on a Monument Records single in the UK, yet was issued at the 'B'-side single in the US, peaking at #29; "Mean Woman Blues" was a US #5, released in August 1963, written by Claude Demetrius and originally recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957). In the UK both sides peaked at #3 as a double A-sided single on London Monument, HLU 9777.[1] The song also appeared on Orbison's 1963 full-length album In Dreams.

"Blue Bayou" reappeared on his 1989 posthumous album A Black & White Night Live, from the 1988 television special on Cinemax.

Track listings[edit source | editbeta]Edit

7" vinyl[edit source | editbeta]Edit

US: Monument Records 824

Side one

  1. "Blue Bayou" (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson) – 2:29 - Recorded in late 1961.

Side two

  1. "Mean Woman Blues" (Claude Demetrius) – 2:23

Chart performance[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1963) Peak


Irish Singles Chart[2] 1
Australian Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 3
Norwegian Singles Chart[3] 10
US Billboard Hot R&B Sides[4] 26
US Billboard Pop Singles[4] 29

References in popular culture[edit source | editbeta]Edit

This song has been used in several motion pictures including:

Linda Ronstadt version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"Blue Bayou"

German 7" single

Single by Linda Ronstadt
from the album Simple Dreams
B-side Old Paint or Poor Poor Pitiful Me
Released August 23, 1977
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Country rock
Length 3:57
Label Asylum
Writer(s) Roy OrbisonJoe Melson
Producer Peter Asher
Linda Ronstadt singles chronology
"Lose Again"


"Blue Bayou"


"It's So Easy"


Linda Ronstadt took the song to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late 1977 – where it held for four weeks - as well as #2 Country and #3 Easy Listening. It also reached #2 in Cash Box. The single was RIAA certified Gold (for sales of over 1 million US copies) in January 1978. It was Ronstadt's first of three Gold singles. Don Henley of the Eagles sang backup on the recording. [5] "Blue Bayou" was later certified Platinum (for over 2 million copies sold in the United States). It was a worldwide smash and was also popular in a Spanish-language version called "Lago Azul".

Ronstadt later performed the song on an episode of The Muppet Show.

Because of this song, Dickson's Baseball Dictionary records that a "Linda Ronstadt" is a synonym for a fastball, a pitch that "blew by you." [6]

Track listings[edit source | editbeta]Edit

7" vinyl[edit source | editbeta]Edit

US: Asylum Records E-45431

Side one

  1. "Blue Bayou" (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson) – 3:57

Side two

  1. "Old Paint (traditional, arranged by Linda Ronstadt) – 3:05

Chart performance[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1977) Peak


US Billboard Adult Contemporary[7] 3
US Billboard Country Singles[7] 2
US Billboard Pop Singles[7] 3
Chart (1978) Peak


New Zealand Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart[8] 35

Other cover versions[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Nana Mouskouri covered a German version of the song, entitled "Ich Will Heim Zu Dir, Blue Bayou", in 1978.

"Blue Bayou" has been recorded by other artists in many languages, including in the French language by France's Mireille Mathieu. Mexican singer/actress Bibi Gaytán recorded a Spanish version of this song in 1994 titled "Lago Azul", which was released as the first single from her second studio album Manzana verde.

The song was recorded by Australian a cappella group The Idea of North and Swiss singer Paola Felix.

Andrea Corr performs "Blue Bayou" on her 2011 album Lifelines.

Chris de Burgh covered the song on his 2011 album Footsteps 2.

Ed Bruce covered the song on his 1995 Album Puzzles.

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