Thanks to Richard Davis for the song!
YOU CAN PLAY ALONG WITH THE FIRST VIDEO IN GCEA TUNING, IF YOU PUT YOUR CAPO ON THE 5TH FRET! To play along with the Hank Williams recording can be a challenge since the metre changes, so I've done up two versions, one showing a chord box for each bar (or measure) which may help you get the cadence/timing of the song' and the other a simplified version not showing a chord box for every bar, for those so inclined.
"Lovesick Blues" is a show tune written by Cliff Friend and Irving Mills. The song first appeared in the 1922 musical Oh, Ernest. It was recorded by Emmett Miller in 1928 and later by country music singer Rex Griffin. The recordings by Griffin and Miller inspired Hank Williams to perform the song during his first appearances on the Louisiana Hayride in 1948. Receiving an enthusiastic reception from the audience, Williams decided to record his own version despite initial push back from his producer Fred Rose and his band.
In the episode of American Masters about Williams, Drifting Cowboy Don Helms recalls, "When they recorded 'Lovesick Blues,' Fred told Hank, 'That song's out of meter! Got too many bars in it. And you hold that note too long.' And Hank said, 'Well, when I find a note I like, I wanna hold on to it as long as I can,' you know, just tryin' to be funny. And Fred said, 'Well, I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. That thing is so much out of meter, I'm gonna get me a cup of coffee and when I get back maybe ya'll have that thing cut.' And they did, but it was still out of meter. So Fred lived with that the rest of his life." Williams combined Griffin's lyrical arrangement with a two-beat honky-tonk track, borrowing the yodeling and beat drops from Miller's recording.
MGM Records released "Lovesick Blues" in February 1949, and it became an overnight success, quickly reaching number one on Billboard's Top C&W singles and number 24 on the Most Played in Jukeboxes list. The publication named it the top country and western record of the year, while Cashbox named it "Best Hillbilly Record of the Year". Following the success of the song, Williams was invited to appear as a guest on the Grand Ole Opry, on June 11, 1949. After the performance, Williams received a standing ovation. "Lovesick Blues" became his signature song, which he used to close his shows. It was also his first number one hit, and garnered Williams the stage nickname of "The Lovesick Blues Boy". In 1949, the singer received second billing behind Eddy Arnold on the list of the "Year's Top Selling Folk Artists". Williams' version of the song was featured in the films The Last Picture Show (1971), Forrest Gump (1994) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994). In 2004, "Lovesick Blues" was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.
~~~ChordPro Version UPDATED Feb 18, 2018 CEL~~~
A video for this song: