“Lovesick Blues“ is a show tune written by Cliff Friend and Irving Mills…..as the song first appeared in the 1922 musical Oh, Ernest…..and was recorded by Emmett Miller in 1925 and 1928…..and later by country music singer Rex Griffin…..as the recordings by Griffin and Miller inspired Hank Williams to perform the song during his first appearances on the Louisiana Hayride radio show in 1948…..and after receiving an enthusiastic reception from the audience….Hank Sr. decided to record his own version despite initial push back from his producer Fred Rose and his band.
MGM Records released “Lovesick Blues” in February 1949…. and it became an overnight success….while quickly reaching # 1 on Billboard’s Top C&W singles….as well as # 24 on the Most Played in Jukeboxes list….as the publication named it the top country and western record of the year….and Cashbox named it “Best Hillbilly Record of the Year”.
Several cover versions of the song have been recorded….with the most popular being Frank Ifield’s 1962 version….which topped the UK Singles Chart. In 2004, Williams’ version was added to the National Recording Registry.