Track of the Day: 'Georgia On My Mind' by Ray Charles

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

To get our new series going—songs about a particular place—here’s a classic pick and a wonderful memory from Jackie in Leonard, Maryland:

Georgia is my home state, and nobody, but nobody, could sing “Georgia on My Mind” as Ray Charles could. Charles was born in Macon, and I heard him sing the song live in Columbus, Georgia, in June 1962, right after I graduated from Baker High School. My date and I were the only white people there; Georgia was a segregated state then. But everyone there was cool with it, especially when they saw that we knew the words to all the songs and could dance well. The whole joint was rocking. It was a memorable night; I still have the program.

(Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)