One of my all-time favorite artists, Mickey Newbury had a knack for sad, slow, soulful songs that cut deep — but do so gently and thoughtfully. Newbury also had one of the finest voices in country music — a whole different style from someone like George Jones, but I would argue he was up there in that league.
Below is “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye,” one of Newbury’s finest songs. It’s a live version he performed on the Johnny Cash Show:
Newbury’s music was covered by many artists during the 1960s and ’70s. Here’s Jerry Lee Lewis doing a cool (and wholly different) take on the same song:
Jerry Lee had a hit with the song, reaching No. 2 on the country singles chart in 1969. Ronnie Milsap later charted with a version of the song as well, in 1975. Newbury’s own recordings of his songs, though powerful and influential, almost never made the charts and only once cracked the Top 40.