Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King’s “Tennessee Waltz” has been among the world's most popular country/pop songs since it’s million-selling recording by Patti Page in 1950. Since then, it has been recorded hundreds of times, has been named one of Tennessee’s official state songs, and is a ubiquitous number sung and played around campfires and in jam sessions.
In Happy’s fingerstyle arrangement, the tune is played in the key of A with the guitar in dropped D tuning. This enables you to play an ear-catching bass note on the IV chord, adding a beautiful dimension to the instrumental. Some alternate chords and movement up the fretboard catches all the melody notes and adds to the allure of this lovely performance piece. This intermediate-level piece will be a challenge for novices but is not so difficult that it can’t be mastered. It’s fun to play and will be sure to get a strong response from listeners.
Happy’s version can be heard on his recent CD, "Just For the Love of It
,” on which he plays “ Tennessee Waltz" as a duet with Martin Simpson on slide guitar.