The Paul McCartney Project

Blue Moon Of Kentucky

Written by Bill Monroe

Album This song officially appears on the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) Official live.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1991
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

Blue Moon of Kentucky” is a bluegrass song written by Bill Monroe in 1946. Paul McCartney officially released a live performance of this song on his 1991 Unplugged album.

Before that, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” was part of the set list for the 1972 Wings Over Europe tour. A live performance from this tour was released in 2018 on Wings Over Europe (an album released as a bundle with the Wings / Red Rose Speedway boxset).

Worth noting as well, in 1995, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr performed a version of it, released on the Bonus DVD of the Beatles Anthology video series.

From Wikipedia:

Blue Moon of Kentucky” is a waltz written in 1946 by bluegrass musician Bill Monroe and recorded by his band, The Blue Grass Boys. The song has since been recorded by many artists, including Elvis Presley.

Blue Moon” is the official bluegrass song of Kentucky. In 2002, Monroe’s version was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2003, CMT ranked “Blue Moon” #11 on its 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music. […]

The song, described as a “bluegrass waltz”, had become a nationwide hit by 1947 and also became enormously popular with other bluegrass, country, and early rockabilly acts. Although the song was revered by the Grand Ole’ Opry and others, Carl Perkins played an uptempo version of this song in his early live performances. […]

In 1995, the remaining Beatles – Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr – performed an impromptu 4/4 version of the song that was eventually released on the Bonus DVD of The Beatles Anthology video release. McCartney had earlier performed and released the song in 1991 as part of his appearance on MTV Unplugged. […]

I originally heard the Elvis version, uptempo and echoey, then later I heard the Bill Monroe original, a slower waltz version, and loved his nasal delivery. I also saw him doing it on telly, in America, a couple of times. So I thought, for Unplugged, that it would be nice to do his version first and then go into the uptempo Elvis one.

It’s a song from way back that I had confidence in singing, and that’s often enough to choose it for an act. It’s funny – I never meant to record it, but I did it on the early Wings tours, which we recorded, and now this, which we’ve released, and it’s become a bit more important than I intended it, really. But that’s OK.

Paul McCartney, from Club Sandwich 58, Summer 1991

Though he has never before released it on records, McCartney followers in the right place at the right time will recall this one cropping up during Wings’ initial (1972) low-key jaunts around British universities and European cities. Though written by Bill Monroe at the end of 1946 – at which time, plucking his mandolin and backed by his Blue Grass Boys, he taped the first recording – the best know version was cut by an echo-drenched Elvis Presley in only his second Sun Studio session, 6 July 1954. Ray Charles, the Tornados and Al Kooper are among those who have since committed it to disc.

From Unplugged liner notes

Last updated on July 7, 2019

Lyrics

Well blue moon of Kentucky
Keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
Well blue moon of Kentucky
Keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
Well, it was on one moonlight night
Stars shining bright
Wind blowin' high
My love said good-bye
Blue moon of Kentucky
Keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue

Well, it was on one moonlight night
With the stars shining bright
Wind blowin' high
My love said good-bye
Blue moon of Kentucky
Keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue

Well blue moon, yeah blue moon, yeah blue moon
Keep shining bright
Well blue moon
Keep on shining bright
Bring my baby back tonight
Yeah blue moon keep shining bright

I said blue moon of Kentucky
Keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
I said blue moon of Kentucky
Keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue

Well, it was on that moonlight night
With the stars shining bright
Wind blowin' high
My love said good-bye
Blue moon of Kentucky
Keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
Yeah shine on the one that's gone and left me blue

Officially appears on


Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)

Official live • Released in 1991

4:22 • LiveL1

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Acoustic guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Acoustic bass
Blair Cunningham:
Drums
Geoff Emerick:
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Gary Stewart:
Assistant engineer
Peter Craigie:
Assistant engineer
Gary Bradshaw:
Monitor engineer

Concert From "MTV Unplugged" in Wembley, United Kingdom on Jan 25, 1991


Wings Over Europe

Official album • Released in 2018

3:13 • LiveL2

Performed by:
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyDenny LaineHenry McCulloughDenny Seiwell
Paul McCartney:
Producer
Alan Parsons:
Recording engineer
Alex Wharton:
Mastering
Steve Orchard:
Mixing
Jeremy Gee:
Recording engineer assistant
Graham Fleming:
Recording engineer assistant

Concert From the concert in The Hague, Netherlands on Aug 21, 1972

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 7

Unofficial album

2:47 • Studio version



First Live Show

Unofficial live

2:50 • Live


Tug Of War Rehearsal

Unofficial album

3:30 • Studio rehearsal

Recording:
Oct 30, 1980
Studio:
Pugin's Hall


Tug Of War Rehearsal

Unofficial album

2:11 • Studio rehearsal

Recording:
Oct 30, 1980
Studio:
Pugin's Hall


Live performances

“Blue Moon Of Kentucky” has been played in 30 concerts and 1 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” has been played


MTV Unplugged

Jan 25, 1991 • United Kingdom • Wembley • Limehouse Television Studios • TV show







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