Charles Kelley of Lady A Covering ‘Georgia on My Mind’ for 2022 Masters Commercial

by Jacklyn Krol
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Charles Kelley is combining his two passions: music and golf.

ESPN enlisted the help of the Lady A singer for his vocals in their Master’s commercial. He recorded a version of “George On My Mind” to promote the legendary event and its coverage. Augusta National Golf Club will be home to the legendary event between April 4 and 10 in Augusta, Georgia.

“Growing up in Augusta I have been going to the Masters for as long as I can remember,” Kelley said of his home state. “So this was a special full-circle moment for me. No one can sing this song like Ray Charles, but I hope I did him justice and I can’t wait to get back home and experience the Masters in-person.”

In an interview with Good Morning America, Charles Kelley spoke about the song’s significance and the original recording.

“This song is such a part of my upbringing and a source of pride,” he told the outlet. “I remember singing it in one of my first ever cover bands when I was around 14 years old, at a wedding.”

Charles Kelley on His Passions for Golf and Music

“Georgia On My Mind” was first recorded back in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra. Stuart Gorrell wrote the song. Over the years, it has been recorded by countless artists from different genres and backgrounds. One of the most notable renditions was from Ray Charles in 1960. Kelley’s favorite part is the steel guitar featured in it.

“There is no recreating the magic Ray [Charles] accomplished,” he added. “So it was definitely important for me to find a way to make the song my own. My initial idea was to have a completely stripped version with just a guitar and vocal, but after we had that down, my producer Nathan Chapman and I couldn’t help but add a few sparse bits to lift the song further.”

Listen to the rendition, below:

Charles Kelley has always enjoyed golf, “long before music ever was” the biggest part of his life. He would regularly play golf with his brothers and his father.

As a teen, Kelley worked the driving range at the Augusta National Golf Club one spring. Having the Masters in his hometown also helped his career inadvertently.

“She used the money she made from renting her house out for the Masters tournament every year to buy our first guitar and set of drums,” he revealed. “If it wasn’t for that tournament and the rent money, who knows if we would be playing music to this day. It was definitely the catalyst to the path of the rest of my life.”

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