When I was listening to Willie Nelson recently, in honor of his 85th birthday, I came across his version of A Satisfied Mind, from his 2010 album Country Music. I knew I owned a much earlier iteration, but I could not remember by whom.
Scanning the Wikipedia list of covers, I wondered if the version of the Joe “Red” Hayes/Jack Rhodes song had been performed by Porter Wagoner or
Cowboy Copas. I didn’t REALLY think it was Wagoner, but I recalled Copas appeared on this album 50 Stars! 50 Hits! “on two great country albums,” the TV ad blared. Copas and the compilation were both on Starday Records.
I owned this 1966 album – well, technically OWN, but it’s difficult to get to – because my grandfather, McKinley Green, brought home a copy. He was given it by the TV/radio station he worked for, WNBF in Binghamton, NY, after the promotional ad period ended.
As it turns out, it was Pete Drake and his talking steel guitar – you MUST check out the video of Forever – who performed A Satisfied Mind. Being a guy who read liner notes of LPs, I recall that Drake contributed to early solo albums by former Beatles, All Things Must Pass (George) and Beaucoups Of Blues (Ringo).
Listen to A Satisfied Mind:
Porter Wagoner (live, 1967 – his 1955 recording hit #1 country)
Red Foley and Betty Foley (#3 country in 1955)
Jean Shepard (#4 country in 1955)
Pete Drake (1965)
Joan Baez (1965)
Bobby Hebb (#39 pop and #40 R&B in 1966, from the Sunny album)
Glen Campbell (live c 1971, in 4/4!, originally recorded in 1966)
Jeff Buckley (from the 1998 album Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk)
Johnny Cash (2004, released posthumously)
Blind Boys Of Alabama with Ben Harper (live at the Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York recorded October 12, 2004)
Willie Nelson (2010)
Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy (Live 2011)
How many times have you heard someone say,
“If I had his money, I could do things my way?”
Little they know that it’s so hard to find
One rich man in ten with a satisfied mind.