The 10 Best Burl Ives Songs of All-Time

Burl Ives

Apart from being associated with the Christmas season, his singing voice and goatee were his trademarks, and I’m sure most people recognize him by these features. Burl Ives is a well-known musician, storyteller, actor, and specialist in American folklore. He had produced collections of folk songs and tales, including “The Burl Ives Song Book” in 1955, “Tales of America” in 1954, and “Sailing on a Very Fine Day” later that year. Ives’ musical career began at the age of 4 when he made an outstanding public performance for a soldiers’ reunion. His passion for traditional folk melodies was unrivaled, leading to him starting his radio show, The Wayfaring Stranger. Burl Ives was a successful actor in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He appeared in several films, including The Big Country, So Dear to My Heart, and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. His hard work and resilience in acting earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, which he won. As a man of many skills and talents, he was also doing exceptionally well in the country music industry. Some of the hits he released included “Funny Way of Laughin” and “A Little Bitty Tear.” In 1949, Burl Ives debuted on the charts, while his last chart entry was in 1962, and his chart-topping tracks charted for over 14 years. This article will list the top ten Burl Ives songs of all time.

10. Lavender Blue


This track was featured in the Disney film, So Bear to My Heart, which was released in 1948. “Lavender Blue” was originally composed by Eliot Daniel and Larry Morey. Burl Ives performed the version of this track featured in the film’s soundtrack, thus bringing it back to popularity. This hit track was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Sammy Turner and Sammy Kaye performed other recordings of “Lavender Blue.”

9. Riders In The Sky


This is the first time this renowned song has been recorded by someone other than the writer, Stan Jones, who did it in 1948. Burl Ives recorded his version of this masterpiece in February 1949. Burl Ives put his entire soul into this song, which is why it ranks among his top ten. This version of the track by Burl Ives makes the song come across as serious, melancholy, and haunting.

8. Wide Side Of Life


The original version of this catchy track was released in 1952 and was composed by Henry William Thompson. “Wild Side Of Life” is an incredible version of classic country music. Apart from the popular version of this track released by Burl Ives, there are other different and beautiful versions of the track released by other talented artists like Charlie Feathers. The original version of this song peaked at number one on the Billboard country chart, spending 15 weeks at the position.

7. A Holly Jolly Christmas


This masterpiece was composed by Johnny Marks and was performed by Ives. As Ives is performing this track, you can perfectly hear and feel the happy feeling in his voice. The happiness and joy are passed to his listeners; hence, the song gives some happy, positive vibes. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” is one of the excellent top row Christmas classics that ages like fine wine.

6. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonite


Burl Ives sings the Bob Dylan classic “I’ll be Your Baby Tonite” from his 1966 LP The Times They Are A-Changin’. Like the other tracks by Ives, “I’ll be Your Baby Tonite” is greatly loved by his fans, and it received a lot of positive reviews. It is definitely a tremendous classic track to jam to.

5. Mary Ann Regrets


“Mary Ann Regrets” is a classic English song from the Burl Ives’ album, The Tale of Burl Ives. The original version of this song is composed by Harlan Howard. This version of this track by Ives is ranked as the best and most liked version of the original track. Without a doubt, Burl Ives is good at what he does.

4. Pearly Shells


“Pearly Shells” is great music of old times, and it indeed brings back the good old memories. The original version of this song was written by Don Ho and was contained in his album, Greatest Hills. “Pearly Shells” was released in 1989 and is the music from the heart to the heart.

3. Call Me Mr. In-Between


This is one of those songs that are perfect for long quiet drives. When Ives released this track, it became a hit in the United States and internationally. Burl Ives’s sweet and unique voice stands out throughout the performance of this song. Ives’ delivery of this song appeared as natural as talking, but it is always a pleasure to hear Ives sing.

2. Funny Way Of Laughin’


“Funny Way of Laughin” was another pop and country hit single that was released in 1962 by Ives, which was contained on his album, Funny Way Of Laughing. Through this track, Burl Ives got the honors of winning a Grammy Award for Best Country Western Recording. The original version of this track was composed by Hank Cochran. Like most songs by Burl Ives, “Funny Way of Laughin” also told a story.

1. A Little Bitty Tear


The number one track on our list is “A Little Bitty Tear.” This song was composed by Hank Cochran and was 1st Recorded in 1960 by Ray Sanders with the Anita Kerr Singers. This hit single by Burl Ives charted at number 9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, number 1 on the new Adult Contemporary charts, and number 2 on the Country & Western charts. Burl Ives earned two Grammy Award nominations for the song in the categories Best Male Solo Vocal Performance and Best Country & Western Recording.

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