Carolina in the Pines

Today’s post was written by Paul.


My favorite version of the Michael Martin Murphey song “Carolina in the Pines” has always been the 1985 re-release that he did, the one with the amazing piano playing. The first time I ever heard it was probably in my bedroom with my brother. We kept a radio in the window. WKRK, a local radio station, played the song a lot back in the 80’s. I also distinctly remember hearing it with Tipper and Granny one day as we were arriving to my grandmother’s house in the car.

According to Wikipedia, the song was first released in August of 1975. The song reached number 21 on the billboard chart, number 4 on the adult contemporary chart, and number 25 on the Canadian chart. The re-release that I’m partial to, peaked at number 9 on the billboard country singles chart and at number 11 on the Canadian country tracks chart in 1985.

The site also has the following quote about why Murphey wrote the song.

“”Carolina in the Pines” addresses Martin’s wife whose actual name was Caroline: “I tried to write a love song about my wife without trying to relegate her to a secondary position as a supporter of me. I tried to make it about her as an individual. That’s what [she and I] try to do in life.” Caroline Hogue was the second of Murphey’s four wives: the couple had married in 1973 and would divorce in 1978.”

I hope the video effect or filter I used in the video doesn’t turn off a lot of people. I guess I was in a weird mood when I made this. If you like the song but not the filter, maybe you can minimize the window and just listen. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the song as much as I do! Murphey may have wrote it about his wife, but for lots of folks the song evokes memories of home in the Carolinas or at least reminds them of a pleasant visit.

Have a great Sunday,


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  • Reply
    September 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    in 75 i was working in a theatre company with his brother, mark, when came to visit him, with his new wife, caroline. after our show was over one night, so maybe 10, 11pm, or so, he gave us a private concert in our own theatre, and he sang this then (he said it was for caroline) as it was just about to be released—his follow up to wildfire, which had been his first big hit maybe the year before. he sang and he sang and we all loved it since WE were about the only entertainment around in that little town, so we never got entertained ourselves! he said WE must be pretty tired, having done two shows already that day, but we all said no, no, and he shrugged and THRE his watch over his shoulder, into the wings! we were all stunned into silence as none if us would ever have thrown a watch! it was the only false note in the show, though, and he went on singing for us for another long time. it was great.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Don’t think i have heard that one.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    August 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Also like “Wildfire” too. I was in Canada on tour when it came out. When I got home my son wanted me to learn it for him. He is now 54 y/o. CAN”T BE!!!! But it is.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Oh, I remember this song! I always thought it was so pretty, and yes, I thought it was talking about Carolina. That was a neat story about it being about his wife. Great job singing it, Paul! It was such a blessing to us to get to visit with you all last night! You all are very special to our hearts. Have a wonderful week, and God bless you all!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 12, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    When we lived in Atlanta in probably the mid to later 70’s, we had a song that went like this: “she came down Yellow Mountain, on a pony she called “Wildfire”. Anyway, every time Laura heard it she cried. Those big tears made me feel bad, and I always thought Michael Martin Murphy sung it. Thanks for telling me. …Ken

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    August 12, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I love Carolina in the Pines, but never knew it was written concerning a woman. I thought it was concerning pine trees in the Carolina’s. Looked like Paul was playing it maybe in the key of B…to fit his voice. I think the guitar work sounds better in a different key, maybe A…but that’s just me. Good job on the song. But I don’t like the filter…I want to see the real colors. Haha. I sound grumpy today, but I’m really not.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 12, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    I really liked her, but now that I’ve had time to think about it, Shania Twain and others just about ruint me on Country Music. They’re more like Pop and very popular, but I’d rather have the old-timey type. Our Christian Music Station at Murphy does only Gospel Music, mostly old-timey and I like that and the DJ’s …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 12, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    And Paul,
    I use to listen to Michael Martin Murphy alot singing “Carolina in the Pines” and I liked him. I thought Paul did Justice singing it too. Wasn’t he the one that sang “Wildfire”? I can’t remember. …Ken

    • Reply
      August 12, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      Ken-thank you for the comments!! I think he did sing Wildfire. I liked that one too 🙂

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Wow!! What a great way to reconnect after having been away for awhile!! Will be spending the next few days catching up!
    Great song, great performance and as always, Paul is great!! Thanks

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Wow, learn a lot of stuff here on the Pig, didn’t know this was about his 2nd of 4 wives, interesting.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 8:53 am

    I am as country as country can get but what they call country music has never been my cup of tea. I love old time, bluegrass, traditional, folk and the like. The original country music sprang from them but went its own merry way rather quickly. Now it is as far removed from its roots as opera and heavy metal. Country moved into town and lost itself in the cesspools of humanity. Nashville and Los Angeles just ain’t country!
    I’d never hear of Michael Martin Murphey until I heard you sing and play this song on Youtube a couple of months. I was certainly impressed by your skills but not by Michael Martin Murphey.
    I’m sure I’ll stick out like a sore thumb here today but honesty is the best policy. Ain’t it?

    • Reply
      Stephen Suddarth
      August 12, 2018 at 11:55 am

      Agreed…I watch the CMA awards shows but Pop and Rock have seeped in a bit too much. I like Rock, my son is one of the top recording engineers in L.A. too, but when I watch every band’s lead guitarist playing straight rock leads it’s a turn off. Still waiting for old Classic country to make a come-back

  • Reply
    Pat Walters
    August 12, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Tipper, I love getting a daily dose of home. Can’t thank you enough. I’m misplaced here in Memphis. Have thought of this a long time and neglected to write, since Gatlinburg fires. Have y’all ever recorded “Cold Missouri Waters” by James Keelaghan? Keep up the good work.
    Blessings on yours.

    • Reply
      August 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Pat-Thank you! So glad you enjoy the Blind Pig and The Acorn. I’ve never heard the song before but I’ll check it out!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 12, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Golly gee, written in 1973! I had not thought of Mr. Murphy in a very long time. I don’t think I ever knew he wrote that song but it certainly is one that sticks. The 70’s were the so-called “environmental decade” and various back-to-nature things were very popular. But the enduring element of that song, I think, is the phrase “Carolina on my mind” that memory of home in which folks mentally substitute the name of their own place. And it works also because some type of pine grows throughout the temperate zones.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    August 12, 2018 at 6:55 am

    I remember the first release of that song…..I was on the road at that time and it brought memories of home to me. I always thought of western NC and had no idea until now that it was for his wife. But it will always be nostalgic for me.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 12, 2018 at 6:34 am

    That’s a sweet song, Tip, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before!

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