Go to main content

Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues

Rating:
4.3 / 5

Words & Music: Danny O'Keefe

Everybody's gone away
Said they're movin to L.A.
There's not a soul I know around
Everybody's leavin' town

Some caught a freight, some caught a plane
Found the sunshine in the rain
They said this town's will waste their time
I guess they're right, it's wasting mine

Some gotta win, some gotta lose
Good time Charlie's got the blues
Good time Charlie's got the blues

You know my heart keeps tellin' me
You're not a kid at thirty-three
Play around you'll lose your wife
You play it too long you'll lose your life

Some gotta win, some gotta lose
Good time Charlie's got the blues
Good time Charlie's got the blues
Good time Charlie's got the blues

Some gotta win, some gotta lose
Good time Charlie's got the blues
Good time Charlie's got the blues
Good time Charlie's got the blues

Recordingdate: 1973/12/13, first released on: Good Times (album)

Musicians

Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues:

(guitar)
(guitar)
(guitar)
(bass)
(drums)
(piano)
(piano)
(organ)
(accordion)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)

Others*

(guitar)
(cello)
(cello)
(cello)
(cello)
(viola)
(viola)
(viola)
(viola)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)
(violin)

*Orchestra, overdubs

Availability

Find available albums with Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues.

Lex wrote on April 19, 2008
One of my favourite ballads from the 70s and one of the few post '72 songs I really love. A pity he skipped the pills verse, the pleasure could have lasted longer.
Rob Wanders wrote on December 13, 2008
great song. I love also Willie Nelson's version, with the "pills"-part
ElvisBR wrote on December 13, 2008
Just the best.
old shep wrote on December 13, 2008
A really good song from a good album. A great track to chill out with accompanied by a few beers.
burninglove92 wrote on December 13, 2008
Fantastic Song, Elvis Making A Ok Song Into A Great Chilled Out Bluesy Song. Elvis In Full Control With His Voice And The Guitar Work Is Just Fantastic. TCB
Steve V wrote on December 13, 2008
This is a great song and Elvis does a great job, but the missing verse is vital. Gives a whole new meaning to the song. Wonder why he left it out?
OtisBlue22 wrote on December 13, 2008
A great blues cut which, more than any other Elvis blues cover, lives up to its name. Its tragic air does not undermine the quality of the performance, focused and impassioned as it is. Thank God he chose to sing it live. As for the lyrical omission, perhaps he anticipated that it would be more notable by its absence, than if he had left it in. That would explain why few people comment on the "needles" reference in "Never Been to Spain". Perhaps Good Time Charlie was crying out for help on that December night.
Deano1 wrote on July 09, 2010
Strong vocals by Elvis on a solid song produces a slightly above average album cut that completes a uneven LP "Good Times". Album filler, not really worthy of a single especially since Danny O'Keefe had already released his version, but album filler does not mean bad, it just means it fills in an album, but it isn't a standouot. I prefer "My Boy", "Lovin Arms", "I Got A Feelin' In My Body" and "I've Got A Thing About You Baby" from the same album to this song. 3 stars maybe 3 1/2 depending on what my mood is that day.
Martin DJ wrote on May 05, 2011
This is not a blues song but a country ballad, even though the word blues is in the title. What's this about a 'needles' reference in 'Never Been to Spain'? It's not 'needles' but Needles, a city in the Mojave Desert: 'So I headed for Las Vegas, only made it out to Needles'.
dgirl wrote on May 05, 2011
Good song, but not 'blues' at all, more like country. I agree not single material but I'm glad its on the album. An album in which like most 70's albums, is a very uneven affair with only a few solid songs on each side. At least this proved he was still listening to contemporary music. BTW, Needles, Calif is the reference in Never Been To Spain. For those that thought a drug reference, wow.
king al wrote on May 05, 2011
I really love this song. One of the highlights on "Good Times". I especially like the live version on Opening Night August 1974. He does a great job there.
TCB1974 wrote on August 15, 2011
After the pretty mediocre recording sessions in the Summer of 1973, Elvis was in top notch form again during the Stax recording sessions in December 1973. His voice was strong and warm, excellent for an intimate delivery of this song with pretty desperate lyrics. Like listening to your friend instead of the greatest superstar that ever walked the surface of this planet. Four stars from me.
sugartummy wrote on March 07, 2013
Too bad the author of the song didn't like Elvis' version. I love it.
Gorse wrote on March 28, 2014
Beautiful rendition of a fine song which Elvis seems to reveal how it impacts him personally. He was on top form during these record sessions and IMO the voice and performances were as impressive as any part of his career.
TheMemphisFan wrote on September 01, 2015
It's not a traditional blues song in the true sense of the blues genre, but it is certainly a "blue mood" type of song much like "How's The World Treating You?", "I Need Somebody To Lean On", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "Just Call Me Lonesome", and others.
jaques marcello wrote on September 02, 2015
this is I a great song. I preferred the studio version is excellent
ElvisSacramento wrote on January 04, 2016
I've always liked this song and Elvis' renditions of it were all terrific. The only time when Elvis sang this song live in concert was during the August 19, 1974 Opening Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The best rendition of this song that I've ever heard is definitely by Danny O'Keefe, the writer of this song.
Cruiser621 wrote on September 13, 2017
5-stars. Great song, one I really like, of his 1970's output.
jaques marcello wrote on September 13, 2017
5 stars. This is a beautiful song
JerryNodak wrote on March 17, 2019
This is not a blues song. Blues in the title refers to a state of mind. I really like the song AND enjoy the LP from which it comes. LP: 3 and a half stars. Song: 4 stars.
Milky White Way wrote on August 10, 2019
An absolute gem of a song and a fav of the Stax recordings. I wish Elvis continued to sing this live and wonder why he dropped it. 5 stars is not enough for this beauty!
atomic powered poste wrote on October 02, 2019
Elvis rendition of this ballad is one i really like, simply because he sounds connected to the material. In the 70's when he had lost his artistic ambitions he often seemed to run through the songs without real engagement, burt here he put some care in his performance. It's audible. 4 stars.
bajo wrote on October 02, 2019
A fine recording by Elvis! I really like this! Why he omitted a verse is beyond me, but that's how he was! I heard the original first and was very keen on how Elvis would handle it! He did it, imo!
jaques marcello wrote on October 23, 2019
This song is one of my favorites.
marty wrote on November 27, 2020
I like the song and Elvis's rendition is good. I generally like most of the songs in the album but I always felt that something was missing to make it great. His next studio album (Promised Land) had the superb title track but this one had some good songs but none of the is special. The song and the album are good but not outstanding. If they had released the 12 best of the December Stax recordings in one album it would have been outstanding. 4 stars for the song
JerryNodak wrote on November 27, 2020
I like Elvis' version very much. In fact, I enjoy his version more than the hit version by Danny O'Keefe. Which I played many times during my years as an on-air radio DJ. Elvis version: 4 stars.
Back to List