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Kentucky Rain

4.7 / 5

Words & Music: Eddie Rabbit

Seven lonely days
And a dozen towns ago
I reached out one night
And you were gone
Don't know why you'd run,
What you're running to or from
All I know is I want to bring you home

So I'm walking in the rain,
Thumbing for a ride
On this lonely Kentucky backroad
I've loved you much too long
And my love's too strong
To let you go, never knowing
What went wrong

Kentucky rain keeps pouring down
And up ahead's another town
That I'll go walking thru
With the rain in my shoes,
Searchin for you
In the cold Kentucky rain,
In the cold Kentucky rain

Showed your photograph
To some old gray bearded man
Sitting on a bench
Outside a gen'ral store
They said "Yes, she's been here"
But their memory wasn't clear
Was it yesterday,
No, wait the day before

So I fin'ly got a ride
With a preacher man who asked
"Where you bound on such a dark afternoon?"
As we drove on thru the rain
As he listened I explained
And he left me with a prayer
That I'd find you

Recordingdate: 1969/02/19, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Kentucky Rain:



(french horn)
(french horn)

*Orchestra, overdubs


Find available albums with Kentucky Rain.

old shep wrote on April 15, 2008
I love this Eddie Rabbitt song, the guy was a quality writer and performer.Elvis was really determined to shake of the shackles of all those years making movies, where he had no control of the songs that were put before him, by pools of songwriters with little or no ability. At long last he was given some input into the choice of material hence, Kentucky Rain
JerryNodak wrote on September 21, 2008
A definite fave of mine. Very much underrated.
JLpResLey wrote on October 19, 2008
This is underrated. But not by the fans. I think this is one of those songs that the fans love the most. I like it much more than "In The Ghetto" for example. I always liked the live versions too, a pity he didn´t do it more often.
Natha wrote on October 19, 2008
One of those fantastic singles that had sad enough not enough impact in those days. The warm and touching way Elvis conveys the lyrics is superb. Some of the live versions are as usual great as there is that intrinsic contact with the audience that gave it that extra impetus. Don't miss this one in your private catalogue!
Steve V wrote on October 19, 2008
One of the top songs from the Memphis '69 sessions. Should have been a much bigger hit than it was. My friend who lived in the South at the time, said it was constantly played on the country stations there, but not top 40 stations My area (NYC vicinity) hardly played it. Why? Great record & Eddie Rabiit was a truely good songwriter.
theoldscudder wrote on October 19, 2008
I feel it was more of a strong LP cut than a single. This takes nothing away from this fine song & Elvis's interpertation is flawless. I just dont think it was commercial enough to become a huge hit.
Sundial77 wrote on October 19, 2008
Kentucky Rain is like most of the songs from these sessions GREAT, even though it's 40 years old (older than me) i just lve it!!
sitdown68 wrote on October 19, 2008
my avsolute favourite song from those sessions. the mood, the dramatic, and Elvis Presleys feeling and artistry combined with a perfect comopsition yielded a true milestone in music. I love those rainy day songs like nothing else and it is just great he cut that one.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on October 20, 2008
Recorded in Memphis from one my favorite, Elvis- Recording sessions. "Kentucky Rain" is one of the best songs, Elvis ever recorded! Its a True Classic, that charted, lower, than it should have. I believe it just missed the TOP 10. Sadly, it gets very Little "Radio Airplay" compared to the other Elvis songs.
shoesuedeblues wrote on January 28, 2010
Perhaps one of the best tracks to come out of the Memphis sessions. A sizable hit in the UK where it got a generous amount of airplay.
Monster wrote on January 28, 2010
A really good song though never one my favourites. Not commercial enough for a single I think but definitely the right kind of direction for Elvis to be exploring and his voice sounded fantastic on it as with all the American recordings.
LonElvis wrote on January 28, 2010
This is one of the best songs Elvis ever recorded. It's practically flawless! It's one of the songs that hooked me as a fan. This is great as is the live version from 1970.
Great Dane wrote on January 28, 2010
An all time favourite of mine.His best of ' 69.
bluesboy wrote on January 28, 2010
Surprisingly progressive arrangment. Felton did a really good job on this one. Classic, mature performance by Elvis. A personal favouite.
Deano1 wrote on January 28, 2010
Here is a true classic! While not a huge hit, it did manage to hit #16 on Pop Chart (US) and it made the top 5 on the easy listening chart (#3) while earning a RIAA gold award. Elvis' singing is flawless, the arrangement is top notch and everything comes together for what is one of Elvis' best tracks ever. This should have been the lead song on a LP ("Pure Gold" in 1975 and being included on "50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits" in 1970 doesn't count). Of course, if the single had been released two years later, RCA would have shown even less respect by releasing it with it's flip side ("My Little Friend) and eight movie (or old LP) songs like they did "Burning Love" and "Separate Ways". An album in early 1970 (instead of "Let's Be Friends" and later "Almost In Love") with "Kentucky Rain", "My Little Friend", "Mama Liked The Roses", "Rubberneckin", "If I'm A Fool", "Who Am I", "Don't Cry Daddy", "I'll Be There", "Almost", "Let Us Pray" and maybe a couple of other older songs such as "Stay Away", "U.S. Male and/or "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" would have been much better than these songs being released sporadically on budget LP's.
GeoElvis wrote on July 10, 2010
One of my favorites! This is pure Elvis, even as a child I could feel the emotion in his vocals,bought Pure Gold album just for this song. Always wondered why it was on a budget album! Elvis deserves the recognition for his whole musical catalog! The man who started it all, such a shame people ignore such Classic performances. Elvis should have Alot of airplay on the radio! If it wasn't for him the crap they play day in and day out would never exsist!! TCB!!!
NONE000000 wrote on July 11, 2010
An absolutely beautiful and amazing song/performance. One of my personal favorites. Maybe it wasn't as big a hit as it should have been because it's not quite mainstream... it's a little bit country, a lot adult contemporary...not exactly a ballad, certainly not a rocker. Definitely a pop song. Whatever it is exactly, I love it and think it is brilliant. (I bet if this had been released in 1975--the year Rhinestone Cowboy came out--it would have been a huge huge hit. It has that huge crossover sound to me, because it incorporates so much.)
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on June 15, 2011
A good LP track but a single release i'n not sure.The same goes for "It's Only Love". "Burning Love" was the single of the 70s.
Little_Darlin wrote on June 15, 2011
This was one of my all-time favourite records even BEFORE I became an Elvis fan, and one of only 3 Elvis singles that I owned at that stage ("Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Suspicious Minds" being the other two.) A perfect coming together of a fantastic singer and a marvellous song. Love it!!
Biffx wrote on August 24, 2011
Love this song so wish Elvis had not dropped it from his set list. Great lyrics delivered with conviction. Magnificent!!!
Puer Aeternus wrote on August 19, 2012
If I had to choose one Elvis song, this would be it. I can remember reading, I think in George Klein's book, how Priscilla came to American to listen to Elvis record and was blown away by the emotion he put into this song. The ending is the most powerful and urgent I've heard anyone sing--even including Bridge over Troubled Water and the gospel songs. When I listen to this song I can the cold rain pouring down and the slosh in my shoes. Few songs can do that.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on August 21, 2012
One of the best recordings, that, Elvis ever recorded ! I never get tired of this song !
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 28, 2012
This is such a stellar song and Elvis easily has the very best renditions of it. It's easily one of my most favorite songs that Elvis ever recorded. This is one of three songs that Elvis recorded that was written by Eddie Rabbitt.
Gorse wrote on March 22, 2013
I remember hearing this song for the first time on radio, and it struck me at the time that he had suddenly become contemporary. I initially did not take to it that much, but it has grown on me throughout the years. It still sounds kind of modern. and is sung superbly by our boy to a fine arrangement - a deserved 5 stars.
sugartummy wrote on March 30, 2013
It's strange that "some old gray bearded men" (not man), are sitting outside in the cold kentucky rain. Get inside before you all catch a cold! I love to sing and play this one on my guitar.
dgirl wrote on May 15, 2013
I wonder if this had been the follow-up to S Minds if it would have charted higher. It certainly is a better song than Don't Cry Daddy which made the top 10, yet this did not. Maybe not commercial enough or maybe too country? Whatever, you cannot beat the vocal, the arrangement, etc. Those 1969 sessions were truly the last great sessions Elvis ever did.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on May 15, 2013
The Memphis sessions, weren't his "last great sessions", but it was Elvis Presley's most consistant of great material and great performances, since the "Elvis is back" and later the "How Great Thou Art" recording sessions. And, as suggested, I bet, "Kentucky Rain" would have charted higher if it had been released after "Suspicious Minds". Amazing RCA RECORDS, didn't try and pull more singles from the Memphis sessions, such as "Only the Strong Survive" and "Power of My Love" and "Wearin' that Loved on Look" & "Gentle on my Mind", "A little bit of Green" & "And the Grass won't pay no Mind" among a handful more. Honestly if RCA had worked the "memphis sessions", it could have been the first Mega selling album of all time.
cookingfat wrote on November 09, 2013
A well thought through lyric and a great melody Elvis only had to add that voice and it was a winner
GEORGE (GK) wrote on November 09, 2013
"Kentucky Rain" is one of the best songs, Elvis ever recorded, period. He and the band and the background singers and writer Eddie Rabbitt, all made magic with this song. I always see this song as a real good video in my mind.
shawnrw wrote on December 12, 2013
One of the best and most dramatic performances Elvis ever gave. I will never understand why this one was not a top 5 hit or even a number one.
shoesuedeblues wrote on January 08, 2015
Just heard it on the radio! Quite a bit of activity around the dials for what would have been Elvis' 80th birthday.A song still sounds as good as it did when I first heard it.
trudygillenwater wrote on January 08, 2015
A classic that I never get tired of hearing. Elvis' vocals are powerful and the backing musicians and singers are the best!
TheMemphisFan wrote on June 28, 2015
5 stars! This song became an instant classic from the time it first hit the radio waves in January 1970. Too bad that Elvis didn't continue to include it in his concerts past August of 1970.
Jim Davidson wrote on July 30, 2015
The first time I heard Kentucky Rain was in my grade 10 English class. the teacher did a module on ballads. The sound quality of the worn out 45 on the school's mono record player was such that I could not discern the lyrics. Fast forward to August 1977; Kentucky Rain was part of a 10-hour radio tribute. Kentucky Rain blew me away. I wore out a pre-recorded cassette copy of the Pure Gold album. Now, when I play Kentucky Rain on CD, I typically loop-I to play 10 times in a row.
shawnrw wrote on April 09, 2016
One of the best things Elvis ever did in any era. Powerful and dramatic, I was always shocked that it did not become even a bigger hit than it was. From the same sessions that brought us Suspicious Minds and In the Ghetto, it really is just as good as those classics, but never sold at the same level.
atomic powered poste wrote on February 19, 2018
The single mix in mono sucks a×s, this explains why the single wasn't a bigger success. The stereo version on the other hand shows how brilliant the recording really is. Very melodramatic, but elvis never exaggerated it. One of elvis greatest ballads ever.
Cruiser621 wrote on May 17, 2018
Definitely 5-stars. As so, a timeless classic; beats the heck out "Don't Cry Daddy", that's for sure.
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