|Single by Dean Martin|
|from the album Houston|
|Dean Martin singles chronology|
The lyrics are from the perspective on a down-on-his-luck drifter who describes himself as "a walkin' case of the blues". The verses describe his many misfortunes ("I found a dollar yesterday, but the wind blew it away"), each ending with the repeated refrain "Going back to Houston, Houston, Houston ...". The mood lightens on the final verse when the narrator reveals that despite his woes, he has a girlfriend waiting for him in the titular city. However, the narrator clarifies this by saying "at least, she said she'd be". Musically, the song is orchestrated country pop with a medium tempo and strolling rhythm, with a brief harmonica solo. Sources differ as to how the distinctive percussive sound at the beginning and end of the song was created.
Dean Martin recordingEdit
"Houston" was a hit in 1965 when recorded by Dean Martin. Dean Martin's daughter, Deana Martin, has recounted her father telling her that the percussive sound was created by tapping an empty Coca-Cola bottle with a spoon, while Hal Blaine once stated that he created the sound by tapping a glass ash tray with a triangle wand.
|US Billboard Hot 100||21|
|US Billboard Easy Listening||2|
|Canada — CHUM Hit Parade||11|
The English post-punk group The Fall recorded a version of the song on The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click) (2003). Apart from a harsh electronic introduction and minor changes to the lyrics, e.g., chasing a £10 note rather than a dollar, The Fall interpretation is faithful to the original's melody and basic structure.
- Erlewine, Michael (1997). All Music Guide to Country: The Experts' Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music, Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 90. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
- Leszczak, Bob (2014). Who Did It First?: Great Rock and Roll Cover Songs and Their Original Artists, Rowman & Littlefield. p. 63. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
- Hoekstra, Dean. "Dean's daughter proves Martin is 'Forever Cool'", Chicago Sun-Times, November 25, 2007. PressReader.com. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- Instrument, Chronicle Books, p. 108. October 5, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- Young, Robin and Jeremy Hobson. "The musicians behind the great bands that got the credit", Here and Now, WBUR-FM, April 20, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- Dean Martin — Chart History — The Hot 100, Billboard.com. Accessed August 14, 2016.
- Dean Martin — Chart History — Adult Contemporary, Billboard.com. Accessed August 15, 2016.
- "Billboard Top 40 Easy Listening", Billboard, September 18, 1965. p. 20. Accessed August 14, 2016.
- "CHUM Hit Parade — Week of September 20, 1965". Archived from the original on November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2016-08-15.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) Chart No. 445. CHUM.