| June 1958 (U.S.)|
May 29, 1958
| "Invitation to the Blues"|
"City Lights" is an American country music song written by Bill Anderson. It twice became a #1 hit — in 1958 and again in 1975.
Ray Price recorded the original version in 1958, with his version becoming a long-running #1 hit.
City Lights (song) Wikipedia
"City Lights" was one of Anderson's earliest major successes. He wrote the song when he was just 19, and it was picked up by Price in the spring of 1958, when Price was country music's predominant honky-tonk singer and stylist.
According to country music historian Bill Malone, "City Lights" depicts personal isolation and "the estrangement of the individual in a world of urban anonymity." Price's "hard, lonesome vocal" and Texas shuffle beat (the styling hallmarks of his recordings from the mid-1950s through early 1960s) were prominent in his rendition.
Released in June 1958, Price's version of "City Lights" stalled at #2 on the Billboard magazine Most Played C&W by Disc Jockeys chart later that summer. When Billboard introduced its all-encompassing chart for country music (called "Hot C&W Sides") on October 20, "City Lights" was the new chart's first #1 song. It remained atop the chart for 13 weeks, its last week being January 12, 1959. The song spent a total of 34 weeks on the chart.Several artists have covered Anderson's "City Lights" through the years. One of the most successful of these covers was by Mickey Gilley, whose version was a piano-backed honky-tonk rendition. Giley had a #1 country hit, in February 1975.
Ivory Joe Hunter recorded this song in 1959 during his shift to country late in his career and his version peaked at #92 on the US Billboard charts.
Debbie Reynolds also recorded in 1960 and peaked at #55 on pop charts.
Additional covers were recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1965 on his album Country Songs for City Folks,
A cover by Mel Tillis peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1989.
Bill Anderson recorded his own cover
Others who have recorded the song are: Connie Smith, Rick Trevino, Conway Twitty, Johnny Bush and Dottie West.