I Overlooked an Orchid

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"I Overlooked an Orchid"
Single by Carl Smith
Songwriter(s)see text
"I Overlooked an Orchid"
Single by Mickey Gilley
from the album Room Full of Roses
B-side"Swinging Doors"
ReleasedJune 1974
Songwriter(s)see text
Producer(s)Eddie Kilroy
Mickey Gilley singles chronology
"Room Full of Roses"
"I Overlooked an Orchid"
"City Lights"

"I Overlooked an Orchid" is a country song that was a hit for Mickey Gilley in 1974. It was first recorded by Carl Smith in 1950, achieving only modest sales when it was released as a single through Columbia Records.[1] Country act Johnnie & Jack recorded the song in 1962 as part of their album Smiles and Tears, then it was released as the B-side to their single "Bye Bye Love" in early 1963.[2]

Various people are credited with writing the song. Carl Smith has been named co-writer along with Arthur Q. Smith[3] and Shirly Lyn. "Shirly Lyn" is a pseudonym of songwriter Troy Lee Martin, who wrote under several names.[4] Carl Story was recorded telling a disc jockey that he wrote the song, but Carl Smith denied this version of events, pointing instead to Arthur Q. Smith as the co-writer.[5] Kentucky historian W. Lynn Nickell has described how Kentuckian Paul Gilley wrote the lyrics, then sold the song along with the rights, so that others could take credit for it.[6] Paul Gilley (no relation to Mickey Gilley) wrote other songs and sold them the same way, including the lyrics to "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Cold, Cold Heart", both for Hank Williams.[7] Troy Lee Martin also copyrighted the song "If Teardrops Were Pennies" for Peer-Southern,[8] but Nickell shows that Paul Gilley wrote it, too.[6]

"I Overlooked an Orchid" was recorded by American country music artist Mickey Gilley, released in June 1974 as the second single from the album Room Full of Roses. "I Overlooked an Orchid" was Mickey Gilley's second country hit and second number one on the country chart. The single stayed at number one for a week and spent a total of fourteen weeks on the country chart.[9] The Gilley version had a small amount of crossover interest, peaking at number 104 in the Cashbox "Looking Ahead" survey, in August 1974.

Chart performance[]

Chart (1974) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 15


  1. ^ Country Music Hall of Fame (1998). Country Music Hall of Fame songbook series. 3. Hal Leonard. pp. 46–47.
  2. ^ Staff (March 2, 1963). "Singles Reviews". Billboard. Vol. 75 no. 9. p. 28. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ "Arthur Q. Smith | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Troy Martin | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  5. ^ Ronnie Pugh; Paul Kingsbury (1999). "Songs They Gave Away". The Journal of Country Music. Country Music Foundation. 13–14.
  6. ^ Jump up to: a b KET - Kentucky Educational Television (29 July 2013). "Songwriter Paul Gilley - Kentucky Life - KET". YouTube. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  7. ^ George William Koon (1983). Hank Williams: A Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. pp. 102–03. ISBN 9780313229824.
  8. ^ Barry Mazor (2015). Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music. Chicago Review Press. p. 239. ISBN 9781613733882.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 136.
  10. ^ "Mickey Gilley Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.

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