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Saginaw, Michigan (song)

"Saginaw, Michigan" is a 1964 song performed by Lefty Frizzell. The single was Lefty Frizzell's sixth and final number one on the U.S. country chart.[1] "Saginaw, Michigan" spent a total of twenty-three weeks on the country chart and peaked at number eighty-five on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] The song earned Lefty Frizzell a Grammy nomination.

"Saginaw, Michigan"
Saginaw, Michigan - Lefty Frizzell.jpeg
Single by Lefty Frizzell
from the album Saginaw, Michigan
B-side"When It Rains the Blues"
ReleasedNovember 26, 1963
RecordedOctober 16, 1963
Songwriter(s)Bill Anderson and Don Wayne
Producer(s)Don Law and Frank Jones
Lefty Frizzell singles chronology
"Don't Let Her See Me Cry"
"Saginaw, Michigan"
"The Nestor"

The most notable cover of the song was done by Bobby Bare. It was included on his 1966 LP, The Streets of Baltimore.[3] Another notable rendition of the song is by John Prine and Mac Wiseman on their 2007 CD, Standard Songs for Average People.


The song is sung from the point of view of the working-class son of a fisherman from the titular city of Saginaw, Michigan, who falls in love with the daughter of a much wealthier man. The rich man does not believe the singer is worthy of his daughter, so the singer travels north to Alaska in hopes of finding gold. When there is no gold, the singer concocts a ruse upon returning to Saginaw: he tells the wealthy man that he had struck a huge amount of gold and sells the worthless plot to the rich man for him to develop.

The song ends with the bamboozled rich man searching in vain for the gold in Alaska, while his daughter gladly accepts the singer's hand in marriage.

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1964) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 85


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 129.
  2. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  3. ^