In 1950, Hank Williams recorded “Cold, Cold Heart” at Castle Studio, Nashville. The song was then released as the B-side to “Dear John” – which ranked No. 8 on the country chart. However, “Cold, Cold Heart” proved to be a much more popular favorite among disc jockeys and jukebox listeners, whose enthusiasm brought the song to the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Williams also performed the song at the variety program, The Kate Smith Evening Hour – where prior to his performance with his band, he told the audience that “Cold, Cold Heart” was the best song he’d had financially.
Well, indeed, he was true! That same year, Tony Bennett recorded and released a pop version of “Cold, Cold Heart” – which spent a total of twenty-seven weeks on the Billboard chart, peaking at No. 1. The success of Bennett’s version helped bring brand new audiences both to Hank Williams songs and country music.
Since then, the popular ballad has been recorded by a plethora of artists.