Saturday, January 14, 2006

Garage Rock Classics: Tobacco Road

I was born in a dump,

Mamma died and daddy got drunk,

Left me here to die or grow

In the middle of Tobacco Road.

Tobacco Road was written by the prolific singer-songwriter John D. Loudermilk in 1960. It's downhome lyrics and blues stylings made it a natural for garage bands, as well as other performers. Loudermilk's own version was central to the folk music boom of the early 60's. Later versions electrified the song, and it's been recorded in styles as varied as blues, psychedelic, country, rockabilly, soul, and metal.

Both the Nashville Teens (who were neither teens, nor from Nashville) and the Blues Magoos scored hits with it. Lou Rawls did a straightahead blues version, which infuenced the Jefferson Airplane. Their version is from their first album, The Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, which featured their original (and underrated) lead singer, Signe Anderson. Rare Earth's slow psyche jam and The Backsliders' (from Finland) quasi hair metal versions round out the set.

Loudermilk's credits are far too numerous to list here. For a comprehensive overview of his career, go to this fan site.

John D. Loudermilk - Tobacco Road

Nashville Teens - Tobacco Road

Blues Magoos - Tobacco Road

Lou Rawls - Tobacco Road

Jefferson Airplane - Tobacco Road

Rare Earth - Tobacco Road

Backsliders - Tobacco Road


Love your Garage Rock Classics series you do. Keep up the good job! And thanks. :-)

By Anonymous Sam, at 11:34 PM  

I like the Roberta Wolfson version off the "Girls in the Garage" Vol. 6...

By Anonymous b, at 10:13 AM  

You may want to know that the Edgar Winter Group, of Frankenstein fame, also did a version of Tobacco Road.

By Anonymous Sumoflam, at 3:39 PM  

Jefferson Airplane Takes Off...

By Anonymous Gracie, at 6:14 PM  

Jeez. I need a proof reader. Thanks. Your last name wouldn't be Slick, would it?

(For those who didn't notice, I wrote Jefferson Airport. My bad.)

By Blogger MadCatJoey, at 6:26 PM  

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