Tobacco Road (song)

Tobacco Road (song)

"Tobacco Road" is a song written and first recorded by John D. Loudermilk in 1960 that was a hit for The Nashville Teens in 1964 and has since become a standard across several musical genres.

Originally framed as a folk song, "Tobacco Road" was semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in the rough East Durham area of Durham, North Carolina. Released on Columbia Records, it was not a hit for Loudermilk, achieving only minor chart success in Australia. Other artists, however, immediately began recording and performing the song.

The confusingly-named English group The Nashville Teens' rendition was a bold effort featuring prominent piano and bass drum parts set against a dual lead vocal; fellow countryman Mickie Most produced it with the same tough-edged-pop feel that he brought to The Animals' hits. "Tobacco Road" was a trans-Atlantic pop hit in 1964, reaching number 6 on the UK singles chart and number 14 on the U.S. singles chart. While the Teens would have further success in England, in the U.S. "Tobacco Road" became another one-hit wonder of the British Invasion.

Infobox Single
Name = Tobacco Road

Caption =
Artist = Eric Burdon & War
from Album = Eric Burdon Declares "War"
B-side = Tobacco Road: I Have A Dream
Released = 1970
Format = 7" single
Recorded =
Genre = R&B, soul, funk, rap
Length =
Label =
Writer = Loudermilk
Producer = Jerry Goldstein
Certification =
Chart position =
Last single = "Spill the Wine" (1970)
This single = "Tobacco Road" (1970)
Next single = "Paint it Black" (1971)

"Tobacco Road" has been performed by a great number of other artists, often with slightly altered lyrics. Notable renditions include a soul one from Lou Rawls, a rock one from Jefferson Airplane, Mind Garage, a lengthy 17-minute version by Edgar Winter and his band, a sample on dead prez's "Psychology", and others from Eric Burdon & War, Serbian rock bands Smak and Disciplin A Kitschme, Spooky Tooth, Status Quo, Steve Young, Love Affair, David Lee Roth, Aum, Tommy Cash, Blues Magoos, Blues Creation, Bobbie Gentry, Rare Earth, Jean-Jacques Goldman, and so on. It has been done as blues, country music, punk rock, or garage rock. In 2006 it was featured in the finale of the hit television show "American Idol", and was performed on the show by contestant Phil Stacey in 2007 and Syesha Mercado in 2008.

External links

* [ Loudermilk fan site] - extensive history of song and recorded versions.

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