1969 SONG OF THE DAY– “DON’T IT MAKE YOU WANT TO GO HOME’- JOE SOUTH

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1969 Song of the Day is “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home” by Joe South. There was a brief period of time in the late 60’st Joe South was one of the great songwriters in the world. He had a couple big hits on his own- Games People Play #12 which won a Grammy for Song of the Year  and Best Contemporary Song in 1969. Walk A Mile In My Shoes was also a hit #12. He wrote Rose Garden which would be a country smash for Lynn Anderson a few years later. Before setting out on his own he had been a session guitarist most famously for Bob Dylan on his Blonde On Blonde album.

“Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home” just missed making the Top 40 in the US- #41. The song is about change and how often its not for the better. He has been away for a while and is weary of the fast paced world and looking forward to going back to a slower life back in the rural Georgia area where he grew up- he goes back and everything has changed.

But there’s a six-lane highway down by the creek
Where I went skinny-dippin’ as a child
And a drive-in show where the meadow used to grow
And the strawberries used to grow wild
There’s a drag strip down by the riverside
Where my grandma’s cow used to graze
Now, the grass don’t grow and the river don’t flow
Like it did in my childhood days
Two things derailed Joe South’s career- the first was winning those Grammy’s- he later said that he felt pressure after that- to write great songs.”The Grammy is a little like a crown,” he told Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times. “After you win it, you feel like you have to defend it. In a sense, I froze. I found it hard to go back into the recording studio because I was afraid the next song wouldn’t be perfect.”
He already WAS writing great songs but he started to think too much about it and worse- the suicide of his brother put him into a deep depression.
South’s best album was from 1968 [somehow it was one that escaped my Best of 1968 albums list- I had a massive list of albums from 1968 but for some reason Introspect by Joe South wasn’t listed. It would have made my Top 25 easily if I had remembered it. A great best of collection is Retrospect. Joe Smith died in 2012 at the age of 72.

 

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