Monday, February 28, 2011
Happy birthday, Joe South
We can't let the day get away without wishing happy birthday to one of our favorite tunesmiths. Happy 71st, Joe South, and many more...
Billy Joe Royal took your song "Down in the Boondocks" for a big ride back in 1965, which really put you on the map. But you proved you could handle a tune yourself in 1969 with "Games People Play," which featured that ultracool Danelectro sitar riff. "Games" probably surprised a few folks when it stole Grammy song of the year from Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'" (although Harry did win for best contemporary male vocal). And can there possibly be another website that was launched with those memorable lyrics?
You followed up "Games People Play" with "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," another gem that proved once and for all you would not be best remembered for your great session work, which included contributions to Bob Dylan's Blonde and Blonde and Aretha Franklin's sizzling "Chain of Fools."
Then to top things off Lynn Anderson made "Rose Garden" one of the most successful crossover songs of the day, topping the Billboard country chart in 1971 and making it all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100. Not to mention becoming a monster hit in places like Norway, Australia and New Zealand.
We weren't sure what you'd been up to in recent years (other than cashing those royalty checks), so we decided to check out your website at http://www.joesouth.com/. And danged if we didn't get that annoying "webpage cannot be found" message. So all we can do is raise a glass in your honor tonight, wish you the best and hope that site is back up soon.