John D Loudermilk: The Journey From “Tobacco Road” to “Indian Reservation”

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It’d be the sole number one for the group, who had scored huge hits such as”Just Like Me,””Kicks” and”Hungry.”By comparison, the Nashville Teens was a one-hit miracle band that just made the Top 20 in 1964 using the hard-edged”Tobacco Road.” Despite its title, the group proved to be a British Invasion group created by Mickie Most, who honed the noise of the hens’ and Herman’s Hermits’ series of strikes.Growing up in Durham, North Carolina from the 1930s and 40s supplied the inspiration for Loudermilk’s two biggest hits. Loudermilk has stated that Durham had a poor side of town that invited him to compose a Southern poverty tune in the tradition of one of the idols, blues guy and demonstration singer Josh White.Tobacco Road was the rough and tumble section of city where big wooden barrels of tobacco have been wrapped down to the river and loaded onto barges. The region attracted the kind of rowdy element shunned by Durham’s upstanding citizens.Initially listed as a folk tune by Loudermilk at 1959,”Tobacco Road” went nowhere. However, other musicians, from Lou Rawls into Edgar Winter into the Jefferson Airplane, caught on immediately and published their own variations. Best known is that the Nashville Teens’ hard-hitting functionality that featured two lead singers, Arthur Sharp and Ray Phillips. John Hawken played with the driving piano along with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, and also a sought after session performer, played guitar on the studio monitor.Growing up, Loudermilk’s family was a part of the Salvation Army church. Singing on the roads introduced the boy performing; his mum’s missionary use Cherokee Indians advised his 1959 tune,”The Pale Faced Indian.”The song tells the story of this”Trail of Tears”: the elimination of the Cherokee Nation to bookings in what is now Oklahoma. An estimated four million Cherokee died on the thousand-mile driven travel over land and water in the 1830s. Back in 1971, lead singer Mark Lindsay of this now-renamed Raiders believed the song for a solo release, but the band would capture a variation that relied upon Fardon’s arrangement. “Indian Reservation” became Columbia Records’ biggest selling only in the moment.

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