1970 Joe South – Walk A Mile In My Shoes
In 1958, the National Recording Corporation was established in Atlanta. Their early studio musicians included Ray Stevens, Jerry Reed, and Joe South.
The Big Bopper was a disc jockey in Texas who was on his way to record a novelty song. He needed a song for the B-side of the single and wrote Chantilly Lace while riding to the studio. Disc Jockeys found and immediately started playing the B-side, which turned into a top ten single.
As a result, nobody really paid any attention to the song that was released as the A-side. That was a novelty song that the Big Bopper wrote to connect two other novelty songs, The Purple People Easter Meets The Witch Doctor. Somehow, Joe recorded and released the single on NRC records and the result became his first charting single. It reached #47 on the Hot 100 in 1958.
After a few more singles that didn’t even do that well, Joe concentrated more on writing songs and working as a studio musician. He played guitar on Tommy Roe’s Sheila, Simon and Garfunkel’s second album, and Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools. He even played bass guitar on Bob Dylan’s album Blond On Blond.
Billy Joe Royal began recording five songs written by Joe in 1965.
Joe finally had his own hit record in 1969 with Games People Play. The record won two Grammy awards and Joe got to sing his song on The Ed Sullivan Show with Tommy Roe and Billy Joe Royal as his backup singers.
Joe’s only other personal top forty single came in 1970 when he recorded Walk A Mile In My Shoes. The single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100.
Lynn Anderson recorded Joe’s song Rose Garden and reached the top of the Country charts and #3 on the Hot 100 in 1970 and 1971. That led to a successful career as a Country music songwriter.
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