Jet Airliner – The Steve Miller Band

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………….on July 28th of 1976 The Steve Miller Band’s album, “Fly Like an Eagle” goes Gold, on its way to Platinum. The LP features the title track (which makes it to #2), “Take the Money and Run” (#11), “Rock’n Me” (#1) and this song “Jet Airliner” (#8).This was written by Paul Pena, a blind folk singer from Cape Cod. Pena played the Newport Folk Festival in 1969, but was unable to launch a successful career. For much of his life, Pena’s royalties from writing this were his only income. Miller’s performance of the main riff is in turn slightly different from Pena’s original, which has a more funky edge to it. The song is also notable for an early reference to the catchphrase “keep on keepin’ on,” also found in John Lennon’s 1974 song “Old Dirt Road” and in the Bob Dylan songs “Tangled Up in Blue” and “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” On April 24th, 1977, “Jet Airliner” by the Steve Miller Band entered Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart at position #71; and on July 3rd it peaked at #8 (for 2 weeks) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100. On classic rock radio, “Jet Airliner” is generally played in tandem with “Threshold”, the all-synthesizer instrumental that precedes it on Book of Dreams and Miller’s Greatest Hits 1974–78 compilation. “Jet Airliner” failed to chart in the UK.