Tobacco Road – The Nashville Teens

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………….on August 6th of 1964 The Nashville Teens release their UK singles hit (#6) “Tobacco Road” in the US. John D. Loudermilk wrote this song and originally recorded it in 1960. He was born and raised in the old tobacco warehouse city of Durham, North Carolina, and this is a somewhat autobiographical song about the city. Loudermilk was a prolific composer of many styles, and his songs (“Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” “Big Daddy,” “Paper Tiger,” “Break My Mind,” “Indian Reservation”) have been covered by many different artists.The Nashville Teens were most certainly not from Nashville: they were part of the British Invasion and gave themselves an American name so it would be less obvious that they were from England. It worked, at least for this song, as they had a hit with it four years after Loudermilk originally recorded it. One member of The Nashville Teens, Michael Dunford, became a mainstay with the classical rock band Renaissance as a guitarist and primary songwriter.  This was one of the first songs produced by Mickie Most for another artist. Most was born and raised in England, but went to South Africa in 1959, where he formed a band called Mickie Most and his Playboys. Rock music hadn’t yet come to the country, so Most introduced songs like “The Twist” and “Johnny B. Goode” to the country with his cover versions.When Most returned to England, he turned to production work and began doing sessions with The Animals.  Soon after, he produced this track; by the end of the ’60s he was the top producer in the UK, with hits by Lulu, Herman’s Hermits and Donovan to his credit. “Tobacco Road” became a Top 20 hit in the US topping off at #14.