Maggie May – Rod Stewart

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………on August 14th of 1971 Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” is released in the US, where it will reach #1 and become his first Billboard chart hit. Rod would later remark: “I cannot see how the single is such a hit. It has no melody.” This song is about the woman who deflowered Stewart when he was 16. In the January 2007 issue of Q magazine, Stewart said: “Maggie May was more or less a true story, about the first woman I had sex with, at the Beaulieu Jazz Festival. It nearly got left off because the label said it didn’t have a melody. I said, ‘Well, we’ve run out of time now, these are all the tracks we’ve recorded. They said, Alright, then, bring it on.” The name “Maggie May” does not occur in the song; Rod borrowed the title from a Liverpool folk song about a Lime Street prostitute. Stewart’s record company didn’t think this was a hit, so they released it as the B-side of “Reason To Believe.” Disc jockeys liked “Maggie” better, so they played it as the single instead. The first station to flip the single and play it as the A-side was WOKY in Milwaukee. The song was taken from the LP “Every Picture Tells A Story” which was Stewart’s third solo album, and the one that made him a superstar. It was recorded at Morgan Sound Studios in Willesden with drummer Mickey Waller, guitarist Martin Quittenton, and Stewart’s Faces mate Ronnie Wood among the musicians. This became a huge hit in England and America, topping both the UK and US charts at the same time. Every Picture Tells A Story was also the #1 album on both sides of the Atlantic, making him the first artist to have the #1 song and album in both the US and UK simultaneously. Stewart’s success in the UK was expected, as he had a following there as a member of The Faces, but he was little known in America before “Maggie May” took off.  This was the first big hit of the rock ear to feature a mandolin. Stewart first used the instrument on “Mandolin Wind,” which was one of the first songs he recorded for the album. He liked the results, so he used it on “Maggie” as well.