Category Archives: Car Tunes

Car Tunes: Hey Little Cobra
The Rip Chords

With Carroll Shelby’s passing, this week’s Car Tunes is devoted to the car that made him a legend and a song that helped make that same car a legend as well. After the success of the Beach Boys’ “409” and … Continue reading

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More Car Tunes and Another Bob Dylan Highway Song: Highway 51

U.S. Highways 51* and 61 were inaugurated in 1926 along with the rest of the U.S. Highway system.  Along with Route 66, they both inspired artists to compose songs about them.  Both are North-South routes and both are considered major … Continue reading

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Car Tunes: Highway 61 & Highway 61 Revisited
Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bob Dylan, Johnny Winter

Route 66 may be America’s “mother road” but Highway 61 is the blues highway. It runs roughly parallel to the Mississippi River from the Delta in the deep South to the Great Lakes in the north. The legendary “crossroads” where … Continue reading

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Car Tunes: Pontiac Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson w/ The Animals & The Yardbirds

In the early 1960s, as pop-music influenced doo-wop, soul and R&B became more popular than traditional blues, many blues musicians gravitated to Europe where they could still get work. In England they were embraced by a generation of young musicians … Continue reading

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Car Tunes:
Up Around The Bend
Creedence Clearwater Revival

Does anyone not like Creedence Clearwater Revival? John Fogarty is one of the great American songwriters, not a bad axe slinger and he has a distinctive voice. The band was tight and they could perform note for note versions of … Continue reading

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Selling Out: Drive By Truckers Do STP Ads

So I’m reading the comments on Baruth’s latest piece of automotive fiction (no, really, that’s no slam, Jack’s a friend, he sometimes writes fiction), with Speed TV on in the background. A commercial starts, and I hear what surely has … Continue reading

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Car Tunes:
Mustang Sally Bought A GTO – John Lee Hooker

As we saw with Hot Rod Lincoln, some car songs are “answer songs”, a reply to an earlier song. I suppose this is John Lee Hooker’s answer to Wilson Pickett. Mustang Sally just bought a brand new GTO Mustang Sally … Continue reading

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Car Tunes: Riding With the King
John Hiatt
B.B. King & Eric Clapton

John Hiatt is a national treasure. I don’t think he’s ever written a bad song. Here’s his Riding With the King, performed by Hiatt himself along with slidemeister Sonny Landreth, and the version from Eric Clapton and B.B. King’s album … Continue reading

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Car Tunes:
No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry, George Thorogood

Chuck recycled his 1957 hit, School Days, with a new arrangement and lyrics and turned it in No Particular Place To Go, which made the top 10 in 1964, no small accomplishment in a year when the Beatles, Rolling Stones … Continue reading

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Car Tunes:
Brand New Cadillac – Vince Tayler and the Playboys & The Clash

Here’s the original rockabilly/skiffle influenced version by Vince Taylor, a tv appearance by Taylor from the ’60s with a little bit of surf feel, and then a live rendition of the Clash’s version from the US Festival in 1983, which … Continue reading

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