“Welcome Back Baby, To the Poor Side of Town.”-Johnny Rivers
I was 13 when “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers was released today in 1966. Oh did I love this song! Though born in NYC, Johnny Rivers had a southern twang learned while living in Louisiana where his dad had gone to find some work when Johnny was 5. “My dad and uncle used to get together and play these old Italian folk songs on mandolin and guitar.” As John started playing, he listened to R&B on the late-night radio, megawatt stations like WLAC in Nashville. However, R&B was a way of life in Baton Rouge. “When I went to Baton Rouge Junior High, Fats Domino, Jimmy Reed and guys like that used to play at our dances,” Rivers says.–Johnny Rivers Official Web Site
While researching “Poor Side of Town” I discovered a beautiful cover by a group I never heard of…EELS So… I’ve included an older Johnny Rivers singing his original song in 2006 and EELS with Strings singing it live, unplugged, at NYC’s Town Hall in 2006. Enjoy both!