Poor Side of Town by Johnny Rivers

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Poor Side of Town by Johnny Rivers

Johnny Rivers Poor Side of Town

Rock n Roll

The song “Poor Side of Town” is credited to Johnny Rivers and Lou Adler. It went to #1 on the U. S. Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Chart in 1966. It’s a variety of sixties soul music. In this case, “Poor Side of Town” can be categorized as a soulful pop story song. The string arrangement was done by Marty Paich (who worked with many of the best-selling artists, including Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, and the list goes on and on). The background vocals were provided by The Blossoms, which included the wonderful Darlene Love, Fanita James, and Jean King.

“Poor Side of Town” was also released on Rivers’ album Changes. With that record, his eighth album, he wanted to move into a more soulful, contemporary and deeper direction with his music. Instead of basic guitar-bass-drums, he augmented the songs with orchestral sounds from horns and strings and chorus.

Rivers was born John Ramistella in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Johnny Rivers is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist in a number of styles, including rock and roll, rockabilly, and blue-eyed soul. Some of his big hits include “The Seventh Song, ” Secret Agent Man, and “Rockin’ Pneumonia – Boogie Woogie Flu” to name a few. Rivers founded Soul City Records label in 1966. Gotta love that sixties soul music.

Here are the lyrics to “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers:

“Do-doo-doo-wah, shoo-be-doo-be
Do-doo-doo-wah, shoo-be-doo-be

How can you tell me how much you miss me
When the last time I saw you, you wouldn’t even kiss me
That rich guy you’ve been seein’ must have put you down
So welcome back, baby, to the poor side of town

To him you were nothin’ but a little plaything
Not much more than an overnight fling
To me you were the greatest thing this boy had ever found
And girl, it’s hard to find nice things on the poor side of town

I can’t blame you for tryin’
I’m tryin’ to make it too
I’ve got one little hang up, baby
I just can’t make it without you

So tell me, are you gonna stay now?
Will you stand by me, girl, all the way now?
With you by my side, they can’t keep us down
Together we can make it, baby, from the poor side of town

So tell me how much you love me?
Come near to me and say you need me now
Oh, with you by my side this world can’t keep us down
Together we can make it, baby, from the poor side of town

Do-doo-doo-wah, shoo-be-doo-be
Do-doo-doo-wah, shoo-be-doo-be
Do-doo-doo-wah, shoo-be-doo-be”

For another song by Johnny Rivers: “Seventh Son.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Free Online Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed Johnny Rivers with “Poor Side of Town.”

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Jane Minogue

1 Comment

  1. […] For another song by Johnny Rivers: “Poor Side of Town.” […]

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