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.