This week’s featured song was co-composed by two great songwriters, at the historic Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Martin Luther King, Jr. would later be murdered in April, 1968. This week’s featured song was first performed in 1965 and released on vinyl in 1966, rising to #1 on the R&B charts and #21 on the Billboard Top 40 charts. Despite this rather inauspicious beginning, it has survived and become even more popular over the years. Most of the available cover versions sound mostly like the original, except for a few played at a faster pace, which seems to lose something in the translation, in this writer’s opinion.
This week’s feature song is ranked at #134 on the Rolling Stone list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, one of two songs that the performer would place on the top 500 list. This number was also designated as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Acclaimed Music ranks this week’s selection as the 89th greatest song of all time, as well as the seventh best song of 1965.
Several cover versions mentioned in the associated wikipedia article looked to be quite interesting, however, it doesn’t seem that some of these were to be found on the youtube site. These performers include Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, The Doors and Van Morrison’s Them band at the Whiskey A Go Go (1966), The Chambers Brothers and Buddy Guy. The Grateful Dead also regularly performed their cover version of this song, however, this writer was unable to locate one on youtube which represented much of a departure from other versions, or in some cases, the sound/video quality seemed to be lacking. A group called Cross Country apparently had some success with this song, their version reaching #30 on the Billboard Top 40 charts in 1973. Again, a youtube version of their performance appears to be nonexistent.