Song of the Day: Dobie Gray, “Drift Away”

I was having a conversation about one-hit wonders of the ’70’s, and someone mentioned this song. I checked and learned that Dobie Gray had a previous hit, "The ‘In’ Crowd," which reached #13 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the R&B chart. We tend to forget about it, because Ramsey Lewis had a bigger hit with that song later that year. "Drift Away," on the other hand, went to #5 on the Hot 100 in 1973 and reached #17 on the year-end chart, and was Decca Records’s last pop hit in the United States. It was written by Mentor Williams and originally done by country singer John Henry Kurtz in 1972.

15 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Dobie Gray, “Drift Away”

    1. I was the same way. The first time I heard it, I said “I just have to learn that on guitar!” Then I ran into a lot of people who hated the song, which made no sense. It’s a great song with a good message.

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      1. I don’t know how anyone could not like it. The Stones did a version on a bootleg that was good…but no one beats this version.

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  1. You know that Uncle Kracker covered this song in 2003. Ever have a car full of teenagers wondering how you got to be so cool th t you know all the lyrics to Uncle Kracker’s newest song?


    1. Around this time you had a lot of laid-back R&B singers, like Gray, Bill Withers, Roberta Flack, Donnie Hathaway, Teddy Pendergrass (who had been with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes), etc. who were following in the footsteps of Otis Redding and where he was taking soul with “Dock of the Bay.” A great time for soul music…

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