Friday, February 19, 2016

The Friday Five: Driving Songs

I don’t know how I came up with today’s theme. Maybe it just seemed like a good idea to do this today. For the record, I didn’t drive until I was 28, and had to stop after the stroke (which was nine years ago yesterday) because everything (ignition, gas and brake pedals) is on my right, and that’s the side that was affected. But I did a lot of driving in the time between. And no, I don’t miss it.

There are literally hundreds of songs about cars and driving. These are just five of them. Enjoy.

  1. Radar Love – Golden Earring: I think this was their only hit in the US and it only reached #13 on the Hot 100, but evidently it’s been covered over 500 times. It comes from their 1973 album Moontan.
  2. Hot Rod Lincoln – Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen: Written and recorded first by Charlie Ryan, it was an answer to Arkie Shibley’s 1951 hit “Hot Rod Race.” Commander Cody’s version reached #9 on the Hot 100 and was one of the Billboard Top 100 Singles of 1972.
  3. Little Deuce Coupe – The Beach Boys: This was the B-side to “Little Surfer Girl,” which would figure, since most of the Beach Boys’ songs have to do either with surfing or cars. As a B-side, it reached #15 on the Hot 100 (“Little Surfer Girl” made it to #9) in 1963.
  4. Little Old Lady From Pasadena – Jan & Dean: Jan Berry and Dean Torrance were proteges of a sort to the Beach Boys, and their songs are also typically about surfing or cars. This song went all the way to #3 in 1964.
  5. No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry: Chuck said he wrote so many songs about cars because half his audience had cars. Most likely, the other half did, too. It was recorded, according to Wikipedia, on my eighth birthday (March 25, 1964) at Chess Studios in Chicago, and reached #10 on the Hot 100 that year.

So there’s your Friday Five for February 19, 2016.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing


  1. Replies
    1. I think everyone does. If you listen to Chuck's "School Days," you realize it's the same song with different words. As with the old Chicago bluesmen, originality was for the lyrics, not the music. "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over, Beethoven," while not exactly the same, had a lot of the same guitar riffs in it.