Song of the Day #4,810: ‘Midnight Rider’ – The Allman Brothers Band

Today’s song is a great example of one of my favorite kinds of Random Weekend selections — a classic tune with an interesting backstory.

The Allman Brothers Band’s ‘Midnight Rider’ is one of the band’s most popular and beloved tracks. It has been covered by a host of other artists, including Gregg Allman on a solo release. His version reached Billboard’s Top 20, the highest showing for the song.

The Allmans’ original version appeared on their second album, 1970’s Idlewild South. The album’s title referred to a lakeside cabin in Georgia the band rented for rehearsals and parties. It was in that cabin that Gregg Allman wrote this song.

Stuck on the third verse, he received an assist from roadie Kim Payne, who contributed the third verse line “And I’ve gone by the point of caring / Some old bed I’ll soon be sharing.” Allman promised to give Payne royalties should the song become a hit, and the roadie eventually signed a contract to receive five percent of the proceeds.

Allman sought to get the song on tape as soon as he finished it, so he and Payne made their way to the nearby studio. Having no key, they broke a window to gain access, and Allman recorded a demo track that would serve as the basis of the eventual release.

[Verse 1]
Well, I’ve got to run to keep from hidin’
And I’m bound to keep on ridin’
And I’ve got one more silver dollar
But I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the midnight rider

[Verse 2]
And I don’t own the clothes I’m wearing
And the road goes on forever
And I’ve got one more silver dollar
But I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the midnight rider

[Guitar Solo: Duane Allman & Dickey Betts]

[Verse 3]
And I’ve gone by the point of caring
Some old bed I’ll soon be sharing
And I’ve got one more silver dollar
But I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the midnight rider

[Outro]
No, I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the midnight rider
No, I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
I’m not gonna let ’em catch the midnight rider
No, I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no
I’m not gonna let ’em catch the midnight rider

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,810: ‘Midnight Rider’ – The Allman Brothers Band

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    That’s a great background story for this classic song.

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