♫ Drift Away ♫

Earlier tonight as I was answering comments, I came across one by Roger where he just happened to say, “I’m gonna drift away …” and that was all it took to bring this song front and center in my head, and for the rest of the evening, the song was there, but for the life of me I could not remember the artist!  And as is often the case, Google helped me out!  Although the first hit it gave me was a version by an artist named “Uncle Kracker”, of whom I’ve never heard.

This song, written by Mentor Williams, was first released by John Henry Kurtz on his 1972 album Reunion.  Now, I’ve never heard of John Henry Kurtz who is listed as a “swamp rock” singer … not sure what that is, but it sounds somewhat less than endearing.

It was later given to soul singer Dobie Gray for whom it became a surprise international hit; and the best known version. In 1973 the song became Dobie Gray’s biggest hit, peaking at #5 in the U.S.  Gray’s version was quite popular on this side of the pond, but across the pond, they preferred the Michael Bolton version released in 1992.  I like both almost equally, but I suppose if you force me to choose, I would pick Dobie Gray’s.

This song was not only a commercial breakthrough for Mentor Williams, but also a breakthrough as a recording project. He explained …

“I think one of the hardest things for me to learn about songwriting was to really expose my feelings and weaknesses and to write personal, emotional things. As soon as I started doing that, I realized other people were relating to my songs. You can study how to write and spend a lot of time writing, but without this emotional content in a song, it’s just not there. ‘Drift Away’ was a big breakthrough for me. It was a song where it suddenly was okay for me to write about being hurt and let people know that I had been hurt and I wasn’t afraid to expose my feelings.”

This has been featured in several movies, including the 1988 comedy Heartbreak Hotel (starring David Keith as Elvis Presley), the 2003 drama Wonderland (starring Val Kilmer), and 2006 sports biopic Invincible (starring Mark Wahlberg). It was also used on The Office (US), in the 2007 episode Product Recall.

Drift Away
Dobie Gray

Day after day I’m more confused
Yet I look for the light in the pouring rain
You know that’s a game that I hate to lose
I’m feelin’ the strain, ain’t it a shame

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Beginning to think that I’m wastin’ time
I don’t understand the things I do
The world outside looks so unkind
So I’m countin’ on you to carry me through

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

And when my mind is free
You know a melody can move me
And when I’m feelin’ blue
The guitar’s comin’ through to soothe me
Thanks for the joy that you’ve given me
I want you to know I believe in your song
Rhythm and rhyme and harmony
You help me along makin’ me strong

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Hey, hey, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Na na na, won’t ya, won’t ya take me
Oh oh, take me

Won’t find
Early in the morning, they wanna take me
Come on and free my soul na na and drift away

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Mentor R. Williams
Drift Away lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

16 thoughts on “♫ Drift Away ♫

  1. Oh, Dobie Grey will always be number one for me but I so quite like the Michael Bolton version as well.It was a perfect time to be uplifted after an all-nighter. I’ve got to leave for the bust in 40 minutes, I’d better get dressed.
    Thanks Jill
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

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