♫ Poor Side Of Town ♫

Have you ever noticed that when you get cracker crumbs or pretzel salt in the keyboard of your laptop, the keys don’t work quite right?  If I didn’t spend the biggest part of my life at the laptop, then I wouldn’t have to do my munching here and my keyboard would be safe from crumbs.  Well, now that I got that out of the way …

I would have sworn I had already played this one by Johnny Rivers, but a search through my archives says otherwise.  I was probably thinking of Elvis’ In the Ghetto.  I was not aware of it, but this was Johnny Rivers’ only U.S. chart-topper.

Rivers co-wrote it with Lou Adler.  Marty Paich, who arranged for Mel Torme and Ray Charles, did the string arrangement.  According to Rivers …

“I had this tune I’d been working on, and I kept playing it for Lou. It took me about 6 months to finish. We cut it with Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborn and Hal Blaine. I did my vocal performances live with the band. I sat and played my guitar and sang. There weren’t any overdubs. So we said it could use some singers and maybe some strings. That’s the time we got together with Marty Paich.”

This was a change of direction for Johnny Rivers, who had tired of the upbeat Go-Go sound that provided him with his early hits. However, he found his record company reluctant to tamper with a winning formula. He recalls …

“Al Bennett and those guys were goin’ Man. don’t start comin’ out with ballads. You’re gonna kill your career. You got a good thing goin’ with this funky trio rock sound, stay with that.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Poor Side of Town
Johnny Rivers

How can you tell me how much you miss me
When the last time I saw you, you wouldn’t even kiss me
That rich guy you’ve been seein’
Must have put you down
So welcome back baby
To the poor side of town

To him you were nothin’ but a little plaything
Not much more than an overnight fling
To me you were the greatest thing this boy had ever found
And girl it’s hard to find nice things
On the poor side of town

I can’t blame you for tryin’
I’m tryin’ to make it too
I’ve got one little hang up baby
I just can’t make it without you

So tell me, are you gonna stay now
Will you stand by me girl all the way now
Oh with you by my side
They just can’t keep us down
Together we can make it girl
From the poor side of town

Oh, with you by my side
This world can’t keep us down
Together we can make it baby
From the poor side of town

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Johnny Rivers / Lou Adler
Poor Side of Town lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC