One of the great forgotten names in late 60’s rock/early 70’s country music songwriting – Joe South – died last week a age 72.
The records he made were oddly compelling, full of vocal echo, strings and reverb-drenched guitar – and the others too – sound. But his songwriting was killer. I love the Geaorgia Satellites version of “Games People Play”, John Mellencamp did a down-and-dirty Joe South set during his “Scarecrow” tour encore when I saw him at Detroit’s Cobo Arena in 1985, and South freakin’ wrote “Rose Garden” for Lynn Anderson, a #1 for 16 (!) weeks.
from wikipedia: South was also a prominent sideman, playing guitar on Aretha Franklin‘s “Chain of Fools”, Tommy Roe‘s “Sheila”, and Bob Dylan‘s Blonde on Blonde album…1969’s pungent, no-nonsense “Games People Play” wasva hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Accompanied by a lush string sound, an organ, and brass, the production won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Song and the Grammy Award for Song of the Year. He wrote the back-to-nature “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home” (also covered eight months later by Brook Benton With The Dixie Flyers) and the socially provocative “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” (also covered by Elvis Presley in a Las-Vegas era version.
Artists who had pop hits with South compositions include Billy Joe Royal’s songs “Down in the Boondocks“, “I Knew You When”, “Yo-Yo” (later a hit for the Osmonds), and “Hush” (later a hit for Deep Purple.