The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

May 23, 2013

Darius Rucker rides 'Wagon Wheel' to top of charts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Darius Rucker is a fan of Old Crow Medicine Show, but says he didn't really get what was so infectious about the string band's signature hit "Wagon Wheel" at first.

Then he heard the faculty band at his daughter's school play the song and it all started to open up for him.

"I'm sitting there listening to it and I say to myself what I always say to myself, 'I want to cut this song,'" Rucker said. "I say it all the time but I never end up cutting anything. But with this song it was, 'All right, let's try it.' I didn't know how big it was until after I cut it, until after it was a single. I didn't know that every college student south of the Mason-Dixon Line in the last eight years knows this song. I had no idea. I thought it was just another Old Crow song until I recorded it and realized it wasn't just another Old Crow song."

So far, Rucker's version of "Wagon Wheel" is the most successful song of his country career. The cut from his third Nashville-recorded album, "True Believers," out this week, has sold nearly 1.2 million copies and sat atop the country charts for three consecutive weeks earlier this year.

It's another interesting chapter in the history of a song that's slowly working its way toward American classic status. Like "House of the Rising Sun" or "Good Night, Irene," it's now a pop song with a long back story that tantalizingly trickles out before you reach the wellspring.

Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show first encountered the song when his friend and future bandmate Chris "Critter" Fuqua brought home a Bob Dylan bootleg from a trip to London that contained an outtake from the singer's "Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid" soundtrack sessions called "Rock Me, Mama." It wasn't so much a song as a sketch, crudely recorded featuring most prominently a stomping boot, the candy-coated chorus and a mumbled verse that was hard to make out.

Text Only
Lifestyle
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee