Browse by Title
V W X Y Z #  

Key To The Highway


Charlie Segar

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Originally an acoustic number, "Key To The Highway" is Blues at its rawest with a woman driving a man out of his home, out of the state, and quite likely out of his mind. It was first recorded in 1940 by the pianist Charlie Segar backed by "Stop and Fix It Mama." Originally credited to Segar alone, it was co-written with Big Bill Broonzy, and is arguably Broonzy's best known composition; it is certainly the most widely recorded. Like many early Blues numbers, it appears to have been built on other songs.

Big Bill Broonzy died in 1958, but he would certainly have appreciated what is surely the definitive recording, the 9 minute plus version from the Layla... album which features both Eric Clapton and Duane Allman on guitar. (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England)
The Rolling Stones album Dirty Work features a hidden track with Ian Stewart playing 30 seconds of this song. Stewart, who was often called "The Sixth Stone," played piano with the group and also took on road manager duties. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Eric Clapton told Guitarist Magazine (in February 2003) about his first experience with the song: "When I was about 14, I saw Big Bill Broonzy on TV and that was an incredible thing. Because maybe if I'd just heard it, it might not have had the same effect. But to see footage of Broonzy playing 'Hey Hey,' this was a real blues artist and I felt like I was looking into heaven. That was it for me and then, when I went to explore his music, the song that always came back to me was an incredible version of 'Key To The Highway.' That was the one that I thought somehow would, like Crossroads, capture the whole journey of being a musician and a traveling journeyman." (thanks, DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation)
More Charlie Segar songs
More songs about women who are deceptive, dangerous or evil

You have to to post comments.
Glen BurtnikGlen Burtnik
On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.
Lita FordLita Ford
Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.
Randy HouserRandy Houser
The "How Country Feels" singer talks Skynyrd and songwriting.
Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraJon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.