Medicine Man

Album: Medicine Man (1969)
Charted: 22


  • The Buchanan Brothers were Terry Cashman, Gene Pistilli and Tommy West. Cashman and West went on to produce Jim Croce and had a hit as Cashman & West with "American City Suite." Cashman told us: "We had started our own company. There was a label called Event Records, and we made a deal with them to some singles. They were mainly a black record, R&B label. But they wanted to get into some pop stuff. So we came up with the idea for a group called the Buchanan Brothers, which was actually the three of us. That song was from a bass figure that Tommy and Gene were figuring out with like an eighth-note bass thing. I think Gene came up with the title. Tommy was more of an arranger than a songwriter - Gene and I would come up with the melodies and lyrics - I was more of the melody, Gene more of the lyricist. But that song… the three of us were just sitting around and someone came up with the chorus of 'Medicine Man': 'I'm the man, understand, I'm the only one who can.' It was written pretty quickly, which happens with a lot of songs, something flashes and you get a riff, or a line or a title, and then everything kind of falls into place after that. It didn't have any particular category, but it was a catchy song." (Check out our interview with Terry Cashman.)

Comments: 3

  • Donna from Bountiful, UtI Found It......Right Here????? THANKS
  • Donna from Bountiful, UtI have yet to hear the original song Medicine Man by the Buchanan Brothers from 1969. What I have heard in the last couple of days, looking everywhere I can think of and
    what I actually heard in 1969 are TOTALLY DIFFERENT. WHY??? Please Help.....
  • Tom from Dozier, AlOne of the best songs from 1969.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The Remasters

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The RemastersSong Writing

Brian has unearthed outtakes by Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello and hundreds of other artists for reissues. Here's how he does it.

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Ed Roland of Collective Soul

Ed Roland of Collective SoulSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Shine," "December," "The World I Know" and other Collective Soul hits.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues

Justin Hayward of The Moody BluesSongwriter Interviews

Justin wrote the classic "Nights In White Satin," but his fondest musical memories are from a different decade.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.