Small Town Saturday Night

Album: Past The Point Of Rescue (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • This song recalls life in a small town back in the days when you had to make their own fun and often caused some trouble in the process. It's not for everyone, but the characters in the song, Bobby and Lucy, seem to love it and aren't likely to leave. They wonder if the world is flat because when folks leave town, they never come back - it's like they fell off the edge of the Earth.
  • Hal Ketchum wrote most of his own songs, but not this one. "Small Town Saturday Night" was written by Pat Alger and Hank DeVito, and is about Alger's hometown of LaGrange, Georgia, near the Alabama line. According to Alger, there was one movie theater there, and they would play the latest Elvis movie until everyone had seen it, thus the first lines of the song:

    There's an Elvis movie on the marquee sign
    We've all seen at least three times
  • This was Ketchum's first single after signing a deal with the major label Curb Records. The song fits his throwback style, and he really did grow up in a small town, just not in the South - Ketchum was from Greenwich, New York. The song was a solid hit, reaching #2 on the Country chart and setting him on course.
  • This song's co-writer, Pat Alger, first encountered Ketchum at the Kerrville Folk Festival when he judged a songwriting competition that Ketchum won. Later, they wrote a song together that was Ketchum's first time writing with a partner, which Alger didn't know.

    "The very first song he ever co-wrote, he wrote with me," Alger told Songfacts. "And he didn't tell me that till afterwards. He kind of said, 'Boy, I'm glad that's over.' I said, 'What do you mean?' He says, 'Well, I've never co-written a song before.' I says, 'Well, I'm glad you didn't tell me before.'"

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