Travelin' Man

Album: Twenty (1997)
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Songfacts®:

  • Until 1997, this song had never been recorded in a studio. It appeared on the live album One More From the Road and remained a staple of the band's live set until the 1977 plane crash, but never had a proper studio recording. In 1997 Skynyrd guitarist Ricky Medlocke suggested to lead singer Johnny Van Zant that they should finally give this song a proper studio recording, but with a twist. Ricky had seen The Beatles Anthology documentary and was impressed how with modern technology producers were able to lift John Lennon's vocal and piano track from a 1980 demo tape and in 1994 go back and record around it to complete the song "Free As A Bird." Johnny, who was now the lead singer for Skynyrd replacing his late brother Ronnie, always wanted to do a duet with him, so Ricky suggested lifting Ronnie's original vocal from the 1976 album One More From The Road and having Johnny sing one part of the verse and then using Ronnie's vocal recorded in 1976 have Ronnie sing the next part. "I thought Johnny was either gonna punch or hug me when I suggested the idea. By the fact that it's on the album you can see which one he chose" commented Medlocke in a 1997 interview on their Lyve From Steel Town album.
  • This has since been played live in concert with Johnny singing one part and Ronnie appearing on video screens singing with his vocal patched perfectly in-sync.
  • This is the only Lynyrd Skynyrd song with the songwriting credits "Ronnie Van Zant and Leon Wilkeson." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - Philly, PA, for all above
  • A live version of this song featuring the late Ronnie Van Zant's vocals was included on the 2010 CD/DVD Live From Freedom Hall. Johnny Van Zant explained on his record label's website: "I think for Skynyrd fans to be able to see Ronnie up there actually singing and then it comes back to me on stage I think it's just a very cool thing for fans and I always love doing that. Our dad was a truck driver and we've been travelin' men our whole life. Ronnie for 29 years was a travelin' man, 'til his untimely death. And for me I've been doing it for about 30 something years. So it's just a very cool song and for anybody."

Comments: 1

  • AnonymousRonnie's vocal part was actually from the Oakland performance in 76, not the OMFTR cut.
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