Kentucky Woman

Album: Greatest Hits (1967)
Charted: 22

Songfacts®:

  • Diamond wrote this country-tinged song while he was on a 32-city tour with the Dick Clark Caravan, sharing a bill with Tommy Roe, Billy Joe Royal and P.J. Proby. In the liner notes to Diamond's anthology In My Lifetime, he wrote: "We attracted teenage girls almost exclusively and the house, usually a high school auditorium, was filled to the rafters with screaming females night after night. The song was written in the back of a limo as we approached the outskirts of Paducah, Kentucky."
  • Diamond liked this song, but he wanted the more personal "Shilo" released as the single. Bert Berns of Bang Records felt "Kentucky Woman" was the hit, and released it against Diamond's wishes. This caused a rift which led to Diamond's departure from the label a year later. Bang Records lost their young star, but capitalized on Diamonds success over the next few years by continuously repackaging and releasing the songs he recorded with them. They eventually did release "Shilo" in 1970, and it went to #24.
  • Deep Purple covered this song and released it as a single in 1968, charting at #38 in the US. We asked David Wild, who interviewed Diamond on several occasions and wrote the book He Is...I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond, if there were any cover versions of his songs that Diamond particularly likes or dislikes. Says Wild: "He is very gallant, and seems thankful that others have embraced his songs. I think hearing Sinatra and Elvis sing his songs was a thrill, and I remember him telling me that he once got a private recording of Dylan singing 'Sweet Caroline.' The only cover I remember him being slightly confused by was Deep Purple's heavy metal retooling of 'Kentucky Woman.'"

Comments: 6

  • Roger Navai from 94538Ahhh, Neil Diamond, put the song on and drive by the beach on HWY 1 all the way to Santa Cruz. You are the best , hope to see you soon doing concerts again.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaDon't know who played guitar on this song but I LOVE IT.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 8th 1967, "Kentucky Woman" by Neil Diamond entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82; and on November 12th, 1967 it peaked at #22 {for 2 weeks} and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #44 on the Australian Kent Music Report chart...
    Between 1966 and 1988 he had fifty-six Top 100 records; thirteen made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Crackin' Rosie" {for 1 week in 1970} and "Song Sung Blue" {for 1 week in 1972}...
    He just missed having a third #1 when "Love on the Rocks" peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1981...
    Neil Leslie Diamond will celebrate his 74th birthday in three months on January 24th {2015}.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaI like both Neil Diamond's and Deep Purple's versions of this song, and I would be hard pressed to say which I like more. They're both awesome, and it's almost like they are two distinctly separate songs.
  • Tony from Eugene, OrThe Deep Purple cover of this song has possibly the gnarliest guitar solo ever.
  • Richard from Louisville, Ky60s garage band Those Guys recorded a great version of Kentucky Woman.
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