Gitarzan

Album: Gitarzan (1969)
Charted: 8
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Songfacts®:

  • Ray Stevens recalled the story behind this saga of a guitar playing jungle king during an interview with Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Association International:

    "'Guitarzan' was a title given to me by Bill Justice. A lot of people probably don't remember Bill Justice. He was a wonderful musician and arranger. ... I (was staying) at the Continental Hotel on Sunset across from the apartment Bill rented to live and work. He found out I was staying across the street and called and said, "Let's have breakfast in the morning." At that breakfast he said, 'I've got a great song title for you, man. You need to write this song.' I said, 'What is it, Bill?' He said, 'Guitarzan, man. Ha-ha-ha.' I thought, 'Well, this is a funny thing.'"

    "On the plane back to Nashville, I scribbled some notes, got home and finished writing the song, and we recorded it out at Bradley's Barn. It was one of the first records cut out there."
  • Stevens was all set to record an album for Monument with the label's founder Fred Foster. Though Foster didn't like this song, Monument national promotion director Mike Sheppard saw its potential as the lead single. Stevens recalled:

    "He (Foster) said, 'No, man. Let's not put that out.' Mike Sheppard was standing there with me, and he said, 'Fred, it's a smash! It's a smash!' I said, 'Fred, put this out. Trust me. If it's not a hit … .' He said, 'I want to produce all your future records if it's not a hit.' I said, 'You got it! Deal!' Of course it came out and it was a monster, but I'll never forget. Maybe Fred was trying to take me in another direction."

Comments: 1

  • George from Vancouver, CanadaQuality, just-have-fun, song. . .
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