Runnin' Blue

Album: The Soft Parade (1969)
Charted: 64

Songfacts®:

  • This is a tribute to Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967 at age 26. The Doors were scheduled to play with Redding at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco on December 28. That show went on, with Chuck Berry taking Redding's place. When the Doors were performing "When The Music's Over" at the show, Jim Morrison interjected the opening lines of this song in honor of Redding:

    Poor Otis dead and gone
    Left me here to sing his song
  • Doors guitarist Robby Krieger wrote this song and sang lead. It is the only Doors song without Jim Morrison as the primary vocalist while he was alive.
  • This was the fourth single released from The Doors' fourth album, The Soft Parade. All four singles, including the hit "Touch Me," were written by Robby Krieger.
  • Morrison was abusing alcohol during most of the recording of this album. Since songs like this involved a lot of instruments and took a while to record, Morrison had a lot of time to get drunk. As a result, he didn't contribute much to it.
  • The Doors used some unusual instruments on this track: a mandolin played by Jesse McReynolds and a fiddle played by Jimmy Buchanan.

Comments: 12

  • King Snake from CanadaRobbie Krieger no more sang lead in Runnin' Blue than I did. While Jim was indeed getting plastered during the making of Soft Parade, his drinking had noting to do with having little to do with it. He wanted to take a break from music and work on his poetry. The rest of the group, his manager and record company were itching to get a new album out and Jim simply told them to go ahead and call when they needed him to sing.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 31st 1969, "Runnin' Blue" by the Doors entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #89; eventually it at #64 {for 1 week} and spent 6 weeks on the Top 100...
    Was track two of side two on the band's fourth studio album, 'The Soft Parade', and the album reached #6 on Billboard's Top Pop Albums chart...
    Three others tracks from the album made the Top 100 chart; "Touch Me" {#3}, "Wishful Sinful" {#44}, and "Tell All the People" {#57}...
    R.I.P. Ray Manzarek {1939 - 2013} and to 'The Lizard King' {1943 - 1971}.
  • James from Cleveland, OhAlthough this song was written by Robbie Krieger, the first verse (sung a cappella by Jim) was contributed by Jim Morrison.
    This part of the lyric and melody was taken (almost) directly from an episode of Bonanza featuring country star Hoyt Axton singing in his jail cell. No lie, check it out for yourself. Bonanza, season 6, episode 195 titled "Dead And Gone" Original air date, April 4, 1965. You can see the clip on YouTube (search "Pernell Roberts & Hoyt Axton singing in Bonanza EP Dead and Gone"). What a trip...Mr. Mojo was a Bonanza fan with a good memory, as this was before re-runs! Jim changed the name from Howard to Otis, and did some editing, but the verse was definitely ripped from this episode! (Last words, last words. Out.)
  • Chloe from St. Louis, MoWoah! Robbie Krieger sounds exactly like Bob Dylan!
  • Jake from Baltimore, MdMorrison sings a majority of the song, but Krieger sings the chorus. He did a good job with it. it fits the style very well. People don't think Morrison sang the whole song because it isn't like his normal smoothness and his rough interpretation doesn't go with the instrumental part which is unusual for Morrison, but his raspness set a good contrast and was vital to the song sounding the way it does.
  • Lars from Copenhagen, Denmark"Soft Parade" along with Steppenwolf´s "Monster" was almost all I heard for three month from january to march 1970 on the danish cargoship "Sargodha" with the help of a portable turntable which I borrowed from my shipsmate Kasper (Nicodemus). Once we got to the port of L.A (Bellingham) the lyrics from "Running Blue" fitted:"Got to find the dock on the bay, maybe finds it back in L.A". Unlike most other Doors fans "Soft Parade" is my favorite Doors album. However, unlike most other band of that era, Doors never made a bad album.
  • Ziggy from Oslo, NorwayYeah, it sounds a lot like Dylan... But I actually believed it was Morrison before reading this. :-P
  • Andreea from Bucharest, United Statesi thought it was dylan too. :)))
  • Tristan from Philadelphia, PaSurely Robbie only sings the chorus, "look at my shoes" and so forth. I love this song, I've heard it been called a filler, but the southern soul sound is strange of the doors, but an easy listen, and a lot of fun at that.
  • Jim from Nokomis, IlDuring the making of the album, Jim was writing two poetry books "The American Prayer" and " The American Night"
  • Joshua from Twin Cities, MnThe first time I heard this, I thought it was Bob Dylan singing the chorus. Dylan and the Doors... that would have been an interesting combo.
  • Jim from Troy, NyJim sings most of the song. Robbie only sings the chorus.
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