Nashville Cats

Album: Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful (1966)
Charted: 26 8
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  • This song is a celebration of the remarkable musicianship of Nashville, Tennessee guitar pickers who have been "Playin' since they's babies." John Sebastian held for the Nashville musicians in very high esteem.
  • The lyrics refer to the Sun Records company. While Sun was best known for first recording Elvis Presley, it also released songs by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ed - Cincinnati, OH

Comments: 22

  • Steve from OregonI'm glad he did also.
  • Uli Rohde from Heidelberg, GermanyI came here to finally find out who was the pedal steel player that played on "Nashville Cats". Here anything else is discussed, but nobody seems to care for the pedal steel on that song.
  • Gantrobus from BostonThanks, Radio Randy. That error in the song has bothered me for over 50 years, and I've always been amazed that no one else ever seemed to pick up on it!
  • Radio Randy from CincinnatiSam Phillips did not expand Sun Records to Nashville. Shelby Singleton bought the rights to Sun and moved the operation to Nashville in 1970, well after John Sebastian wrote this song. All of those famous "yellow Sun records" were made in Memphis, 200 air miles from Nashville. John just made a mistake.
  • Bill from UsaThis song makes me laugh out loud. Really, not just LOL, but actually laugh out loud. I can just picture John Sebastian in 1957, a 13-year-old musician, a "musical proverbial knee-high," asking in the record store for some songs that he liked, but couldn't find in the stores. He heard them "on the tubes," (i.e., not on the TV tube, but on an old-fashioned vacuum tube-type radio) and promised to spend his allowance if the record man would order them. What a great song!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 22nd 1967, the Loving' Spoonful performed "Nashville Cats" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time the song was at its peak position on the Top 100 {See the fourth post below}...
    On the same 'Sullivan' show the quartet also performed "Darling Be Home Soon*"; two weeks later on February 5th it entered the Top 100 at position #87, five weeks later on March 12th it peaked at #15 {for 1 week} and spent 8 weeks on the chart...
    * "Darling Be Home Soon" was featured in the Francis Ford Coppola movie 'You're a Big Boy Now'.
  • Burnley from United StatesThe most famous Nashville session players have now been officially honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame as "Nashville Cats" after this song.
  • Burnley from United StatesOne of the records referred to in the second verse was almost certainly Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line", which was released by Sun records the same year (1957) that songwriter John Sebastian turned 13. Further, "Nashville Cats" has the same rhythmic feel as "I Walk the Line".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyI'm must be getting old (69); I forget to included in my below post, on the same day that "Nashville Cats" peaked at #8 on the Top 100, they performed the song on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 22nd 1967, "Nashville Cats" by the Lovin' Spoonful peaked at #8 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 11th, 1966 and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was their 7th released record and last Top 10 entry; actually their first seven releases all made the Top 10...
    1. Do You Believe In Magic (#9 for 1 week)
    2. You Didn't Have To Be So Nice (#10 for 1 week)
    3. Daydream (#2 for 2 weeks)
    4. Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? (#2 for 2 weeks)
    5. Summer in the City (#1 for 3 weeks)
    6. Rain On The Roof (#10 for 1 week)
    7. And finally this one...
    Sadly, lead guitarist 'Zal' Yanovsky passed away on December 13th, 2002 at the young age of 57...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Mark from Dallas, TxRecently heard an interview with John Sebastian, author of this song. He said that he and the members of the band, the Spoonful, were actually in Nashville playing some big huge mega concert and were in a bar drinking when a then unknown 19 year old guitarist named Danny Gatton took the stage and proceeded to rip them a new one via his guitar licks. He said there they were, big huge stars of rock and roll, slumming around, and here was this young kid playing circles around anything they had ever attempted to play themselves. Needless to say, Danny Gatton is now a guitar legend. You guys should check him out when you can. Awesome stuff!

  • Chomper from Northampton County, PaJohnny, Los Angeles, CA...If you really, really like listening to The Loving Spoonful ; listen to their songs "Summer In The City" and "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" .. plus, John Sebastian song "Welcome Back" (Theme song from "Welcome Back, Kotter"). I think you'll like them. ( ^_^ )
  • Kizer from Holly Springs, MsSam Phillips expanded Sun Records with studios in Nashville.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdJohn (Dundee) I couldn't agree more. I was a little disappointed to see only a handful (5) of their songs here. I was hoping for the likes of Rain on the Roof, or Six O'clock, or Darlin' Be Home Soon, or She's a Lady, or The Dr. Said Give Him Jug Band Music, etc. *** Joshua (TwinCities) & Robin (Morrisburg) -- I believe Josh is right about pro teams named after *a specific song*. The Blues are named after a whole genre of music, and there is at least one other example of this -- the Jazz (NBA, orig. in N. Orleans, now in SLC, UT??). There is, perhaps, one more, although it's admittedly a (very long) stretch: poets of old used to refer to poetry as "song," and there is one pro team named after a poem--the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, after Edgar Allan Poe's poem, The Raven. (Poe did much of his writing while living in Balt., and died there.) *** Andy (Custer, SD) You know, I always thought I was hearing, "the record man said everyone was yellin' some (or ", son,") record from Nashville," but your way makes more sense, now that I know about Sun Records.
  • John from Dundee, United KingdomHey Y'all,
    This is about guitar players from Nashville.
    Interestingly enough, one of the most successful session guitar players in Nashville is from bleedin' London. Albert Lee. I see from some comments that you haven't much experience of JS and the Lovin' Spoonful, go get it. Wonderful writer/human being.
  • Robin from Morrisburg, CanadaIn reply to Joshua's comments, what about the St. Louis Blues of the NHL? They're not a major league team but the hockey team from Macon Georgia is known as the Macon Whooppee.
  • Andy from Custer, SdSun records was in Memphis. However the song clearly states "the record man said every one was a yellow Sun record from Nashville"
    Del McCoury Band's bluegrass cover of this song is brilliant, even better than the original.
  • John from Mt Sterling, KySun records was in Memphis, not Nashville.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI am 13. I am hearing this song for the first time and I like it. It sounds like Johnny Cash. The Lovin Spoonful are unique apparently, I haven't heard much of their stuff.
  • Joshua from Twin Cities, MnArena Football's Nashville team is nicknamed the Kats, presumably after this song. It is one of only two North American teams in major pro sports to be named after a song (the other being the NFL's New Orleans Saints, after the traditional "When The Saints Go Marching In").
  • Leah from Houston, TxI love this song. Mostly because I am from Nashville and the lyrics describes the inhabitants of this great city perfectly.
  • Brian from Meriden, CtInteresting, Ed.

    Even though Roy conjured visual images of "Halloween at the old folks'home," no singer even came close to the Big O.
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