Airdate – Aug 07, 2022
In 1974, a Southern country/rock band had a Top Ten hit with a song that would create some controversy. Written by three of the band’s members, it was actually a response to two songs previously written and recorded by Neil Young …
In 1970 Neil Young came out with “Alabama” and “Southern Man.” These two songs rose the ire of three members of our featured band who felt compelled to write what is referred to as “answer song.”
What motivated the trio was that Young’s songs “took the entire South to task for the bloody history of slavery and its aftermath.”
In Young’s 2012 autobiography, ‘Waging Heavy Peace,’ he states “My own song ‘Alabama’ richly deserved the shot [that this band] gave me with their great record. I don’t like my words when I listen to it. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue.”
In addition to this, Neil Young is “called out” in this answer record via the following lyrics:
“Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ol’ Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow”
The song also takes a shot at George Wallace then the Governor of Alabama.
The lyrics may have been controversial but the guitar playing on this record is something else.
As soon as you hear the opening chords, you will know the song, one that has become an anthem in the South. It is the band’s signature song, and it wouldn’t be a complete concert without Lynyrd Skynyrd singing about “Sweet Home Alabama,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: