(CBS 11) – One of the top summer songs of 1964 came from a group formed in Newcastle, England: The Animals.
Many of you are familiar with the main member: Eric Burdon.
Other members were Hilton Valentine (guitar), Alan Price (keyboards), “Chas” Chandler (bass), and John Steel (drums).
Price left in 1965 and replaced by Dave Rowberry. Chandler later went on the management side and discovered Jimi Hendrix in 1966. Steel left in 1966 and was replaced by Barry Jenkins. They still perform today and were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994.
The group is known for its hard-charging rock style mixed with R&B undertones. Several of the original members have since passed on, but those with the group today still perform.
Of the fourteen songs that the group charted between 1964-1968, only one got to #1 and it was right out of the gate: “The House Of The Rising Sun.” It is considered a traditional folk song, often called “Rising Sun Blues.”
If you remember the song, it talks about life going awry in New Orleans, urging siblings or parents and kids to avoid a similar fate. The version done by The Animals is probably the most notable to people. Since it is a folk ballad, the actual writer/composer of the song is nebulous at best.
Recorded May 18, 1964, produced by Mickie Most, running 4:18 on the Columbia Graphophone and MGM labels, the lyrics go like this:
There is a house down in New Orleans, they call the rising sun
And it’s been the ruin of many poor girl and me, oh God, I’m one
My mother was a tailor, she sewed these new blue jeans
My sweetheart was a gambler, Lord, down in New Orleans
Now the only thing a gambler needs is a suitcase and a trunk
And the only time he’s satisfied is when he’s on a drunk
He fills his glasses up to the brim and he’ll pass the cards around
And the only pleasure he gets out of life is rambling from town to town
Oh tell my baby sister, not to do what I have done
But shun that house in New Orleans they call the rising sun
Well with one foot on the platform and the other foot on the train
I’m going back to New Orleans to wear that ball and chain
I’m going back to New Orleans, my race is almost run
I’m going back to end my life down in the rising sun
There is a house in New Orleans they call the rising sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor girl and me, oh God, I’m one
The song was #1 on the U.S. Billboard, Canada, and the UK Singles Chart. You can hear this song on SIRIUS XM 60s On 6 and KLUV-FM HD2/Dallas Fort Worth.