Ramblin' Rose

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Posted: 2009 02-06


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The MC5 near the end of the line on Beat-Club in March 1972

This 1972 version of “Ramblin’ Rose” comes to us from Radio Breman’s Beat-Club archives and was aired for the first time on European television in January 2009. Shot against bluescreen, it was broadcast in raw unedited form without the cheesy chromakey solarization effects so beloved by German video engineers of the period. Once you watch this clip you’ll agree that the addition of any psychedelic window dressing to this performance would have been entirely superfluous: there is more visual excitement and dynamism in these four minutes than is typically found in 400 MTV-style music videos.

Written by Noel and Joe Sherman in 1962, Ramblin' Rose is a simple but catchy R&B standard that has been covered by everyone from Nat King Cole to Hank Snow. The MC5 selected it to open their 1969 debut album "Kick Out The Jams", an explosive live record full of revolutionary rhetoric and over-the-top rock grandstanding that would influence generations of garage rockers and earn the band a place in the history books as the rightful progenitors of punk.

In 1972 however, the Motor City Five were struggling to make it. They’d been dumped by their first label Elektra, and their follow up record “Back In The USA” had failed to ignite the charts.  A third outing, “High Time” was well liked by critics but its poor sales caused Atlantic to drop the band. By early 1972 the group made a last ditch attempt to woo the European market, but problems dogged them still: bassist Michael Davis left the group in February after his rampant heroin use took its toll on his band mates and they forced him out.

This clip was shot in March of 1972 with Englishman Steve Moorhouse replacing Davis on bass. Guitarist Wayne Kramer takes on the lead vocal duties, his voice spending most of the song in a high falsetto register, while a gum-chewing Rob Tyner backs him up on the chorus with a deep gravelly baritone. Kramer’s keen guitar playing and kinetic rock-star posturing are key to the enjoyment of this propulsive clip, as are the glittery outfits, frilly shirts and swivel-happy dance moves of the two frontmen. The guitar work of Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith and drumming of Dennis Thompson round out a very well balanced power-rock equation.

Watching a band in such fine musical form exhibit such sure-footed stagecraft it’s hard to believe that they were so close to dissolution: a scant nine months later they would play their last show together back in Detroit’s Grandee Ballroom, where their first record had been recorded in 1968.



weatherhed's picture

The MC5...1967! Westfield High School in New Jersey. I couldn't hear for 2 days...but I was born!

YouTube Uploader: fritz51327

MC5 - Ramblin' Rose 1972
Released 1969

(Preparation for this song)

Love is like a Ramblin' Rose
The more you feed it
The more it grows,
Ramblin'Rose, Ramblin'Rose,
Come on home

Ramblin' Rose,
Is such a ball
Diamond rings
And a Cadillac car,
Ramblin' Rose, Ramblin' Rose
Come on home

Ramblin' Rose
Ramblin' around,
Ramblin' Rose
I'm gonna put you down
Ramblin' Rose, Ramblin' Rose
Come on home

Love is like a Ramblin' Rose
The more you feed it,
The more it grows
Ramblin' Rose, Ramblin' Rose
Come on home

I need a Ramblin' Rose
Ramblin' Rose .....

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Ramblin' Rose on Wikipedia
"Ramblin' Rose"
Single by Nat King Cole
LabelCapitol Records
Writer(s)Noel Sherman and Joe Sherman
Producer(s)Lee Gillette

"Ramblin' Rose" is a 1962 popular song written by brothers Noel Sherman and Joe Sherman and popularized by Nat King Cole.[1]


  • 1 Original song release
  • 2 Covers and similar songs
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Original song release

Cole's recording of the song was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 4804. It reached number two on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts and sold over a million copies as a single. In 1962 the song spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Easy Listening chart and the Australian charts, while on the R&B chart, the song reached number seven.[2] It was released as a single from Cole's album of the same name, which also was a million seller. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Record of the Year.

Covers and similar songs

The song has been covered by many artists, particularly country music artists.

There are four country versions of the song. Sonny James recorded the song first in July 1968 and released it five years later on the album The Gentleman from the South in 1973.[3] Johnny Lee's version reached number 37 on the Billboard country chart in 1977.[4] The following year, singer Hank Snow's version charted at number 93.[5] In 1978, Johnny Rodriguez released a cover of the song on the album Love Me with All Your Heart.[6]

Petula Clark released a French version in 1962, titled "Les Beaux Jours". Her recording reached #10 in the French charts in 1963.[7]

Others recording this version of the song were Charley Pride 1962, Roy Rogers 1962, Billy Vaughn, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Vinton, Engelbert Humperdinck, Paul Anka, Floyd Cramer, [8] (an unknown home recording but was definitely slated for recording between August 22-23, 1967, at RCA Studio A, Hollywood. However the session was cancelled after one of Elvis' employees accidentally killed a pedestrian while driving one of Elvis' cars), Chuck Berry 1967, George Benson, the Mills Brothers, Dean Martin 1973, Marvin Gaye 1976, and Slim Whitman.

There is a different song called "Ramblin' Rose," recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis and MC5 in the 1960s; although it has the same title it is a different song, written by Wilkin and Burch, and not to be confused with the Nat King Cole hit.

Neither of those songs should be confused with "Rambling Rose," a light pop song from the 1940s, with music by Joseph Burke and lyrics by Joseph Allan McCarthy Jr. It has been recorded by a number of singers, most notably Perry Como.

See also

  • List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1962 (U.S.)


  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 22 - Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66: A skinny dip in the easy listening mainstream. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.  Track 5.
  2. ^ "Nat King Cole Top Songs". Music VF. 2016. 
  3. ^ "Sonny James – The Gentleman From The South". Discogs. 2016. 
  4. ^ "Johnny Lee Top Songs". Music VF. 2016. 
  5. ^ "Hank Snow Top Songs". Music VF. 2016. 
  6. ^ "Johnny Rodriguez (4) – Love Me With All Your Heart". Discogs. 2016. 
  7. ^ Petula Clark: French chart hits
  8. ^ Elvis Presley
  • Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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