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Sweet Home Alabama

“Sweet Home Alabama” was released in 1974 by the southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

“Sweet Home Alabama” found its inspiration from a guitar riff Gary Rossington played during practice.  This riff was used in the final recording of the song as a counterpoint between versus.  After hearing Rossington’s guitar riff, band member Ed King dreamt the chords and guitar riffs note for note that was used in the final version of “Sweet Home Alabama”.

A few famous lines from “Sweet Home Alabama” were created by complete accident.  “Turn it up” was not a part of the original lyrics but became an identifiable element of this song.  “Turn it up” was actually Ronnie Van Zant asking the producer to turn up the volume to Van Zant could hear himself better. 

The phrase “southern man” can be heared after the line “Well, I heard Mr. Young sing about her” .  Though this has become a trademark icon of the song, it was just the producer doing an impression of Neil Young while messing around during the recording session.

Controversy surrounded “Sweet Home Alabama”.  It was written in response to two songs by Neil Young (“Alabama” and “Southern Man”) which discussed racism and slavery in the south.  This accounts for the reference to Young in “Sweet Home Alabama”.  The lyrics about the governor were also misunderstood by the public.  “Boo!  Boo!  Boo!”  was misinterpreted as a joyous “Whoo!  Whoo!  Whoo!”.

“Sweet Home Alabama” has been covered by Boyz After Money Always as a rap remake and Kid Rock.

Jewel performed the song for the 2002 film Sweet Home Alabama.

That year in America:

Cost of gas:  55 cents/gallon

Average rent:  185

Cost of new car:  3,700

President Richard Nixon becomes first president forced to resign after the Watergate scandal

55 mph speed limit imposed to preserve gas usage around the country

Sears Tower became tallest building in the world

Amnesty program instated by Pres. Ford for deserters adn draft evaders during Vietnam

Largest series of tornados in history

That year in the world:

World wide inflation increased cost of fuel and food.

Lauren Morrow, MT-BC

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