July 14

What Makes Johnny Lee’s Pickin’ Up Strangers A Notable Song

The ’80s was a wonderful time to be listening to country music. And Johnny Lee’s Pickin’ Up Strangers is one of those songs that embodies classic country music. 

It is a song penned by Byron Hill and was released as the third single from Lee’s Lookin’ for Love album in January 1981. 

Johnny Lee is among the current members of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Texas. In 1979, he was cast in the TV Movie, The Girls in the Office. He also played in the movie, “Urban Cowboy,” and sung several soundtracks for the film. His name became renowned with the OST, Lookin for Love

It was then followed by another movie, Coast to Coast, in which he sang the soundtrack, Pickin’ Up Strangers. It was an American comedy movie featuring Robert Blake and Dyan Cannon. It was about a rich madwoman who breaks out from a New York mental hospital and gets a lift back to California with a grumpy man in a cattle truck. They eventually fell in love while running away from a repo man and some thugs. 

The soundtrack, Pickin’ Up Strangers by Johnny Lee, got an award from ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) for being one of the most played country tunes of 1981. ASCAP is a membership organization of over 800,000 music publishers, songwriters, and melodists. 

This is another of Johnny Lee’s songs that entered the uppermost rank in the music chart. It reached the #3 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and #4 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart. 

If you want to hear classic, REAL country music, listen to Johnny Lee’s Pickin’ Up Strangers below.


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johnny lee


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