Johnny Russell | Photo credit: discogs.com

Given that you love to sing along and jukebox hits are your cup of tea, you’ve probably tried singing “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer.” The song was by the late American country music artist Johnny Russell. Upon its release in the ‘70s, it became a staple jukebox hit. You could hear it being played or sung in every bar and honky-tonk in the country. As a result, it has been considered as one of the greatest sing-along songs in country music history.

The Great Jukebox Song

“Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer” is basically a drinking song. It was sung from the perspective of a local pub’s client. Here, the narrator gives a picture of the place by describing what’s going on there. At the beginning of the song, the narrator expresses his belongingness to the place. It’s where his likes perfectly fit with his “red necks, white socks, and blue ribbon beer.” Some guys who passed annoying the barmaid was what the narrator first mentioned. He then made reference to Webb Pierce’s famous country song There Stands the Glassbeing played on the jukebox while noting the cigarette smoke hanging in the air.

He went on to describe what some other people are doing in the second stanza. In one corner was a cowboy “cursin’ the pinball machine” while on the other side was a drunk one who’s “get-tin’ noisy and mean.” The narrator also cited a guy who’s on the phone saying he’ll be home soon to his wife. Because of the crowd’s rowdy character, the narrator affirmed there’s no right place for them to be in except there. Apparently, they’re not fitted in “that white collar crowd.”

A Few Facts of the Song

“Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer” is a collaborative composition of Bob McDill and Wayland Holyfield. It was released as the first single on Russell’s album of the same name in July 1973. The song became a Top 5 hit on the country music chart peaking at No. 4. After the song, Russell did not have any other record that entered the chart’s Top 10. Meanwhile, the song was even more popular in Canada hitting the No. 1 spot on RPM Country Tracks chart. Consequently, “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer” gave Russell his only top country single.

Watch a clip of Russell performing the song below.

Additional Trivia

Johnny Russell may not have a No. 1 country record but he’s written several songs that went on to the chart’s top for other singers. A great example of this was the song Act Naturallywhich became a top country hit for Buck Owens. Russell also penned the song Let’s Fall to Pieceswhich was a No. 1 single for George Strait.

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