Songwriter Peter Noah had never been to San Antonio, Texas. He admittedly was at a loss to explain why the phrase “San Antonio Stroll” popped into his head. But it did and he took that phrase and made up a little story to go along with it.
Noah wrote the song “San Antonio Stroll” in Chicago during the spring of 1972. It was more than three years before Tanya Tucker released it as a single. He was taking college courses by day and the performing in small clubs by night. Noah started writing the song in the parking lot of one of those clubs. Eventually, he moved out to Los Angeles to be part of a band. He presented a demo version of “San Antonio Stroll” in his living room and after the group broke up. He did some studio work for one of his former bandmates. In return, two of Noah’s songs were recorded, one being “San Antonio Stroll.”
Working from Noah’s original demo, bass, drums and a banjo were added. The mandolin figure was kept. The engineer on the session had a connection with Chapell Music Publishing and he took the song over there.
Nothing happened with “San Antonio Stroll” for more than 18 months and though Noah kept writing songs. He was also latched onto a job writing questions for a Hawaii-based TV game show called “Diamondhead.” While working on that show, Peter learned that Snuff Garrett intended to record the song with Tanya Tucker in Los Angeles. A few days later, Garrett called Peter in Hawaii telling him how much he loved “San Antonio Stroll”. However, that it was a bit too long and asked for permission to edit it for time. Noah agreed but did the re-write himself, shortening the song by combining the second and third verses.
Recording of Tanya Tucker of the song “San Antonio Stroll” followed her previous single, the number one hit “Lizzie And The Rainman”. Peter Noah was 24 years old at the time and seemingly was on the verge of becoming a top composer. However, “San Antonio Stroll” turned out to be his only hit as a songwriter. Five years later, he decided to drop songwriting and turn his attention toward television. He later earned writer/producer credits on several popular television shows during the 1980s.
Peter Noah, San Antonio Stroll, songwriters, Tanya Tucker
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