Thursday, March 5, 2009

[Country Roads] Johnny Rivers is Back in the Halls

In the March 2009 issue of Country Roads

Johnny Rivers' hits come home for his high school fundraiser.
by Alex V. Cook
March 2009

A hit song is a very special thing. There is no special sonic or structural attribute that makes a song a hit song; a hit song does not have to even be a particularly “good” song by any measure, it just has to occur at the precise right nexus of time, culture and sound. A true hit is a song that is suddenly everywhere, and the strangest thing about it is that it stays everywhere.

Baton Rouge native Johnny Rivers has such a song under his belt. “Secret Agent Man” was written by the songwriting team of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan and performed by Rivers for the 1964-1968 spy drama Secret Agent, an American repackaging of the British series Danger Man. “Secret Agent Man” is the third of the trio of classic spy themes that also includes Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn Theme” and the famous 007 theme by Monty Norman, both of which have echoes in the Johnny Rivers song.


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