Radio Favorites – Nashville Cats

Because it’s custom made for any mothers son to be a guitar picker in Nashville

As a record collector, I went out and hunted down a lot of my favorites but obviously came nowhere near getting them all. These are some of the favorites that I didn’t own at the time.

I never owned this single but always liked the song when I heard it on the radio. It has that country vibe that I inherited from my Mother. It was on The Lovin’ Spoonful’s third studio album, Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful. The album was released in 1966 by Kama Sutra Records and peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.

The album featured that little old “Summer in the City” song that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Nashville Cats/Full Measure” (KA-219) was released as a single in December of 1966. Principal songwriter John Sebastian said of “Nashville Cats” — which made No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 —

“We thought our version would cross over to the country market. It never did. So we’re always kind, gee, well I guess that tells us what we are and what we aren’t.”

Flatt & Scruggs took “Nashville Cats” to No. 54 on the country charts as a single.

Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful Personnel
  • John Sebastian – lead and backing vocals, guitar, twelve-string guitar, autoharp, piano, organ, harmonium, ocarina, pedal steel guitar, Irish harp
  • Zal Yanovsky – electric and acoustic guitars, backing and lead vocals, banjo, slide whistle
  • Steve Boone – electric bass, double bass, piano, organ, percussion
  • Joe Butler – drums, backing, and lead vocals, percussion
  • Henry Diltz – clarinet, photography
  • Artie Schroeck – electric piano
  • Larry Hankin – Jew’s harp
  • Erik Jacobsen – producer
  • Roy Halee – engineer

This song is a celebration of the remarkable musicianship of Nashville, Tennessee guitar pickers who have been “Playin’ since they’re babies.” John Sebastian held the Nashville musicians in very high esteem.

The lyrics refer to the Sun Records company. While Sun was best known for first recording Elvis Presley, it also released songs by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison.

Nashville Cats by the Lovin' Spoonful

Nashville cats, play clean as country water
Nashville cats, play wild as mountain dew
Nashville cats, been playin' since they's babies
Nashville cats, get work before they're two

Well, there's thirteen hundred and fifty two
Guitar pickers in Nashville
And they can pick more notes than the number of ants
On a Tennessee ant hill
Yeah, there's thirteen hundred and fifty two
Guitar cases in Nashville
And any one that unpacks 'is guitar could play
Twice as better than I will

Yeah, I was just thirteen, you might say I was a
Musical proverbial knee-high
When I heard a couple new-sounding tunes on the tubes
And they blasted me sky-high
And the record man said every one is a yellow sun
Record from Nashville
And up north there ain't nobody buys them
And I said, "But I Will"

And it was


Well, there's sixteen thousand eight hundred 'n' twenty one
Mothers from Nashville
All their friends play music, and they ain't uptight
If one of the kids will
Because it's custom made for any mothers son
To be a guitar picker in Nashville
And I sure am glad I got a chance to say a word about
The music and the mothers from Nashville


Kick it

Further Reading


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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