Detour (song)

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(There's A Muddy Road Ahead)
Song by Spade Cooley and His Orchestra
Form Western swing
Writer Paul Westmoreland
Language English
Recorded by Patti Page
and many other artists

"Detour (There's A Muddy Road Ahead)" is a Western swing ballad written by Paul Westmoreland in 1945. The original version was by Jimmy Walker with Paul Westmoreland and His Pecos River Boys, issued around the beginning of November 1945.[1]

The title comes from the repetition of detour in the chorus:

Detour, there's a muddy road ahead.
Detour, paid no mind to what it said.
Detour, all these bitter things I find.
Should have read that detour sign.

Written in the first person, the song tells of the singer's regrets for the choices made in life.

"Headed down life's crooked road Lots of things I never knowed, And because of me not knowin', I now pine. Trouble got in the trail, Spent the next five years in jail, Should have read that detour sign." (chorus)

Spade Cooley (Columbia 36935), with Tex Williams on vocals, had a big hit with it in 1946, spending 11 weeks on the charts, reaching #2.[2] Other artist scoring big with the song in 1946 included Wesley Tuttle, #3, Elton Britt, #5, and Foy Willing, #6.[3]

A well-known version of the song was the popular recording by Patti Page in 1951. It was released by Mercury Records as catalog number 5682, and first entered the Billboard chart on August 4, 1951, staying for 16 weeks and peaking at #5.[4]

Notable cover versions were recorded by Bill Haley & His Comets for Warner Bros. Records (1960; not released as a single), Ella Fitzgerald with Herb Ellis, Dean Martin on his 1965 album Houston and an Instrumental version by Duane Eddy, on his(1958) album "Have 'Twangy Guitar Will Travel".

Other songs named "Detour"[edit]

In 1999 the Scottish band Bis released their own song entitled "Detour"; it barely charted in the UK, reaching #84.

Sheryl Crow released Detours, the title track of her album Detours, as a single in 2008; it reached #14 on the US Billboard Triple A (adult album alternative) chart.


  1. ^ Billboard, November 3, 1945
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Billboard Books. p. 89. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Billboard Books. p. 423. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.