Initially envisioned as a concept album about a character named Johnny Cutler, an everyman of the Deep South, a demo of which was recorded by Newman on February 1, 1973. These 13 songs were subsequently released as the bonus disc for the 2002 reissue, entitled Johnny Cutler's Birthday.
The kernel of this concept survived into the released album, although as Newman's take on viewpoints from the inhabitants of the Deep South in general, rather than from a single individual character. As on his previous release, Newman addressed generally taboo topics such as slavery and racism, most stringently on the opening song "Rednecks," a simultaneous satire on institutional racism in the Deep South and the hypocrisy of the northern states in response.
On the same day as the album, the track "Guilty" was released as Reprise single 1324, with "Naked Man" on the B-side, and on January 29, 1975, the track "Louisiana 1927" was released as Reprise single 1387, with "Marie" on the flip. Neither single appeared on the Billboard Hot 100.
On May 21, 2002, an expanded edition of the album was issued by Rhino Records on compact disc, including a bonus track demo of "Marie" and a second disc containing the February, 1973 demos entitled Johnny Cutler's Birthday. Included in these demo recordings are Newman's verbal descriptions of sound effects and other characters, the songs as a whole describing a narrative in the vein of integrated musicals dating from the 1940s. "Doctor, Doctor" is an early version of "Back on My Feet Again". The song "Marie" was used in the family film "Paulie" in 1998.