Small Town

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"Small Town"
Single by John Mellencamp
from the album Scarecrow
B-side "Small Town" (acoustic version)
Released November 2, 1985
Format 7"
Recorded Belmont Mall Studio, April 17, 1985
Genre Heartland rock, roots rock
Length 3:42
Label Riva Records
Writer(s) John Mellencamp
Producer(s) John Mellencamp, Don Gehman
John Mellencamp singles chronology
"Lonely Ol' Night"
(1985)
"Small Town"
(1985)
"R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A."
(1986)

"Small Town" is a song written by John Mellencamp and released on his 1985 album Scarecrow. The song reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1]

Content[edit]

Mellencamp wrote the song about his experiences growing up in a small town in Indiana, having been born in Seymour, Indiana, and living in Bloomington, Indiana, which, at the time of the release of the song, was much smaller. The music video has references to both towns. After that, Mellencamp has been known as champion of "small town America."

In popular culture[edit]

NBA legend and fellow Indiana native Larry Bird used this song on his retirement ceremony in 1993, particularly referring his town French Lick, Indiana as a "small town." It was also used for him in the NBA Superstars video series.

"Small Town" was featured in the 1998 movie The Waterboy.

While he was married to Elaine Irwin, Mellencamp would change the lyrics from "married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town/Now she's small town just like me" to "my wife was 13 years when I wrote this song/Now she's small town just like me." Irwin was 18 years Mellencamp's junior, so she was a teenager when Mellencamp wrote the song in the mid-80s, although they didn't meet until 1991. The "L.A. Doll" Mellencamp sings of in the original version was his then-wife Victoria Granucci.

The song was used as the opening theme to the television movie, The Ryan White Story.

"Small Town" was also used as the theme song for the Discovery Times documentary series Off to War, which covered Arkansas Army National Guard soldiers, most of them from rural Clarksville, Arkansas, during their tour of duty in Operation: Iraqi Freedom.

The song is played after Green Bay Packers games.

For a while, it was performed by Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra prior to and in closing the Small Town News sketches featured on Late Show with David Letterman.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]