Wagon Wheel (song)
"Wagon Wheel" cover
|Song by Old Crow Medicine Show from the album O.C.M.S.|
|Released||February 24, 2004|
|Recorded||2003 at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee|
|Genre||Country, folk, bluegrass|
|Writer||Bob Dylan, Ketch Secor|
|O.C.M.S. track listing|
"Wagon Wheel" is a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan and later completed by Old Crow Medicine Show. Old Crow Medicine Show's version was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in November 2011. The song has also been covered by blues artist Matt Andersen, in 2005, Against Me! and Jeremy McComb in 2007, and Darius Rucker in 2013.
The song describes a hitchhiking journey south along the eastern coast of the United States, from New England in the northeast, through Philadelphia, with the intended destination of Raleigh, North Carolina, where the protagonist hopes to see his lover. Old Crow Medicine Show's version of the song is in 2/2 time signature, with an approximate tempo of 76 half notes per minute. It is in the key of A major, with the main chord pattern of A-E-F♯m-D.
Background and writing 
"Wagon Wheel" is composed of two different parts. The chorus and melody for the song comes from a demo recorded by Bob Dylan during the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid sessions. Although never officially released, the Dylan song was released on a bootleg and is usually named after the chorus and its refrain of "Rock Me Mama." Although Dylan left the song an unfinished sketch, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show wrote verses for the song around Dylan's original chorus. Secor's additional lyrics transformed "Rock Me Mama" into "Wagon Wheel." Secor has stated the song is partially autobiographical. The song has become extremely popular since its inclusion on Old Crow Medicine Show's major label debut, O.C.M.S. in 2004, although the song appeared in earlier form on the now out of print "Troubles Up and Down the Road" EP in 2001. Dylan's song is often credited to "A. Crudup.", and the official publishing information is Dylan/Secor.
As Chris 'Critter' Fuqua of Old Crow describes it . .
' I'd gotten a (Bob) Dylan bootleg in like ninth grade and I let (band co-founder) Ketch (Secor) listen to it, and he wrote the verses because Bob kind of mumbles them and that was it. We've been playing that song since we were like 17, and it's funny because we've never met Dylan, but the song is technically co-written by Bob Dylan. What's great about "Wagon Wheel" is that it has grown organically. The popularity of it was all based on word of mouth. There was no radio airplay for it. We made a music video for it, but it wasn't "November Rain" or anything. No one was like, "Oh my God, what's this video about?" And 16 years later, it went gold, then Darius Rucker cut it.'
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||40,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,167,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Darius Rucker version 
|Single by Darius Rucker|
|from the album True Believers|
|Released||January 7, 2013|
|Genre||Country, Americana, bluegrass|
|Length||4:58 (album version)|
|Darius Rucker singles chronology|
Darius Rucker joined Old Crow Medicine Show at the Grand Ole Opry July 6, 2012, "for a special rendition of ‘Wagon Wheel.’" The fans "went crazy over Rucker’s cover of the Old Crow Medicine Show hit," setting the stage for his tweeted announcement: "Secret out after @opry perf. I recorded a version of ‘Wagon Wheel’ for my new record & @ladyantebellum sings on track.” The new album, True Believers, is his third solo project on Capitol Records. Rucker's cover is the album's second single.
The song did not at first appeal to Rucker. "Somebody had played ‘Wagon Wheel’ for me years ago," he says. "It was one of those things that I didn’t really get." The faculty band at his daughter's high school performing had a different effect, as he relates . .
"So, I’m at my daughter’s high school talent show, and I’m sitting in the audience with my family. We were watching my daughter, and the faculty band gets up. It’s just the faculty from her school, and they play ‘Wagon Wheel.’ I’m sitting in the audience, and they get to the middle of the chorus, and I turned to my wife, and I go, ‘I’ve got to cut this song.’ I’m serious. This all happened in three-and-a-half minutes, four minutes, while they’re playing the song."
"I called up Charles [Kelley] and he said 'yes', and then a couple day(s) later I ran into Dave (Haywood) and Hillary (Scott) at a concert and mentioned it to them and they said sure. Two days later they were in the studio doing it . . Lady Antebellum took the song to a new level. Up until they added their vocals, I thought it was another song on the record."
Critical reception 
Matt Bjorke of Roughstock gave Rucker's version a five-star rating. Billy Dukes of Taste of Country gave Rucker's version four and a half stars out of five. As to the reaction of the originating group, Rucker says . .
"I'm obviously a risk taker. I left Hootie & The Blowfish to come and play country music, so I'm ok with risks. But, I just loved the song. I just thought it would be a great song to cut. I think the Old Crow Medicine Show guys are very happy about it, and that's all that matters to me."
When asked what he thought of this version of the song, Chris 'Critter' Fuqua of Old Crow Medicine Show replied:
'I love it. He actually played with us at (The Grand Ole) Opry, and it was great. I think he sees something special in that song and understands it. He's a country music fan and, more than that, he just loves music and loves playing. I'm really glad he cut the track. It's been good for him and good for us, but I'm just waiting for the time when people come up to me and say, "I love when you guys played that Darius Rucker cover."'
Music video 
Chart performance 
Rucker's "Wagon Wheel" debuted at number 51 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay chart for the week of January 19, 2013. It also debuted at number 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of January 26, 2013. It debuted at 96 on the U.S. Billboard Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of February 6, 2013; it debuted at 72 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart for the week of February 13, 2013. In its 10th chart week, March 20, 2013, Rucker's version made "a strong move" on Hot Country Songs, going from 11 to 5, and to 18 on Country Airplay (to 14.7 million, up 20%). Old Crow's original (from 2004) sold 15,000 and ranked 28 on Country Digital Songs the same week. The song reached number one on Hot Country Songs in its 12th week. It is his most successful song as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 16. The song has sold 1,098,000 copies in the US as of May 2013.
Charts and certifications 
Weekly charts 
"Sure Be Cool If You Did"
by Blake Shelton
|Billboard Hot Country Songs
April 13, 2013
by Florida Georgia Line
- "BMI entry for Wagon Wheel". Repertoire.bmi.com. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
- Thom Jurek, "Review: Old Crow Medicine Show", Allmusic
- "American single certifications – Old Crow Medicine Show – Wagon Wheel". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- "'Wagon Wheel' sheet music". MusicNotes.com. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Donohue, Patrick (15 May 2013). "Old Crow Medicine Show talks touring, Darius Rucker and Wagon Wheel". The Island Packet. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Canadian single certifications – Old Crow Medicine Crow – Wagon Wheel". Music Canada. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- Matt Bjorke (March 27, 2013). "Country Chart News - The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of March 27, 2013: Darius Rucker "Wagon Wheel" #1: Blake Shelton #2; Justin Moore "Point At You" Highest Debut". Roughstock. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- Conaway, Alanna (July 11, 2012). "Darius Rucker’s New Album Will Feature ‘Wagon Wheel’ Duet With Lady Antebellum". Taste of Country. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- Stromblad, Cory. "Darius Rucker Inspired to Record ‘Wagon Wheel’ in Unlikely Place". Taste of Country. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Dukes, Billy (December 17, 2012). "Darius Rucker, ‘Wagon Wheel’ – Song Review". Taste of Country. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- Dauphin, Chuck (7 April 2013). "Darius Rucker Hosts ACM Golf Classic, Talks Surprise No. 1 Single: 'I'm a Risk Taker'". billboard. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Chart Highlights: Rolling Stones Debut On Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- "Country Songs Week of January 26, 2013". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
- "The sibling trio launches its new single at No. 23. Plus, Darius Rucker storms the top five and Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift's new duet soars". billboard. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- Matt Bjorke (May 16, 2013). "Country Chart News - The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of May 15 2013: Florida Georgia Line "Cruise" To #1; Danielle Bradbery Debuts Top 10, Kenny Chesney's "Pirate Flag" Gold". Roughstock. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
- "Darius Rucker Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Darius Rucker. Prometheus Global Media.
- "Darius Rucker Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Darius Rucker. Prometheus Global Media.
- "Darius Rucker Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Country Airplay for Darius Rucker. Prometheus Global Media.
- "Darius Rucker Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Country Songs for Darius Rucker. Prometheus Global Media.
- "American single certifications – Darius Rucker – Wagon Wheel". Recording Industry Association of America. April 11, 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH