Catfish John

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Catfish John"
Single by Johnny Russell
from the album Catfish John / Chained
B-side "Promises of Your Love"
Released November 6, 1972
Genre Country
Length 2:48
Label RCA
Writer(s) Allen Reynolds
Bob McDill
Producer(s) Jerry Bradley
Johnny Russell singles chronology
"Rain Falling on Me"
"Catfish John"

"Catfish John" is a song written by Bob McDill and Allen Reynolds, and recorded by American country music artist Johnny Russell. It was released in November 1972 as the fourth single from the album, "Catfish John"/"Chained".[1] The song is credited with propelling Bob McDill into the front ranks of country songwriters.[1]

The song has also been performed by Jerry Garcia (Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, Grateful Dead), as well as other musicians.[2] Toots Hibbert recorded the song on Fire on the Mountain: Reggae Celebrates the Grateful Dead (Pow Wow), a Grateful Dead tribute album.[3][4] It has also been performed and recorded by Alison Krauss and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.


The song is about story of a former slave which emphasizes difficulties of the everyday life at the time.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1972-1973) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 12
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 3


  1. ^ a b Edward Morris Songwriter Bob McDill Talks About His Many Hits Legendary Tunesmith Submits to Rare Interview at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum July 4, 2008 CMT News
  2. ^ Robert MargolisTrey, Weir Honor Garcia Disciples and old friends honor late Dead frontman in Berkeley Sep 26, 2005 Rolling Stone
  3. ^ Mike Joyce New Releases: Pop The Washington Post June 16, 1996
  4. ^ FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN' CELEBRATES GRATEFUL DEAD MUSIC August 8, 1996, All Things Considered on NPR
  5. ^ Randall, Alice; Carter Little; Courtney Little (2006). My Country Roots: The Ultimate MP3 Guide to America's Original Outsider Music. Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 92. ISBN 1-59555-860-8.