Poor Side of Town

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"Poor Side of Town"
Single by Johnny Rivers
from the album Changes
B-side "A Man Can Cry" (non-LP track)
Released 1966
Genre Rock and roll, blue-eyed soul
Length 3:48 (album)
3:03 (single)
Label Imperial 66205
Songwriter(s) Johnny Rivers
Lou Adler
Producer(s) Lou Adler

"Poor Side of Town" is a song by Johnny Rivers that reached No.1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and on the RPM Canadian Chart in November 1966.


It was a very important record for Johnny Rivers and represented a change from the musical style (characterized by a Go Go sound), that provided him with his early hits and acclaim. With "Poor Side of Town", Rivers moved into the pop-soul style.

The melody is a soulful version of California-based pop, with some strong folk elements as well. Marty Paich provided the song's string arrangement.

There are two versions of the song. The single edit version fades out earlier, in order to avoid repetition, due to its length, following the repeated lyric line: "Oh with you by my side". The longer version goes on, finishing up the verse, and following the repeated guitar riff, repeats the sung introduction of the scatting, before the song fades out.

Cover versions[edit]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Beverly Bremers, I'll Make You Music Retrieved August 13, 2016.
Preceded by
"Last Train to Clarksville" by The Monkees
US Billboard Hot 100 number one single
November 12, 1966 (one week)
Succeeded by
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes
Preceded by
"Dandy" by Herman's Hermits
RPM Canadian Singles Chart number-one single
November 21, 1966 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Winchester Cathedral" by New Vaudeville Band