Southern Nights (song)

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"Southern Nights"
Single by Glen Campbell
from the album Southern Nights
B-side "William Tell Overture"
Released January 17, 1977
Format 7"
Recorded October 2, 1976
Los Angeles, California
Genre Country pop
Length 3:00
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Allen Toussaint
Producer(s) Gary Klein
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Glen Campbell singles chronology
"See You On Sunday"
"Southern Nights"

"Southern Nights" is a song written by Allen Toussaint and recorded by American country music singer Glen Campbell. It was the first single released from Campbell's 1977 album Southern Nights and reached No. 1 on three separate US charts. It was covered by the Chicago band Whitney in 2015.[1]

Song history[edit]

The lyrics of "Southern Nights" were inspired by childhood memories Allen Toussaint had of visiting relatives in the Louisiana backwoods, which often entailed storytelling under star-filled nighttime skies.[2] When Campbell heard Toussaint's version, he immediately identified with the lyrics which reminded him of his own youth growing up on an Arkansas farm. In October 1976, Campbell recorded the song with slightly modified lyrics.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Released as a single in January 1977, "Southern Nights" immediately caught on with both country and pop audiences. The song featured a unique guitar lick that Campbell had learned from friend Jerry Reed. In late March, "Southern Nights" spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart marking it Campbell's fifth and final No. 1 country hit.[3]

In late April, the track reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart marking Campbell's second and last No. 1 pop hit.

The song also spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart marking Campbell's seventh hit on the chart.[4]


Preceded by
"Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" by Barbra Streisand
"Sam" by Olivia Newton-John
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single
February 26, 1977 - March 5, 1977 (two weeks)
March 26, 1977 - April 2, 1977 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Sam" by Olivia Newton-John
"Don't Give Up on Us" by David Soul
Preceded by
"She's Just an Old Love Turned Memory" by Charley Pride
Billboard Hot Country Singles number-one single
March 19, 1977 - March 26, 1977 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Lucille" by Kenny Rogers
Preceded by
"Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
April 30, 1977 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Hotel California" by Eagles


"Southern Nights" was certified gold in the United States for sales of 1 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America.[10] In 1977, the song was nominated for Song of the Year by the Country Music Association.[11]


  1. ^ "This Cover Of Allen Toussaint's "Southern Nights" Is Devastatingly Good". The FADER. Retrieved 2016-02-25. 
  2. ^ a b Ed Hogan. "Southern Nights - Glen Campbell | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 67. 
  4. ^ The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 9th Edition, 2010, Billboard Books, ISBN 978-0823085545
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  6. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Top 200 Singles of 1977" (PDF). RPM. 
  8. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  9. ^ Billboard. 1977-12-24. p. Front cover. Retrieved 2016-10-11. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived June 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]