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|Song by The Rolling Stones|
|from the album Exile on Main St.|
|Released||12 May 1972|
|Label||Rolling Stones Records|
"Sweet Virginia" is the sixth track on the Rolling Stones' 1972 double album Exile On Main St.. Recorded between 1971 and '72, "Sweet Virginia" is a slow country inspired song, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The song features a harmonica solo by Jagger, and a saxophone solo by Bobby Keys. Charlie Watts plays a country shuffle rhythm. An alternate version without the backing singers was released on bootlegs.
After the release of Exile on Main St., Allen Klein sued the Rolling Stones for breach of settlement because "Sweet Virginia" and four other songs on the album were composed while Jagger and Richards were under contract with his company, ABKCO. ABKCO acquired publishing rights to the songs, giving it a share of the royalties from Exile on Main St., and was able to publish another album of previously released Rolling Stones songs, More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies).
"Sweet Virginia" was performed by the Stones during their 1972 American tour, and was featured in the concert film Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones!, released in 1974. The Stones performed the song occasionally in 1973 and it returned to their set-lists on their 1994 Voodoo Lounge Tour, 2005 A Bigger Bang Tour, and 2017 No Filter Tour.
The song was also released as the B-side of the Stones' "Rocks Off" single in Japan.
- Mick Jagger – lead vocals, harmonica
- Keith Richards – guitar, backing vocals
- Mick Taylor – guitar, backing vocals
- Charlie Watts – drums
- Bill Wyman – bass guitar
- Ian Stewart – piano
- Bobby Keys – saxophone
- Gram Parsons, Clydie King, Venetta Fields, Dr. John, Shirley Goodman, Tammi Lynn – backing vocals
- Ciani, B. (2006). Great Rock Drummers of the Sixties (2nd ed.). Hal Leonard. p. 177. ISBN 9780634099250.
- Goodman, Fred (2015). Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 235–236. ISBN 978-0-547-89686-1.
- Mockingbird Foundation (2004). The Phish Companion: A Guide to the Band and Their Music. Hal Leonard. pp. 266, 313. ISBN 9780879307998.