Friday, December 2, 2011

The Hooters - "500 Miles"

500 Miles - Hooterization: A Retrospective

(Debuted December 9, 1989, Peaked #97, 4 Weeks on the Chart)

For the final entry from 1989, here's a song that was literally charting at the very end of the year. It was on the Hot 100 for exactly four weeks (though one of those weeks was frozen because Billboard releases a double-length holiday issue at the end of the year). When the first survey of 1990 appeared, this song had dropped away.

This is not a version of the 1993 Proclaimers hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles);" instead, it's a remake of a song that was written by Hedy West and performed by several acts during the 1960s folk revival including Peter, Paul & Mary, The Journeymen and The Kingston Trio. A version with new lyrics called "500 Miles Away From Home" was a huge country/pop crossover hit for Bobby Bare in 1963.

Featuring backing vocals by Peter, Paul and Mary (clearly heard as the song fades out), the lyrics explain that a man is far from home, out of money and either too proud or too ashamed to return. It ended up being the final Hot 100 listing for the Philadelphia-based band The Hooters before being dropped bu their record label. The new decade saw them gain popularity in foreign countries just as their fortunes flagged in the U.S., so they would focus on the international market before taking a hiatus in 1995.

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