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Nashville Teens

Nashville Teens

They weren't from Nashville and they weren't teens but the Nashville Teens were one of countless '60s British groups playing Blues through a Rock filter. Their lasting legacy is their rendition of John D. Loudermilk's "Tobacco Road." Crude, pile driving guitar/bass powered verses gave way to a rollicking piano chorus. That, and down and dirty vocals, turned "Tobacco Road" into a Garage Rock staple.

Formed in '62, vocalist Arthur Sharpe, drummer Barry Jenkins, guitarists John Allen and Pete Shannon and bassist Ray Phillips, served as the backing band for several U.S. stars touring Europe, including Bo Diddley and Jerry Lee Lewis. They were behind Lewis' on his career high "Live At The Star Club, Hamburg." Teamed with producer Mickey Most, the Nashville Teens signed with Decca Records and unleashed "Tobacco Road."

Like countless other groups the Nashville Teens only got one shot - at least in the U.S. U.K. hit "Google Eye" was their only other notable success. By '66, changing tastes made Blues oriented Rock a hard sell - even in the U.K. Attempts to move the group in a pop direction failed to attract new fans and alienated existing ones. Jenkins left to join Eric Burdon and the Animals. The group appeared in a handful of cheap "youth oriented" U.K. films that did nothing to help their career. They finally pulled the plug in '73.

Nashville Teens Discography

Their "Tobacco Road" album with several raunchy Blues/Rock tunes, including the title track, is as good as they got.

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