Hot Rod Lincoln
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|"Hot Rod Lincoln"|
|Single by Charlie Ryan and the Livingston Bros.|
|B-side||"Hank Williams Goodbye"|
|"Hot Rod Lincoln"|
|Single by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen|
|from the album Lost in the Ozone|
|B-side||"My Home in My Hand"|
|Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen singles chronology|
The car race is described between two hot rod cars, a Ford and a Mercury, which stay neck-and-neck until both are overtaken by "a kid in a hopped-up Model A". "Hot Rod Lincoln" is sung from the perspective of this third driver, whose own hot rod is a Ford Model A body with a Lincoln V12. The song says the car “got 8 cylinders” overdrive, a four-barrel carburetor, 4.11:1 gear ratio, and safety tubes. The narrator end up being arrested by the police for his high-speed driving and describes the exasperation of his father: "He said, 'Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin' / You don't quit drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln!'"
Ryan's original rockabilly version of the song was released in 1955 through Souvenir Records under the artist name Charley Ryan and the Livingston Bros. A second version was released in 1959 through Four Star Records, credited to Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders. Ryan based the description of the eponymous car on his own hot rod, built from a 1948 12-cylinder Lincoln chassis shortened two feet, with a 1930 Ford Model A body fitted to it. Ryan raced his hot rod against a Cadillac sedan driven by a friend in Lewiston, Idaho, driving up the Spiral Highway (former U.S. Route 95 in Idaho) to the top of Lewiston Hill. Some say he incorporated elements from this race in his lyrics to "Hot Rod Lincoln", but changed the setting to Grapevine Hill (a long, nearly straight grade up Grapevine Canyon to Tejon Pass, near the town of Gorman, California) to fit it within the narrative of "Hot Rod Race".
Another version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" was recorded by country musician Johnny Bond and released in 1960 through Republic Records, with Bond's lyrics changing the hot rod's engine from a V12 to a V8. Bond released a sequel in the same year called "X-15", set in 1997, about an air race in an X-15 plane.
In the song, After the Hot Rod Lincoln surpasses the Cadillac at 110 MPH, the cops come from behind and arrest the narrator for speeding and illegal street racing, and is thrown into jail, where the narrator calls his father to bail him out, where the angry father says to his son narrator: "Son, You're gonna drive me to Drinkin', if you don't stop driving that Hot Rod Lincoln" (Source: Metro Lyrics.
Commander Cody versionEdit
A 1971 version, by country rock band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen on their album Lost in the Ozone, became the most successful version of "Hot Rod Lincoln", reaching No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 28 Adult Contemporary, No. 7 in Canada, and was ranked No. 69 on the U.S. Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972.
The song peaked at number 45 in Australia.
- Charlie Ryan
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||33|
|U.S. Billboard Country||14|
- Johnny Bond
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||26|
|U.S. Cash Box Top 100||25|
- Commander Cody
In addition to Johnny Bond and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, many other artists have recorded of "Hot Rod Lincoln" in the decades since its original release, including:
- Pat Travers, on Pat Travers (1976)
- Asleep at the Wheel, on Western Standard Time (1988); this version reached no. 65 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs
- All, on Allroy's Revenge (1989)
- Jim Varney, on The Beverly Hillbillies soundtrack (1993)
- Les Claypool, on Crank It Up (2002)
- Lawrence Ramsay, on Blowin' Cash (2010)
- Chris Casello, on Chris Casello Trio (2013)
- Bill Kirchen (lead guitar in Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen) on Hot Rod Lincoln Live (1997)
- George Thorogood & the Destroyers
- "Charley Ryan And The Livingston Bros. - Hot Rod Lincoln". 45cat.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- "Charlie Ryan And The Timberline Riders - Hot Rod Lincoln". 45cat.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- Johnson, David (June 27, 2003). "That hot rod Lincoln". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
- "Johnny Bond". Rocky-52.net. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1972-06-03. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2016-09-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 18. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, September 10, 1960". Cashboxmagazine.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 56.
- "Cash Box Top 100 5/27/72". Cashboxmagazine.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Allroy's Revenge". Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
- "The Beverly Hillbillies - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-12.