Sunday, June 6, 2021

"Rooty Toot Toot" by John Cougar Mellencamp

Song#:  3516
Date:  05/14/1988
Debut:  93
Peak:  61
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Rock, Americana

Pop Bits:  Mellencamp's ninth album, The Lonesome Jubilee, became another critical and commercial hit for him that reached #6 on the chart. It was spurred along by two Top 10 hits along with the #14 "Check It Out." To follow that song up, this fourth single was issued out. While it would do well at Rock getting to #7, it lost its footing on the Pop chart and slid off after a couple of months. It would be his lowest peaking single on the chart since 1980. With that result, it brought an end to singles from the LP, which had already gone double-platinum in January of '88. Later in '95, it would be certified triple-platinum.

ReduxReview:  This was another solid rocker from Mellencamp that matched up well with the other singles from the album. While it may not have been as strong as some of his previous hits, it was a fun track that I thought would be able to at least crack the Top 40. The fact that it couldn't even get in the top half of the chart might have been an indication that pop radio and listeners were tiring of the organic, Americana rock that Mellencamp had been doing over the course of two LPs. I was still diggin' it though.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  By the time Mellencamp was recording The Lonesome Jubilee, he had three daughters. One from his first marriage, the other two from his second marriage. According to a 1987 interview with Mellencamp in Creem magazine, his youngest, Teddi Jo, complained that he had written songs or used the names of her two sisters in his work (Justice and Michelle Suzanne) and she wanted him to do something for her. He ended up writing a bit of a nursery rhyme specifically for her that didn't have music. When he showed the piece to his guitarist Larry Crane, Crane thought it was a nice little story that had potential for a song. Mellencamp went ahead and turned the rhyme into a tune and it became "Rooty Toot Toot." Teddy Jo's name would be used in the first verse. Mellencamp would have two more kids (sons Hud and Speck), both from his third marriage.


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