Imaginary Lovers Never Turn You Down

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Song: Imaginary Lover (1978)

Artist: Atlanta Rhythm Section

Atlanta Rhythm Section, active from 1972 to 1981, was a Southern Rock influenced band often compared to Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers, albeit more radio-friendly. Imaginary Lover was one of two top ten hits, written by Bobby Buie, Robert Nix, and Dean Daughtry:

Imaginary Lovers
Never turn you down
When all the others turn you away
They’re around

An earlier hit had been the well-known So Into You. The former peaked at number 7 on the Billboard charts in June 1878, while So Into You had charted earlier, also peaking at number 7, in April 1977.

When you walked into the room
There was voodoo in your eyes

The band actually began as an offshoot of the Candymen, who had been Roy Orbison’s touring band. What would become the Candymen began as Spider (Griffin and the Webs) and then just the Webs when namesake Griffin left. The band backed up Roy Orbison at the Houston County Farm Center and two years later Orbison returned to the area and said that he wanted the band to go on the road with him. They did, and were later rechristened the Candymen, after Orbison’s 1961 hit ‘Candy Man.’ The band only recorded with Orbison a few times, though, notably on the huge hit Crying. By that time, the band had left Orbison to pursue their own careers, and singer Rodney Justo and drummer Robert Nix joined with members of another band, the Classics IV, and studio musicians, to form the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

Members included Rodney Justo, Robert Nix, Barry Bailey, Paul Goddard, J.r. Cobb, and Dean Daughtry.

Atlanta Rhythm Section had another Top Forty hit with their remake of the Classics IV song, Spooky, which went to no. 17 in October 1979. It had been a bigger hit originally for Classics IV in 1968, reaching no. 3. Besides their two major hits, Spooky is probably their most recognizable song, with the lyrics “Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you.”

Earlier, I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight had gone to no. 14.

Other Top Forty Hits:

  • Do It Or Die
  • Alien
  • Doraville

Rodney Justo left the band in 1972 and in 1975 received a call from B.J. Thomas, who wanted him to be his bandleader and asked him to form a backing band. Justo joined with other Alabama studio musicians including former Candymen member John Rainey. After touring with Thomas, the band stayed together and named itself Beaverteeth, which had little commercial success but left behind some great Southern Rock songs, such as Rock and Roll Southern Man.

Justo returned to Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1983, and then again in 2011 to continue on into the present. Dean Daughtry is the only other remaining original member.

Imaginary Lover Video

Listen to ‘So Into You’

More 1970s Music

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