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Writer: Rich Dodson
Sweet City Woman was released in 1971 by a Canadian Band out of Calgary, Alberta, the Stampeders. They were together for eight years before they had a huge number one rock hit in Canada on their debut album called Against the Grain. The song also reached number one on the Canadian country and adult contemporary charts. It caused such a stir that eight U.S. record labels got into a bidding war before the band was signed to Bell Records, who renamed the album Sweet City Woman and the release of the single in the U.S., where it reached number eight on the Billboard charts on October 23, 1971.
The song won a Juno award for Best Single in 1972. Guitarist Rich Dodson, who wrote the song, won Songwriter of the Year, and the band’s producer, Mel Shaw, won Record Producer of the Year. The song was unusual for featuring the banjo as the lead instrument.
Although the band might be considered a one-hit-wonder in the U.S., they had many other Canadian hits, such as Carry Me (1971), Wild Eyes (1972), Oh My Lady (1973), Running Wild (1973), New Orleans (1975), Playing in the Band (1975), and a remake of Hit the Road Jack with featured the voice or radio DJ Wolfman Jack. The band, was, in fact, one of the first big successful bands in Canadian rock and the biggest touring band of their era. Many of their songs were squarely in the country genre.
Songwriter/guitarist Rich Dodson, in fact, was such a hitmaker that producer Lindsay Thomas Morgan turned to him for engineer and co-producer of Alanis Morissette’s first demo track recordings, “Find the Right Man” and “Fate Stay With Me,” which were recorded in Dodson’s basement studio when Morissette was only twelve years old.
Sweet City Woman Chorus
Sweet, sweet city woman
I can see your face, I can hear your voice
I can almost touch you
Sweet, sweet city woman
Oh my banjo and me
We got a feel for singing, yeah, yeah
Listen to Sweet City Woman by the Stampeders
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