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Tuesday 11 February 2020

Jim Ford Songs

I always thought that Harlan County by Jim Ford was pretty much a one off. What I was not aware of until my "research" for last Saturday's post was that he was also a pretty successful songwriter.

I knew from the sleevenotes that he had written 36 Inches High which appears on Nick Lowe's Jesus of Cool album.
He also wrote Harry Hippie (as opposed to Happy Hippy which I originally typed) which appeared on  Bobby Womack 's 1972 album Understanding.
He also co-wrote half a dozen songs with Bobby for the 1982 album The Poet II

His songs have also been covered by P.J.Proby, Aretha Franklin, Ronnie Wood, Brinsley Schwarz, Dave Edmunds and Bobbie Gentry.
In his biography Cruel to be Kind Nick Lowe says that Ford claimed that he was the writer of Bobbie Gentry's Ode to Billy Joe, a claim that Lowe finds plausible!

Nick Lowe - 36 Inches High

Bobby Womack - Harry Hippie

Bobby Womack - So Many Sides of You

Bobbie Gentry - Ode to Billy Joe


  1. Bobby's version of 'Harry Hippie' is one of the greatest things ever. It was written about Bobby's brother Harry apparently (although I'm sure you knew that).

  2. The Lowe book makes it clear Ford really was the man in Nick's eyes.

  3. "Harry Hippie" is absolutely killer. New to me...and sooo sweet.