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"Small Town"
Single by John Cougar Mellencamp
from the album Scarecrow
B-side "Small Town" (acoustic version)
Released 1985
Format 7"
Recorded Belmont Mall Studio, 1985
Genre Rock and Roll, Roots rock
Length 3:42
Label Riva Records
Writer(s) John Mellencamp
Producer John Mellencamp, Don Gehman
John Cougar Mellencamp singles chronology
"Lonely Ol' Night"
(1985)
"Small Town"
(1985)
"R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A."
(1986)

"Small Town" is a song written by John Cougar Mellencamp and released on his 1985 album Scarecrow. The song reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1]

Mellencamp wrote the song about his experiences growing up in a small town in Indiana, having been born in Seymour, Indiana, and living in Bloomington, Indiana, which, at the time of the release of the song, was much smaller. The music video has references to both towns. After that, Mellencamp has been known as champion of "small town America."

On December 16, 1987, Mellencamp played two free concerts in the small town of Chillicothe, Ohio where one-fifth of the population signed a petition asking him to play. He performed at the Ohio University-Chillicothe branch on University Drive. At the time, CNN was the only major news carrier, they were at the event with cameras in hand.

NBA legend and fellow Indiana native Larry Bird used this song on his retirement ceremony in 1993, particularly referring his town French Lick, Indiana as a "small town". It was also used for him in the NBA Superstars video series.

While performing for the NFL Kickoff Special on NBC on September 6, 2007 some of the well-known lyrics were changed. "My wife was 13 when I wrote this song" being among the more humorous of lines not in the original. The "L.A. Doll" he sings of in the original version was his then-wife Victoria Granucci.

The song was also used as the theme song for the Discovery Times documentary series Off to War, which covered Arkansas Army National Guard soldiers, most of them from rural Clarksville, Arkansas, during their tour of duty in Operation: Iraqi Freedom.

The song is played after Green Bay Packer games.

For a while, it was performed by Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra prior to and in closing the Small Town News sketches featured on Late Show with David Letterman.

Notes

  1. ^ [1]
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