Nettwerk Records and Nashville’s Old Crow Medicine Show recently celebrated Gold certification of the group’s breakout single “Wagon Wheel,” for sales surpassing 500,000 units. Nettwerk executives Terry McBride (CEO) and Mark Jowett (VP International A&R/Publishing) recently presented the band with Gold plaques while they were visiting Nashville.
“Wagon Wheel” was originally sketched by Bob Dylan and later completed by OCMS member Ketch Secor. It has now sold over 715k units and become a live bar band standard. The song has a fascinating history that reaches even further back than Dylan.
“‘Wagon Wheel’ is a gold record 75 years in the making,” said Secor. “Back in 1995, I first heard Bob Dylan sing that striking chorus on his unfinished 1972 studio outtake of ‘Rock Me Mama.’ Being an audacious, banjo-picking teenager, I quickly rattled off three verses and rushed it out to coffeehouses and street corners, singing it to anyone who would listen. In 2003, seeking a copyright to the song, I learned that Dylan had credited it to Memphis songster Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, who recorded the 1950s boogie-woogie number ‘Rock Me Mama.’ From there, I learned that Crudup attributed the song to Mississippi-turned-Chicagoan Big Bill Broonzy, who recorded it way back in the late 1920s. So, from Big Bill to Big Boy to Bob and on down to me, ‘Wagon Wheel’ has become a true American folk song, borrowed, half-stolen, and sung out far and wide. The rest, as they say, is history.”