Happy Anniversary: Black Oak Arkansas, High on the Hog
42 years ago today, Black Oak Arkansas released the album that would go on to become their greatest commercial success: High on the Hog.
Black Oak Arkansas was formed in - you guessed it - Black Oak, Arkansas, and not only were they originally known by another name (The Knowbody Else), they also started out with a different lead singer: Ronnie "Chicky Hawk" Smith. It wasn't long before the other members of the band came to the conclusion that they might be better suited with another singer, a fella by the name of James Mangrum, better known to the world at large as Jim Dandy. As such, Chicky Hawk became the band's stage production manager, Jim Dandy took over as front man, and the rest is rock 'n' roll history.
High on the Hog was Black Oak Arkansas's fifth album in only three years - they were nothing if not prolific - and with each album they worked their way a little farther up the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. They were never much of a singles band, though, which may be why High on the Hog ultimately proved to be their highest-charting album: it provided them with a bona fide top-40 single with the track “Jim Dandy (To the Rescue),” which hit #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other classic tracks on the album include opener “Swimmin' in Quicksand,” “Happy Hooker,” and “High 'N' Dry.”
Even now, Black Oak Arkansas continues to raunch and roll their way around the country, releasing a new album as recently as 2013 (Back Thar N' Over Yonder), but for their commercial glory days, you have to look back to when they were living -wait for it - High on the Hog.
Oh, come on, you knew we'd make that joke eventually.