The first song that went directly into my bloodstream was “All for the Love of a Girl”.
Way before the Beatles and the Brit Invasion, when I was nine or ten, I got a little AM radio. But at night up in Sunapee, the wind howled and I couldn’t get the radio stations I wanted, so I ran a wire up to the top of the apple tree. It’s still there! And I picked up WOWO out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and heard “All for the Love of a Girl”. It was the B-side of Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans“.
“All for the Love of a Girl” was a slow pick-and-strum love song with Johnny Horton curling his lips around the lyrics, twanging every word as if it were a guitar string.
It was very basic, almost the archetypal love song. It’s kind of an every-love-song-ever-written ballad. It’s all there in four lines. Bliss! Heartbreak! Loneliness! Despair! I sat in the apple tree and lived every line of it.
Written by Johnny Horton. Originally released 1958.
Included on The Spectacular Johnny Horton (1959).