Flashback Track #9

Life’s luckiest combinations often happen purely by chance. Today’s flashback track is an example of a peculiar combination of luck. American rock band, Tommy James and the Shondells released “Crimson and Clover” in late 1968 as a rough mix after a radio station interview secretly recorded the track and “accidentally” leaked it. As the band was leaving the radio station, they heard, “World Premier” and their unfinished track being blasted over the van radio.

In a song facts interview, James stated “I had these mixed emotions. Because there’s the biggest station in the country playing my record every half hour, and making a monster out of it, and it was a rough mix, and so I could hear all the little imperfections. When it went Top Ten, I said, ‘Well, it’s not so bad, I guess.'” The song then spent a lucky 16 weeks on the Billboard Charts, making it to number one in the U.S. in February of 1969. 

Ironically, two band members claim to have conceived the song’s title: James claims the song’ is a combination of his favorite color, crimson, and favorite flower, crimson. The drummer, Pete Lucia, claims he came up with the crimson and clover phrase while watching a high school football game between his hometown Morristown (NJ) Crimsons and Hopatcong (Clovers). (In truth, there is an actual crimson clover, which is native in Europe.)

The song is also vocally unique, as it contains a tremolo effect on the guitar that makes the notes vibrate in time with the song’s rhythm. Near the end of the five hour recording, the band decided to experiment with using the tremolo effect on the vocals. The effect a hypnotic mantra of  of the song’s title “Crimson and Clover, over and over” that mesmerizes listeners.

Give the original track a nostalgic listen, and then if you feel inspired, join me this weekend in writing about one of your luckiest moments or combinations. This can be an unlikely pairing or just any series of events that brought you good fortune.

Rules to Participate:

  • Create a poem, flash fiction, or work of art titled with a lucky item or lucky combination of things.
  • Share your work on your blog, and be sure to ping back this post by inserting a link.
  • Be sure to tag your work #FBTF or FBTF
  • Feel free to leave a link to your work in the comments below for all to enjoy.

 Happy Flashback Friday, friends!


Bonus: This song was revived in 1982, by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

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