August 14, 1971 - "Draggin' The Line" by Tommy James peaked at No.4 on the Hot 100. It was written and produced by Tommy James and Bob King.
James went solo after Tommy James and the Shondells broke up in 1970. It was first released as the B side of "Church Street Soul Revival" in 1970. The song was judged to have some hit potential so they went back in the studio and added horns to the master and re-released it as an A side single in 1971. It was included on his second album, Christian of the World in 1971 on the Roulette Records label, the song was James' biggest hit as a solo artist selling more than a million copies, and appears as the fifth track on James' 1991 retrospective album The Solo Years (1970-81) released by Rhino.
Tommy James recalled: 'Draggin' The Line' I wrote up at my farm in 1970, and it was with Bob King. My farm was in upstate New York, I had a couple hundred acres. It was a song I probably couldn't have written in the city. We just kind of toyed with it. We wrote it, and it was a very repetitious track, and a very sort of hypnotic track. We had the track before we had the song. We went into the studio and just laid down, I don't know, eight or ten bars of track. We looped it and looped it and looped it, and created the hypnotic rhythm. Bob played bass, Russ Leslie from Neon played drums, and I played guitar. And so we just created loops of tape based on this little riff, and when we had three-plus minutes of it put together we stopped, and then we wrote the song around the track. Second time I had ever done that - first one was "Mony" actually. 'Draggin' the Line' just meant working every day. Nothing really very mysterious about it.
So how did he come up with title? Says James: It's almost like the bass guitar was speaking. And it just seemed to say 'draggin' the line' to me. It's weird. But we had the track before we had the song, and it was like the bass was speaking.
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