Artist: Dobie Gray

Drift Away ~ Dobie Gray

Dobie Gray  is an American singer and songwriter, whose musical career has spanned soul, country, pop and musical theater. His hit records included “The ‘In’ Crowd” in 1965, and “Drift Away”, which was one of the biggest hits of 1973, sold over one million copies, and remains a staple of radio airplay.

Gray was born near Houston, Texas, by his own account in Simonton although some sources suggest the nearby town of Brookshire.  His birth name was probably Lawrence Darrow Brown, who is listed in the Fort Bend County Birth Records as being born in 1940 to Jane P. Spencel and Jethro Clifton Brown. Other sources suggest he may have been born Leonard Victor Ainsworth, a name he used on some early recordings.

His family were sharecroppers, and he discovered gospel music through his grandfather, a Baptist minister. In the early 1960s he moved to Los Angeles, intending to pursue an acting career but also singing to make money. He recorded for several local labels under the names Leonard Ainsworth, Larry Curtis, and Larry Dennis, before Sonny Bono directed him towards the small independent Stripe Records. They suggested that he record under the name “Dobie Gray”, an allusion to the then-popular sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Drift Away

Drift Away” is a song written by Mentor Williams and originally recorded by John Henry Kurtz on his 1972 album Reunion. However, Dobie Gray’s cover is by far the most popular version.

This song is also a famous “goodbye” or ending song for concerts. Its use is often as filler for a last song, usually in preparation for an encore, since it has a catchy beat and a guitar solo can be easily added to the end of the song in order to spice things up before the encore. As such, many live covers have been performed by a multitude of bands and it has become a hit among soft rock fans. Appropriately, it was the final pop hit for Decca Records in the United States.

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Day after day, I’m more confused
Yet I look for the light through the pourin’ rain
You know that’s a game that I hate to loose
And I’m feelin’ the strain
Ain’t it a shame

Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away
Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away

Beginnin’ to think that I’m wastin’ time
I don’t understand the things I do
The world outside looks so unkind
Now I’m countin’ on you
To carry me through

Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away
Yea, give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away

And when my mind is free
You know a melody can move me
And when I’m feelin’ blue
The guitar’s comin’ through
To soothe me

Thanks for the joy that you’ve given me
I want you to know I believe in your song
And rhythm and rhyme and harmony
You help me along
Makin’ me strong

Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away
Give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away

Oh-ho, ah-no
Give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away

Hey, hey, hey, yeah
Give me the beat boys and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll
And drift away

Na, Na, now won’t ya
Won’t ya take me
Oh-ha, take me

  • Audio from the 2001 album, Ultimate Collection:

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