If You Wanna Get To Heaven – Ozark Mountain Daredevils | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#25); 1974

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

While most sources claim that Steve Cash and John Dillon founded the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Randle Chowning maintains it was he who approached the others with the idea of forming a band.

All agree, however, that Cash came up with the hippie-styled name, “Cosmic Corncob and His Amazing Ozark Mountain Daredevils.” According to Chowning, the sextet originally played as The Family Tree.

By the time future manager Paul Peterson heard the group’s demo tape they were called Rhythm of Joy. Peterson also managed “One Toke Over The Line” Brewer & Shipley, and used his business connections to bring his new band to A&M Records.

By then, they had tons of originals in their songbook. The Daredevils’ first hit – If You Wanna Get To Heaven – came together in less than a half hour with Cash contributing the lyrics and Dillon the guitar riff. Recorded at Olympic Studios in London, Heaven hit #25 in the U.S. during the first week of summer, 1974.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • David Anderle
  • Glyn Johns

Lyrics Written by:

  • Steve Cash
  • John Dillon