Travelin’ Shoes – Elvin Bishop | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#61); 1974

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Radio changed a teenaged boy’s life late one night when Elvin Bishop in Oklahoma heard a Jimmy Reed record on WLAC out of Nashville, Tennessee. At college time, Elvin chose the University of Chicago where he’d be surrounded by the blues music he loved. During his first week in the Windy City, he met Paul Butterfield: sittin’ on some steps, playing guitar and drinking beer. Elvin also fell in with one time Howlin’ Wolf sideman Little Smokey Smothers, from whom he learned the finer points of blues guitar. In 1965, Elvin entered the studio to play on the legendary Paul Butterfield Blues Band album. Several albums later, a solo Bishop struck out for San Francisco where he recorded two alums on rock impresario Bill Graham’s label, and a third for Epic. A move to Capricorn brought Bishop into the Southern Rock fold and – joined by the Betts brothers, Charlie Daniels, Toy Caldwell, and others – he released Let It Flow, which included his first chart single, Travelin’ Shoes.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Johnny Sandlin

Lyrics Written by:

  • Elvin Bishop