smokeryoudrink1A question was raised after Wednesday’s music round about whether Joe Walsh should be credited as the solo artist who performed the song “Rocky Mountain Way.” The contention was that it was actually a song by the James Gang, a band Walsh was in from 1969 to 1971.

I was confident the Dan The Man research department had done its job and properly double-checked all DTM answers, but I promised to follow up with a triple check. My original answer is correct, but as veteran radio icon Paul Harvey likes to say “Now, the rest of the story …”

“Rocky Mountain Way” was released in 1973, so clearly it was not a James Gang song. When Walsh left in 1971, he formed a group called Barnstorm with Joe Vitale (drums, flute, keyboards) and Kenny Passarelli (bass). “Rocky Mountain Way” was released on their second album “The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get.”

But Barnstorm was really just a band in name. The albums are credited to Walsh as solo albums. According to John Alroy and David Bertrand Wilson, solo rock artists were an anomaly in the early 1970s, and artists like David Bowie [Hype, Spider Monkeys from Mars] and Peter Frampton [Frampton’s Camel] formed bands as fronts to start their solo careers.

A blogger named Dr. Bristol has an in depth review of  Walsh’s and Barnstorm’s first album “Barnstorm” at this link.

You’ll noticed from the picture posted at right that it’s Walsh’s name, not the band’s that is featured on the album cover.

Bottom line? Joe Walsh is the correct answer. Not earth-shattering information, I know, but wadda ya expect? This is a trivia Web site.

BTW, Rocke Grace, Kenny Passarelli, Joe Vitale and Joe Walsh each received a writing credit for “Rocky Mountain Way.”

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