You probably heard Darius Rucker's latest hit before he ever recorded it. Old Crow Medicine Show released Wagon Wheel in 2004 and it has become a classic. For close to a decade, the song has been blasted at parties and tailgates across the country.
In a recent interview, Old Crow Medicine Show's Critter Fuqua talked how the song came to be with Low Country Current. It came from a Bob Dylan demo that was never officially released. Dylan was workin on the soundtrack for the 1973 film, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, but never finished the song. Fuqua got a bootleg copy and shared it with bandmate Ketch Secor. Fuqua says Secor took it from there:
"He wrote the verses because Bob kind of mumbles them and that was it. We've been playing that song since we were like 17, and it's funny because we've never met Dylan, but the song is technically co-written by Bob Dylan."
The song is easily the band's most popular tune. The band and Dylan split the songwriting royalties.
Wagon Wheel earned a second wave of popularity now that Darius Rucker has recorded it. Rucker decided to do the song after hearing it at his daughter's high school talent show.
So, Bob Dylan started writing a song 40 years ago that recently went to Number One on the Billboard Country Songs chart.
But, Rolling Stone notes, this is not the first time Rucker and Dylan have crossed paths. The Hootie & The Blowfish hit Only Wanna Be With You features lyrics from Dylan's songs Idiot Wind and Tangled Up in Blue. Rolling Stone says that Dylan and the band settled a plagiarism case out of court.
But, Old Crow Medicine Show takes no issue with Rucker's use of Wagon Wheel. "I think he sees something special in that song and understands it...I'm really glad he cut the track. It's been good for him and good for us." Of course, Old Crow Medicine Show and Dylan will see royalties for songwriting from the success of Rucker's version of Wagon Wheel.