Dr. John, “Right Place, Wrong Time”

Before he died of a heart attack on June 6, New Orleans vocalist/instrumentalist/songwriter Mac Rebennack – better known as Dr. John – was a musician’s musician, a legend in artistic circles. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and winner of several blues Grammys, he recorded or toured with everyone from Bobby Darin to Frank Zappa to Dolly Parton before the general public had any idea who he was. He was probably best known as the outlandish voodoo dresser who cut “Right Place, Wrong Time,” the 1973 single that was almost a novelty song, and was a top ten success because of his idiosyncratic vocal, Allen Toussaint’s funky NOLA production, and the song’s offbeat (literally and figuratively) lyrics.  And what also isn’t widely known – though the source of such claims is hard to pin down due to the passage of the decades – is that Dr. John didn’t necessarily write the song on his own, though his name is the only one on the record. He is reputed to have had some help from notable friends he’d crossed paths with over the years. According to credible Internet sources, he must have discussed the song with some…

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Subscription to the American Songwriter Print Magazine
  • Access to all Feature Magazine Content Online
  • Access to Print Edition Archives
  • Premium content in our Songwriter U section
  • Discounts on vinyl, Songwriter services, and other American Songwriter Partners
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started an American Songwriter membership! Click here to learn more.