Though he wrote “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” Elvin Bishop never sang on his 1976 hit. Instead, Bishop played guitar on the track with Mickey Thomas on vocals. The recording also featured drummer Donny Baldwin, who along with Thomas later joined Jefferson Starship.
Videos by American Songwriter
Videos by American Songwriter
Playing the Field
“Fooled Around and Fell in Love” appeared on Bishop’s 1975 album, Struttin’ My Stuff, and was released as a single a year later.
Upon its release in 1976, the song, telling the tale of how a man’s womanizing ways come to a halt when he falls in love, went to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
I must’ve been through about a million girls
I’d love ’em and I’d leave ’em alone
I didn’t care how much they cried, no sir
Their tears left me cold as a stone
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Through the Years
Born in Glendale, California on Oct. 21, 1942, Elvin Richard Bishop grew up on a farm in Iowa before his family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Enchanted by blues and guitar, by the early 1960s Bishop joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and remained with the band for five years, releasing four albums with them from their 1965 self-titled debut through In My Dream in 1968.
Breaking out as a solo artist in 1968 with the Elvin Bishop Group, he also played on Bloomfield and Al Kooper’s The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper and was performing alongside bands like The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers Band by the late 1960s and ’70s, along with recording as a musician for the labels Epic, Capricorn and the Fillmore.
Over the years, Bishop recorded with some of his blues idols, including Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker, and toured with B.B. King in 1995.
Bishop has released dozens of albums throughout the decades, from his 1969 debut The Elvin Bishop Group through 100 Years of Blues in 2020 with Charlie Musselwhite.
His 2017 album Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio also picked up a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album.
In 2015, Bishop was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and again in the Blues Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2016.
Legacy of Fooled Around
Bishop’s ballad has made its rounds in television and film since its release nearly five decades earlier, including features on the soundtracks for Boogie Nights and Guardians of the Galaxy and an episode of Friday Night Lights.
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Through the years, a number of artists have also covered “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” including Rod Stewart‘s rendition in 2006 on his Still the Same… Great Rock Classics of Our Time album.
In 2019, Miranda Lambert released a cover of the song, featuring artists on her Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour, including Ashley McBryde, Elle King, Maren Morris, Caylee Hammack, and Tenille Townes. The song was nominated for a CMA and won an ACM for Vocal Event of the Year.
Photo by Bob Buchanan/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images