Late Night OTB – Fire on the Mountain

Three completely different songs featuring iconic artists.

While I’ve enjoyed the revival of Late Night OTB, it’s not generating much in the way of reader interest—at least as judged by comments. That, and the realization that posting multiple videos a night will run me out of quality material rather quickly has led me to make this a Friday and Saturday night thing. We’ll see how it goes.

“Fire on the Mountain” was written by George McCorkle, guitarist for the Marshall Tucker Band, and it appeared on their 1975 album Searchin’ for a Rainbow. It was their first big hit:

Here’s a live version from 1981:

About a decade ago, a bluegrass-style cover was put out by Iron Horse:

I prefer it to the MTB original.

Interestingly, Fire on the Mountain was the name of a Charlie Daniels Band album that came out in 1974. McCorkle apparently wrote it in hopes Daniels would record it. While I would have sworn I’ve heard Daniels play it in concert, I can find no evidence of that on YouTube. It occurs to me that what Daniels probably played is yet a third song by that title (which likely inspired the album title, since it features no song with that name). Here’s the legendary Hank Williams:

Coincidentally, there’s a song by the same name from the Grateful Dead that was released in 1978:

Here’s a live version:

I don’t much care for either.

John Mayer does a better job with it but I think he’d have had better luck with the MTB version:

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Andy says:

    Good plan. I know I couldn’t post new music every week – to me it seems like a perfect weekend respite.


  2. Jay L Gischer says:

    Oh, just because I’m not commenting doesn’t mean I’m not listening. But just weekends is fine, especially considering how many videos you post.


  3. de stijl says:

    I was doing Vivaldi, but then I got roped into early The Replacements because of a convoluted confluence of events.


  4. de stijl says:

    Which version of Ceremony is the best? Joy Division or New Order?


  5. de stijl says:

    New Order songs are prime for teaching. They are simple songs. Isolate the parts; they are really basic except for rhythm. And it is not for guitarists and bassists and drummers, keyboardists get to play too. Actually, a lot!

    Guitar Center dudes should be all over New Order. You can have pretty basic skills and cover New Order decently. Plus, people will think you’re all angsty and profound and deep AF. It’s a win-win.


  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I was a little worried when they disappeared this week. Glad to read these posts will continue as a wkend item.

    I was a big fan of Mo-Tucker back in the day and probably found them because of FotM, but it was far from the best thing they ever did. Can’t You See is far superior IMO

    Charlie Daniels…. sigh…

    The FotM album was great, so many good songs, Trudy, Georgia, the overplayed The South’s Gonna Do It, he does a respectable Orange Blossom Special, No Place to GO holds it’s own as a blues song, and Long Haired Country Boy… Who doesn’t sing along with that?

    Charlie Daniels, WTF. When he fell off the touring bus he landed on his head.


  7. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Daniels was great in his prime—which lasted a long time. I saw him when he came to Jacksonville State in the 1980s and, indeed, worked that concert with my ROTC unit. I saw him again in Hanau, West Germany as an Army officer. Amazing musician. But the man’s 81. I guess it’s unreasonable to expect him to have evolved politically.


  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: I saw him several times in the 70s, early 8os. His slide into dementedness (not dementia) has been going on for a while tho I can’t say exactly when I became aware of it. It’s the fact that it was such a complete and total flip that gets me. I just can’t wrap my head around it.


  9. Franklin says:

    Yeah, James, once or twice a week is probably more like it. I know I couldn’t keep up. Your preferred styles of music aren’t quite the same as mine either, but I like to hear what’s good in every genre.

    From today’s suite, my opinion is that John Mayer’s version of the Dead song is mildly pleasant.