Ram Jam – Black Betty | The story behind the song | Top 2000 a gogo
Ram Jam Black Betty The story behind the song

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Het verhaal achter Black Betty van Ram Jam. Een reportage van Top 2000 a gogo.


William Tower : Thumbs up everytime this song comes on the radio and you crank it up instinctively.

Cynthia Nicola : Leadbelly got Black Betty from prison road crews in the south. It was sung to time the rhythm for breaking rock to gravel the road.

Monica Jones : I love this song. I'm black and this was my go-go dance song in 80s. Awesome.

PtolemyJones : Radar Love is the best driving song ever, but this is definitely top ten... maybe top five. LA Woman is also up there...

seattwa : Silly!!?? What kind of an idiot would call this great rockin tune silly!!

Jan Jaap Bruijn : Rolling Stone the silliest magazine of 1978 etc etc etc.Great song still very popular

Josh Gellis : The Hell?! It's a fantastic, stunning and timeless HARD Rock song version that doesn't 'mock' the original, rather is some kind of Concorde style vs. the Wright Brothers plane original. lmao.

velociraptor898 : One of the greatest rock song ever ...

#Hashtag : The song Leadbelly got his version from was about a gun. "Black Betty" was a gun, hence Bam-a-lam.

G Perrin : I had NO IDEA that Ned Flanders wrote Black Betty...I'm Shook

terrypussypower : “Woah-oh African-American Betty, bam-a-lam, woah-oh African-American Betty, bam-a-lam”!...the PC version! Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?

guibox3 : By far he grooviest rock riff in history. It annoys the piss out of me that radio stations always cut out the upbeat guitar solo part. I mean...WHY?? They will play the last 16 choruses of 'Hey Jude', but they won't include that part of Black Betty? Same thing with the middle guitar part of 'Don't Fear the Reaper'. Stupid radio...

Jon Trownson : I challenge anyone to walk down the street with this on headphones without syncing up your footsteps to the kick drum.

addresses : I saw them live in the Fall of '77. Ram Jam opened, followed by Little River Band, and then the headliner Foreigner. All three bands were great.

Joalberto JPro : Fantastic tune. As hard hitting as ever and I don’t hear anything “ offensive “ in it other than the beating the drums are taking.

kenneth tamburro : This is still one of my all time favorite rock songs ! It has everything a Rock song needs to rock out !

Space Alien Jesus : I miss when music had balls And you knew who the artist was due to their distinctive sound.

DigiPal : "best driving song ever made"... No... "Radar Love" is the one, the lyrics themselves are about someone driving, and the music is just perfect.

Charles Spalding : Very interesting...this is my faviroute song of all time...best damn guitar solo ever! especially the version with extended guitar solo

Gregory Todd Smith : I once read some history on slave songs that eluded to the "Black Betty" being a knotted or beaded cord whip. Used by a slave owner to punish. So Lead Belly didn't necessarily steal it. He carried it forward in interpretation. Maybe the song originated in the era of slavery and evolved. Certainly so in the Ram Jam interpretation.


Vandal Savage : Everytime I hear this song I instantly go 10 over the speed limit.

Gothic'z House Of Kustom'z : how do u know the story behind Black Betty, were you there when Led Zeppen wrote it?????

The Vacuum tube junky : Bill Bartlett was the lead guitarist for the band The Lemon Pipers in 67/68'

Leroy Brown : naacp is a joke. Just keeping blacks down on the plantation.

Eggmanjames : it was actually from a black male texas prision in 1933

Offramp Tavanipupu : Bring it! Bring the amberlamps!

longrider : Ram Jam's version frickin' rocks...even today.

wayne jones : One of the best phukn jamin songs ever!!! 🎸🔊💥 😵

Proper : The original versions are nothing - just the same words. The 1977 version is a 300% completely different song.

STRATMAN 60 : Cool vid. Thanks. I've loved this song since it first came out. I always thought the band was super tight.

Morgan Edwards : Amazing - Jeffrey Dahmer could rock out!

Mt. Zod : Black Betty is killer tune, that part when the timing goes off kilter is sick.

GT Steele : Tight, driving, sound. Ain't easy to do and this is one of the best.

Craig H : This is very interesting. Historically Black Bettys mostly referred either to a whiskey bottle or a prison guard's whip "bam-ba-lam." Never a black woman. But the mere connotation: a white man singing about a black woman or a black man singing about a white woman...well, that just wasn't done. Even in 2006, the University of New Hampshire banned the playing of Black Betty at UNH Hockey games. The crowd continued to sing it Acapella anyway :))

Marianne Wade : I love this song and love lore. Thank you for combining two things I love!

Chris Han : Rayman Legends, 'Castle Rock' level.

Alaric Catlett : The rock band Ministry did a cover of this song on their "Cover Up" album. I like it but the original is always gonna be the best.

Sheryl : Sadly, it gets no airtime on the classic rock station here but Apple music has it.

Shawn Ironhead : Did not know all of that. Thanks!

Timmy Spencer : Kung Pow, Enter the Fist brought it home to the 21st century, I feel.

TowManDave00 : I played the shit out of this song in the early 80's

V3ntilator : Rayman Legends have a musical level timed after this song.

AbidesDudeThe : Such a great song. Sucks to see how many people get hosed in the music biz though.

Honest Bob : Best strip club song ever!

Glenn Estes : Song came from a Texas chain gang working on the highways...

Not Now : My cousin played this for me at a donut shop juke box in the late 70's. As a 8 year old kid I was SHOCKED at how heavy it was! So were the seniors trying to chow down on their crullers and coffee. :-)

Fauk Yosef : ohh oh BLACK BETTY bang a lamb ..ba-aa-ahhhh

Magic Mike : Black betty was a cannon So was Humpty Dumpty