Bob Seger System – Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man

Something about Bob Seger…the man paid his dues. Bob started in 1961 in the Detroit music scene in a band called the Decibels. Bob kicked around in different bands through the years. His break out song is this one. His friend, 19-year-old Glen Frey is playing acoustic guitar and singing backup on this song. The song was a big hit in Michigan and eventually started to climb the charts. The song peaked at #17 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. It would be 1975 before Seger broke nationally.

I’ve always liked Bob Seger. He gets heavy play here in the south and many of his songs have been played to death…but not this one. I like the rawness of this single.

From Songfacts.

Seger and his band were called “The Bob Seger System” when this song was released. It was just their second single on Capitol Records (after “2+2=?”), which they joined after their previous label, Cameo-Parkway, folded.

This was Bob Seger’s first big hit; it charted at #17 despite receiving no airplay in most major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Seger was very popular in Detroit, but despite being a talented singer/songwriter at the beginning of the singer/songwriter era, he couldn’t get any heat in most coastal cities. It wasn’t until his 1975 Beautiful Loser album that Seger broke nationally.

Here is a very early look at Bob Seger

Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man

Yeah, I’m gonna
Tell my tale, come on
Come on, ha, give a listen

Cause I was born lonely
Down by the riverside
Learned to spin fortune wheels
And throw dice

I was just thirteen
When I had to leave home
Knew I couldn’t stick around
I had to roam

Ain’t good looking
But you know I ain’t shy
Ain’t afraid to look
A girl in the eye

So if you need some loving
And you need it right away
Take a little time out
And maybe I’ll stay

But I got to ramble (rambling man)
I got to gamble (gambling man)
Got to, got to ramble (rambling man)
I was born a rambling, gambling man

Yeah, yeah, yeah….
Ha ha, bring it on
Come on down, yeah
All right, here we go
Now, now

I’m out of money
Cause you know I need some
Ain’t gone run out of loving
And I must run

Gotta keep moving
Never gonna slow down
You can have your funky world
See you round

Cause I got to ramble (rambling man)
I got to gamble (gambling man)
I got to ramble (rambling man)
Lord, I’m a rambling, gambling man

Oh, I’m just a rambler
Yeah, I’m just a gambler
Come on and sing along

Cause I’m just a rambler (rambling man)

Lord, I’m a gambler (gambling man)
I’m a rambler (rambling man)
Yeah, I’m a rambler…

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

10 thoughts on “Bob Seger System – Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”

      1. that’s amazing, as this song should have rocketed him to the top in the public eye. I guess I’m lucky to be living in Michigan because he’s always gotten a lot of air time.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I could live the rest of my life and not hear “Old Time Rock and Roll” again and be happy… some of his songs are just played to death… This one was never wore out too much… Kinda like Steve Miller’s Living In The USA…

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Part of the reason Seger found it hard to break out of Detroit and go national was that he just seemed to have bad luck with distributors—one actually just bailed out on him without explanation once. I always used to wonder why great early songs of his like “2+2”, “Heavy Music”, “Back in ’72” and even his very first hit, “East Side Story” never broke him and his band nationwide. Growing up in metro Detroit, it was impossible not to hear any of his songs on the local rock stations. He was actually still briefly touring as of a couple of years ago, and said he was going to finally retire. He’s a true rock ‘n roll Midwestern treasure, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always wondered why it took so long for him to make it. It sounds like he had the same problem as the band Big Star and others around that time.

      You couldn’t buy the album if it was not in the stores.


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