35 Years Ago: Heartland Rocker John Mellencamp Strikes Gold With Easy, Breezy “Jack & Diane”

35 Years Ago: Heartland Rocker John Mellencamp Strikes Gold With Easy, Breezy “Jack & Diane” | Society Of Rock Videos

photo credit: Ken Settle

What You Didn’t Know About The Song Jack & Diane

Written and recorded in 1982 by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, “Jack & Diane” was one of the tracks that made up his album, American Fool.

Fun Fact: Ultimately chosen as one of the songs of the century by the RIAA, “Jack & Diane” spent a whopping four weeks at the top of the charts, dominating Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1982 and giving Mellencamp his most successful single to date.

According to the singer-songwriter, the song was based on the 1959 Tennessee Williams play Sweet Bird of Youth, adapted to the silver screen in 1962 as a romantic-comedy film starring Paul Newman and Geraldine Page. Mellencamp claimed that recording of the song was “terrible,” and that it’s hard to perform it with a band because of it lacking in musical flow.

Funnily enough, the iconic clapping of hands in “Jack & Diane” wasn’t actually meant to be kept in the song –  integrated to give the song some structure, the clapping was to be removed once the song was finished but when the dust settled, Mellencamp was shocked to realize that “Jack & Diane” couldn’t work without it.

Claps and difficulty aside, “Jack & Diane” still gets us up and movin’ and we’re sure it’ll get you moving, too. Enjoy!

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates

Premium Partners

Society of Rock partner World War Wings
Society of Rock partner Daily Rock Box
Society of Rock partner Country Music Nation
Society of Rock partner Country Rebel
Society of Rock partner I Love Classic Rock
Society of Rock partner Rock Pasta

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info.