The End of the Road
5:39 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

I-95: Road Songs With A #@!%ing Twist

This story originally ran on February 12, 2014.

One of the 1,000 vinyl copies originally made of August Campbell's "The I-95 Song."
Credit Photo by Kenny Malone/Record courtesy of Kathy Heinly

Hear the radio version of this story.

They write songs about roads: "Route 66," "Highway 61 Revisited"."Dusty, old roads with iconic signage that belongs on a pair of blue jeans.

“When you talk about ... the road as an attractive proposition, usually it’s open and it’s driveable,” says composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, who teaches American creative music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. “I-95 is a little bit of the opposite. So I can see how songs would be written in a negative way about it."

"Negative" is, perhaps, kind.

Case in point: August Campbell’s twangy ballad: “The I-95 Song (The Asshole Song).” Recorded in 1983, it became regionally famous on The Neil Rodgers Show.

The song's premise is built into its spoken-word preamble:

Well I was drivin' down I-95 the other night/Somebody nearly cut me right off the road/I decided it wasn't gonna do any good to get mad/So I wrote a song about him instead/It goes like this...

In 1982, Kathy Heinly was one of four people who paid $125 to help Campbell record "The I-95 Song" and print 1,000 vinyl copies.

Heinly, now a retired 66-year-old who wears thick-rimmed glasses and is a tour guide at Vizcaya, doesn't remember the whole song anymore. But she remembers just enough...  

You can read the rest of this story at the homepage for our I-95 series, The End of the Road