|"Poor Side of Town"|
|Single by Johnny Rivers|
|from the album Changes|
|B-side||"A Man Can Cry" (non-LP track)|
|Released||August 1966 |
|Genre||Baroque pop, orchestral pop|
|Johnny Rivers singles chronology|
"Poor Side of Town" is a song by Johnny Rivers that reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the RPM Canadian Chart in November 1966.  The song marked a turning point in Rivers' career that saw him move away from his earlier rock and roll style toward pop ballads.
Johnny Rivers would recall of "Poor Side of Town": "I don’t know what inspired it…It was not from any personal experience, because I was living in Beverly Hills." Although he'd describe it as "an easy song to write",  Rivers would say the song: "took…about five months to write…I kept writing little bits and pieces of it."  With the parent album of "Poor Side of Town": Changes, Rivers shifted from southern rock to an orchestral pop sound with a string-&-brass arrangement by Marty Paich who had orchestrated the recent Top 5 hits by the Mamas & the Papas, the LA Phil musicians who had played on the Mamas & Papas tracks also playing on Changes. 
The single edit of "Poor Side of Town" reduces the coda of the album track, which following the repeated lyric line: "Oh with you by my side" continues, finishing up the verse, and following the repeated guitar riff, repeats the sung introduction of the scatting, before the song fades out.