The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
"July, You're a Woman"

"July, You're a Woman"

#278 / Nov. 17 Podcast

Charlie Bowen played this song for David Peyton on the first night they jammed together at a New Year’s Eve party 50 years ago.

“July, You’re a Woman” was the one of the best tunes in the repertoire for their earliest gigs, especially after Roger Samples came along later that year to sing harmony on the chorus and do magic with his guitar solos.

Bowen adapted his version of the song after learning it when it was brand new in 1969, released by composer John Stewart on his second solo album, California Bloodlines.

John Stewart

John Stewart was a Southern California boy — born and died in San Diego — and grew up listening to the Sons of the Pioneers and Tex Ritter.

His first venture into popular music was in the ‘50s with a high school garage band called “Johnny Stewart and the Furies.” Channeling the sounds of Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, they toured colleges and coffee houses and released one single in 1957, "Rockin' Anna," which was a minor southern California hit.

After the Furies faded, Stewart turned to folk music, teaming up with two friends to form a group called The Woodsmen. They were heavily influenced by The Kingston Trio, which had just emerged from the crowded San Francisco music scene. That group’s 1958 release of “Tom Dooley” is frequently cited as launching the folk music revival in the early 1960s.

When founder Dave Guard departed the group in 1961 to explore other musical directions, John Stewart was selected by remaining members Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane to replace him. Stewart stayed with The Kingston Trio until it disbanded in 1967.

After that, Stewart toured as a solo act, recording for Capitol Records and exercising his composing chops. He wrote “Daydream Believer,” the closest he ever came to writing a standard. It was a big hit for The Monkeys in the fall of 1967 and then for Anne Murray in 1979.

That Other Song

In 1975, John met and married fellow folk singer Buffy Ford, with whom he remained until his death in 2008 at age 68.

It was with Buffy that John first recorded “July, You’re a Woman” on their Signals Through the Glass album, which predated California Bloodlines by a year.

The song also got some juice when it hit Billboard’s Hot 100 with a rendition by Pat Boone in April 1969. After that, the tune received sporadic attention over the years. Eddy Arnold released it in 1970; three years after that, Red, White & Blue (Grass) took its turn with it.

Our Take on the Tune

In the Floodisphere, the song was much on our minds in the mid-1970s, only to drop out of the mix for many decade. Then one night this autumn — hello! — it came wandering back to us.

On this track from a recent rehearsal, Charlie’s on banjo, Jack’s on bongos, Randy’s singing harmony and Danny’s playing those sweet, sweet solos.

The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Each week The 1937 Flood, West Virginia's most eclectic string band, offers a free tune from a recent rehearsal, show or jam session. Music styles range from blues and jazz to folk, hokum, ballad and old-time. All the podcasts, dating back to 2008, are archived on our website; you and use the archive for free at: