Runaway Child, Running Wild

Highly Appreciated

“Runaway Child, Running Wild”  is a 1969 hit single for the Gordy (Motown) label, performed by The Temptations and produced by Norman Whitfield.  The single was the second of their “psychedelic soul” tracks penned by Whitfield and former Motown artist Barrett Strong.  “Runaway Child, Running Wild” is often cited as one of the best songs on the subject of runaways, and Temptation Otis Williams often hears from fans that the record’s terrifying depiction of running away kept them from doing so as children.  The single peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles, and reached #6 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.  (More from Wikipedia)
Many other artists in the 1960s also took a whack at psychedelia.  Kenny Rogers’ first band the First Edition had an early hit song with “Just Dropped in (to See What Condition My Condition was In)”; though the lyrics kind of miss the boat, they are still charmingly corny.  “Hurdy Gurdy Man” is one of many great psychedelic songs Donovan came up with.  The Beatles had Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the Rolling Stones had Their Satanic Majesties’ Request.  Even Motown got into the act:  The Supremes hit with “Reflections”, while the Temptations had several psychedelic songs – “Psychedelic Shack”, “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)”, “Runaway Child, Running Wild”, and others.  Many were on their 1970 album Psychedelic Shack; one of the biggest hits by the B-52’sLove Shack” was in part an homage to this record.
(March 2011)
Last edited: March 22, 2021