“Backfield in Motion”Performed by Mel & Tim (1969)

April 14, 2008


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Mississippi bred “Mel Hardin and Tim McPherson were cousins who started singing together as part of the Welcome Travelers gospel group before going into secular music as “Mel & Tim.” …. The cousins were signed by Gene Chandler to his Bamboo label in the late ’60s and had a hit right out of the gate with 1969′s “Backfield in Motion,” on which the duo’s fine harmony singing was coupled with a swinging Chicago soul groove.” (SOURCE)

“The follow-up, “Good Guys Only Win in the Movies,” supplied the title for their first album and hit the R&B Top 20 later that year. Mel & Tim subsequently moved to Stax, where they landed a second Top Five R&B smash with the ballad “Starting All Over Again” (also the title track of their second album). Mel & Tim performed at the late-1972 charity concert Wattstax and were featured in the documentary film of the same name, singing “I May Not Be What You Want.”” (Source: AMG Biography by Steve Huey)

A million-selling crossover hit, “Backfield in Motion” reached number 10 on the pop chart.

Backfield In Motion – Words and music by M. McPherson and M. Harden

Backfield in motion, yeah,
I’m gonna have to penalize you
Backfield in motion, baby,
You know that’s against the rules.
Off sides and holdin’, yeah,
You ought to be ashamed of yourself baby
Off sides and holdin’ yeah,
Holdin’ on to someone else
You know you’re cheatin’ baby,
Fakin’ the bout
You know you’re balkin’, baby,
(oh yeah) strike three you’re out
And I caught you with
Backfield in motion, yeah,
I’m gonna have to penalize you
Backfield in motion, baby,
You know that’s against the rules.

First down you start cheatin’ on me
Second down, I was too blind to see
Third down, you know I love you so
Fourth down, baby I got to let you go,
‘Cos I caught you with your
Backfield in motion, yeah,
I’m gonna have to penalize you
Backfield in motion, baby,
You know that’s against the rules.
Now you will see, ah yeah, just how I felt
You beat me to the punch honey,
But you hit me below the belt
And I caught you with your
Backfield in motion, yeah,
I’m gonna have to penalize you
Backfield in motion, baby,
You know that’s against the rules.
Backfield in motion, backfield in motion…
Backfield in motion, backfield in motion…

I hope you enjoyed this track. It s one of my favorites of the era.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Filed under:Backfield in Motion,Bamboo,Dynamic Duos (Duets),Mel & Tim,Mel Hardin & Tim McPherson,R&B/Duets,Sixties

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 terry November 22, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I have looked for this song for most a a year. ever since it was a phrase running through my mind. Only found one person who even believed it was a song. Short memories I guess. Still, thank you for my trip down memory lane

Reply

2 sondan November 22, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Hi Terry,

Glad to be of service(BIG SMILE). I am not a football fan, but whenever I hear anyone say “backfield in motion” I immediately start singing this song!

You are so right that once you hear it you never will forget it. Have you let your friends have a listen to this so they can get it stuck in their respective craws too? (LOL)

Hope you continue to visit. It was a pleasure having you here.

Reply

3 SupaStarry September 10, 2010 at 5:33 am

Mel And Tim should be more well known. ive only heard a couple songs from them but i loved everything ive heard. i need to get a
Stax box set lol

Reply

4 ceal mcpherson September 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm

thanks for posting this tim mcpherson was my granddad

Reply

5 SonDan July 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Thanks for stopping by Ceal. So did any of his musical talent rub off on you?

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