Skip to main content

The Story Behind 'Carry On Wayward Son' by Kansas

A last-minute songwriting golden moment that might have had help from ‘above’, it took Kansas – a band on the brink of success – to major stardom.

The 1970s were a glory era for both AOR and progressive music. The band Kansas, from the tiny rural town of Topeka in the state after which they were named, were somewhat unique in that their music was a mellifluous yet hummable distillation of the two styles. By 1976, with three well-received albums to their name, the six-man group were within touching distance of major success. And yet somehow it also felt as though the walls were closing in.

“It was a frustrating time,” guitarist and chief songwriter Kerry Livgren told Classic Rock back in 2004. “Having opened for just about every group you could possibly name, we had become such a hot property that nobody would play with us any more. For instance, Mick Fleetwood later told me that Fleetwood Mac died a death every time we went on first. We were a hard act to follow.”


More from this edition

Get Involved

Trending Features