"Walking to New Orleans" (1960)
Louisiana songwriter Bobby Charles grew up in Abbeville, Louisiana, and worshipped Fats Domino from the first time he heard one of his songs as a teenager. According to a possibly apocryphal story Charles liked to tell, he met Domino when he came to town and the pianist invited him to New Orleans. Charles told him he had no way of getting there since he didn't have a car. "Well," Domino supposedly sad, "you'd better start walking." From that kernel, Charles wrote "Walking to New Orleans" in just about 15 minutes. Dave Bartholomew added a lush string section when Domino put it down on tape, helping turn it into a huge hit. It's been covered many times over the years, but the most emotional rendition was performed by Neil Young in 2005 at the React Now benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.