|B-side "Shoot Your Shot"|
Format 7" single
Genre Soul, rock and roll
Label Tamla Motown
"(I'm a) Road Runner" is a hit song by Junior Walker & the Allstars, and was the title track of the successful 1966 album Road Runner. Written by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, it was released on the Tamla (Motown) label in 1966 and reached the top twenty in the U.S. and the UK.
Walker plays the distinctive tenor saxophone solo, backed by Mike Terry on baritone saxophone with Willie Woods on guitar. During production of the record, it was discovered that Walker could play the song only in two keys. So Walker sang in a key that he couldn’t play, and after being recorded, the saxophone track was sped up to match.
The pictorial single sleeve used a running bird similar to the Road Runner cartoon character.
Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
British-American rock group Fleetwood Mac covered the song with Dave Walker on lead vocals for their 1973 album Penguin.
The Jerry Garcia Band performed a version of the song in 1975, which was featured on The Jerry Garcia Collection, Vol. 2: Let It Rock.
James Taylor performed a cover, in September 1976, in episode 1, season 2 of Saturday Night Live. Taylor also included the song on his 2008 album Covers
Steve Gaines from Lynyrd Skynyrd performed the song with his own band, Crawdad, in the mid 1970s. A recording of them performing it was released on Gaines's 2001 live compilation CD, Okie Special.
Peter Frampton covered the song on his 1977 album I'm in You.