Muswell Hill, in the north of London, was the home of Ray and Dave Davies and is where The Kinks were formed. While the song mentions New Orleans, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and the Black Hills of South Dakota, it is inextricably linked to West Virginia . . . and of course Muswell Hill.
Although not released as a single, “Muswell Hillbilly” ended up being one of the more popular tunes on this unlikely and poor performing album. While in the US it only made it to #100 on the Top 200 Albums Chart, it failed to register on the British charts. It was the first in a series of concept albums by the band. While these LPs, released in the US on RCA, provided some of Ray Davies’ best writing, they were largely ignored by the public.