Tag Archives: George Strait

My iPod Has Issues – NFL Draft Edition

28 Apr

I am watching the NFL Draft, and it is getting boring.

That is why I cranked up the iPod to see what is happening there. Here is what happened.

“Amarillo by Morning” by George Strait

“Spybreak” by Propellerheads

“Mama Feel Good” by Lyn Collins

“Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor

“Little Red Corvette” by Prince

“Big Iron” by Marty Robbins

“Four Walls of Raiford” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Black Betty” by Ram Jam

“If Anyone Falls” by Stevie Nicks

“Lady Blue” by Leon Russell

“Arranca” by Manzanita

“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Jerry Lee Lewis

“Heaven and Hell” by Waylon Jennings

“Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels

“Tube Snake Boogie” by ZZ Top

“Take Me Home” by Phil Collins

“Behind Closed Doors” by Charlie Rich

“Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton

“Try Not To Breathe” by R.E.M.

 

Advertisements

My iPod Has Issues – Kicking It Off With Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

31 Aug

My family is watching the MTV Video Music Awards, and I am in my office getting mentally prepared for tomorrow’s classes. The desk is a mess and needs to be cleaned. Looking around, I only see a few things that need to be kept.

The latest edition of National Geographic.

A new voter registration card.

A stack of books that includes Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne.

Oh yeah, there are a couple of vinyl albums, “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd and “Nashville Skyline” by Bob Dylan.

The Country Music Hall of Fame has a new exhibit about Dylan and Johnny Cash. I will see it before it is gone. In honor of that exhibit and the fact that I do not have the time to put together a real post, we will look into the mind of my iPod. Most of it will be random, but I am going to cheat on the first song.Cash and Dylan

“Girl From the North Country” by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

“Bustin’ Out” by Rick James

“Tree of Level” by The Fairfield Four

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John

“Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen

“Walk On By” by Dionne Warwick

“Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards

“She Never Knew Me” by Don Williams

“Love is Strong” by The Rolling Stones

“The Cowboy Rides Away” by George Strait

“Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band

“La Grange” by ZZ Top

“Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere and the Raiders

“White Lightning Ballad” by Charles Bernstein

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2

“C’mon Everybody” by Eddie Cochran

“Stockholm Blues” by Tony Joe White

“You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” by Judas Priest

“Fantastic Voyage” by Lakeside

“I Want To” by Joe Tex

My iPod Has Issues – Western Writer’s Block

9 Jul

There is a post that needs to be written, but I cannot wrap my mind around the thing. It is on an interesting topic that is right in my wheelhouse. Except, I cannot get it started. The right words will not come to me.

Anyway, I have promised myself that I will not write a post of substance until this one is done. That is why I am writing a post of no substance. Hopefully, putting words on the screen will unblock my mind and get this thing rolling.

Cranking up the iPod might help. This list has a theme that is close to the topic in my mind. You never know. The music might jar something loose.Gunsmoke

“My Rifle, My Pony and Me” by Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins

“Jesse James” by Jim Greer and the Mac-O-Chee Valley Singers

“The Way That You Wander” by John Rubenstein and Tim McIntire

“Slow Movin’ Outlaws” by Waylon Jennings

“Ballad Of Davy Crockett” by Fess Parker

“Arriving In Deadwood” by Michael Brook

“Song Of The Wagonmaster” by Sons of the Pioneers

“El Dorado” by George Alexander and the Mellomen

“Silverado” by The Marshall Tucker Band

“Great White Buffalo” by Ted Nugent

“Kaw-Liga” by Hank Williams

“Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor

“Desperado” by The Eagles

“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers

“Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” by Johnny Cash

“A Man With True Grit” by Glen Campbell

“Old Turkey Buzzard” by Jose Feliciano

“The Legend Of Judge Roy Bean” by Nevada Slim

“Amarillo By Morning” by George Strait

My iPod Has Issues – Westward Bound

4 Aug

In a few days, I will be heading to the northwest with my dad, my brother and my nephews. A couple of years ago, we went to Montana, and, this year, we have decided to go to Oregon. We will also make our way to Washington and Idaho. There really is not much of a plan – fly to Portland and drive around for a week.Northwest

As it was with the trip to Washington, D.C., I am sure this journey will inspire future blogging tales. In the meantime, I leave you with a few tunes from the “Print the Legend” playlist on the crazy old iPod. This list is a collection of songs from Westerns and other things that I consider to be western.

Now, let us hit shuffle and see what songs we can corral.

“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan

“Ecstasy of Gold” by Ennio Morricone

“Deadwood Mountain” by Big & Rich

“Spiritlands” by John Huling

“Arriving in Deadwood” by Michael Brook

“Dances With Wolves” by Nic Raine

“Rodeo” by Aaron Copland

“The Ballad of Jet Rink” by Dimitri Tiomkin

“The Way That You Wander” by John Rubinstein and Tim McIntire

“Rio Bravo” by Dean Martin

“Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi

“Five Card Stud” by Billy Strange

“Pecos Bill” by Sons of the Pioneers

“Banditos” by The Refreshments

“The Pledge of Allegiance” by John Wayne

“Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere and the Raiders

“Ballad of Davy Crockett” by Fess Parker

“Coyotes” by Don Edwards

“Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor

“The Cowboy Rides Away” by George Strait

 

 

Listeria – Singers of Country and Western Songs

5 Nov

Man, magazines sure like their lists. To be honest, I like them, too. American Cowboy put out a special edition about the 50 greatest Country & Western singers. As I read over the list, I began to think that many of them don’t fit on the list. When I hear Country & Western, I think about cowboy songs, and there are a bunch of people on the list that never sang a song about punching cattle or being in a showdown.Four Way Shootout

I am thinking that the genre name confuses me because I don’t consider it a modern description. There is Country music and there is Western music, which isn’t as popular. I think that in the old days Country and Western went together because they were considered rural in origin. Was it a derogatory term? I don’t know, but I don’t believe they fit together anymore.

With that in mind, I am going to pare down the list and report the ones who I think are true singers of Western songs. It is American Cowboy, after all. Here they are – the ones on the list who have sung about the West. I may link a few examples along the way.

Johnny Cash – I’ve written about him before. Johnny sang a variety of tunes, but he also sang about the West. Personally, I like the one about Johnny Yuma.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans – What can I say? Roy was the ultimate cowboy for an entire generation of kids. Dale was by his side the whole time. Nothing beats their signature song.

George Strait – George can sing Country and Western. In fact, he is a true legend of both. I could listen to “Amarillo by Morning” every day. Every time I go through Amarillo, I sing it.

Chris LeDoux – I don’t know much about Chris, but how can you leave a real cowboy off the list?

Ian Tyson – This is another singer who I don’t know much about. It is also another singer who was a real cowboy.

Gene Autry – Another cowboy legend who a generation of kids looked up to. Ironically, his most enduring song is about a deer.

Red Steagall – Texas Swing is a great subgenre of Country & Western music, and Red is one of the all time greats.

Willie Nelson – He couldn’t make it when he first came to Nashville. That’s when Willie went back to Texas and got famous. Personally, I like “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.”

Michael Martin Murphey – When I was a kid, I was fascinated by “Wildfire.” I think it was more the ghostly element than the cowboy element.

Don Edwards – I didn’t know anything about Don until I heard one of his songs in a movie. “Coyotes” was that song.

Patsy Montana – The other day Necole and I took my parents to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The section on Patsy Montana was very interesting.

Merle Haggard – He sings about prisoners and laborers. Merle also sings about cowboys. He greatest song is “Pancho and Lefty” with Willie Nelson. He also had a song in Chisum, a John Wayne movie.

Marty Robbins – I wrote about some of Marty’s songs a while back. He touched on a variety of topics in his music, but cowboys were right at the top.

Rex Allen – Another great cowboy star, I remember the tractor commercials he always did during the National Finals Rodeo.

Sons of the Pioneers – I guess Roy Rogers is in here twice because he was also in this group. I watched a fascinating documentary about “Tumbling Tumbleweeds“, so I will make that my favorite. I also like “The Searchers” theme.

Bob Wills – Remember what I said about Texas Swing? Bob Wills was the king of it.

Waylon Jennings – An Outlaw with Willie Nelson and others, Waylon often sang about cowboys. I always liked “Slow Movin’ Outlaw.”

Riders in the Sky – I always considered them a parody. I guess their stage costumes led me to think that. Riders in the Sky are included in the American Cowboy list, so I will put them in mine.

R.W. Hampton – I don’t know his work, but, from what I read, his contemporaries think a lot of R.W.

Joni Harms – Another artist that is new to me, Joni has won numerous awards for her work in the Western genre.

Tom Russell – Dang, I don’t know many of these people. I need to do more research. I definitely need to do more listening to this song.

Wylie & the Wild West – Actually, I know about Wylie. I just don’t know much about his music.

Corb Lund – They list lyrics of some of the artists. Corb’s lyrics struck a chord with me, so I looked up this song.

Garth Brooks – He looked like a cowboy, and he sang about cowboys. Personally, I think Garth ruined Country music.

Kris Kristofferson – Anyone who played Billy the Kid in a movie has to be put on the list. I am just not sure if he ever sang about cowboys.

Belinda Gail – Belinda won the WIll Rogers Cowboy Award. That means she should be on the list.

Brenn Hill – The magazine doesn’t say much about him, but it says that he sings cowboy songs.

Gary McMahan – They list “The Old Double Diamond” as his most prominent song. I looked it up, and it’s good.

Sons of San Joaquin – It’s all in the family. According to the magazine, Roy Rogers compared the Sons of Joaquin to the Sons of the Pioneers. That’s enough for me.

Let’s add this up. Out of 50 on the original list, we have 30 left. I don’t who how many others could have been on it, but I can’t believe Tex Ritter didn’t make it. He sang the iconic theme to High Noon and sang a song that is played daily at Disney World – “Blood on the Saddle.” Can you guess where it’s played?

Musical Journey

14 May

In a few days, we will be leaving on our annual field trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I will return with stories from the Wild West, but, until then, I will be out-of-pocket for a while.

The trip to Santa Fe is an adventurous one. Four teachers and ten students jump into a couple of vans and journey from one end of the continent to the other. It’s a long way, but the directions are easy. My town sits on Interstate 40. That means we stay on one road through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and part of New Mexico. Like Bugs Bunny, we take a right at Albuquerque.

Or maybe it was left.

Or maybe it was left.

The stretch of Interstate 40 between Nashville and Memphis has been dubbed the “Music Highway”, but the entire road to pretty musical. It seems that a lot of the places we pass have songs written about them.

Nashville has a bunch of songs written about it, but one of my favorites is “Nashville Cats” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.

Not long after Nashville, we go through Jackson. Now, I don’t know if June and Johnny Cash were singing about the Jackson in Tennessee or the Jackson in Mississippi. However, this is my blog, so it’s going to be Tennessee.

Next, we go through Memphis, a city of Blues and Rock n’ Roll. Like Nashville, there are a lot of songs about Memphis, but one of the best was by Johnny Rivers.

I guess Little Rock has some songs about it, but we don’t really go through that town. This means that Oklahoma is the next musical place we hit. Obviously, there is a musical about this state, but Three Dog Night recorded my favorite Oklahoma song. It’s a weird tune that talks about Spain and the Beatles.

We stop in Oklahoma City, but I can’t think of a good Oklahoma City song. However, Carrie Underwood has a song about her hometown of Checotah.

From Oklahoma, we venture into the panhandle of Texas. There’s not much in the panhandle of Texas but the city of Amarillo. George Strait has a great song about Amarillo.

That’s about it for Texas, but there is one more song. When we get close to Albuquerque, I always think about a song that is about a guy driving on Interstate 40. However, he is traveling the opposite direction. Instead of going west, he is going east through all of the towns that we have passed. He is leaving a bad woman, and “by the time I make Albuquerque she’ll be workin’“.

So, that’s the musical journey I will be making this week.

It Takes a Village

20 Jul

There is a neighborhood in Nashville that sits between Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. It is called Hillsboro Village and is home to a collection of eclectic stores, restaurants and hangout spots. It is also one of my favorite parts of the city and the place that I spent last evening.

The choices of Hillsboro Village are plentiful, and I have tried most of them. Painting ceramics at All Fired Up is something cool. Bosco’s is a great place to grab an appetizer and a drink. There is also Fido’s, an old pet shop that has been turned into a coffee shop. Perhaps, the most famous spot in the Village is The Pancake Pantry, a breakfast mecca where Nashvillians stand in the waiting line as a rite of passage.

My girlfriend and I didn’t hit any of those places last night because we were headed to the best thing about the neighborhood, the Belcourt Theater.

It is not large and decadent like Atlanta’s Fox Theater, but it has an interesting history. Opened in 1925, the theater showed silent films and became the temporary home of the Grand Ole Opry. Later, it became a playhouse and concert hall. Today, it is a great place to see independent films and concerts. Big Bonus! Alcohol is sold at the same concession stand where you can buy Goober’s.

We saw Moonrise Kingdom, a Wes Anderson film with Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand. However, the stars were the two kids who the story revolved around. In case someone wants to see the movie, I will not write about the story, but it was a great film. I always like seeing big stars in small movies because they seem to be doing it for love rather than money.

After the movie, we walked across the street to Taps, a restaurant in an old house.

I wanted to sit on the front porch and enjoy the evening but found the tables filled. At first, I was disappointed to sit inside, but it turned into a treat that only Nashville can provide. On the small stage, if it was even a stage, songwriters took turns playing their songs. Now, songwriters are not great singers, but, when they start playing stuff that you recognize, you listen anyway. The last songwriter had songs that had been recorded by Kenny Rogers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and George Strait. Here was a successful songwriter singing his songs in a small restaurant on a side street. As I said, only in Nashville.

What’s more is that he was doing it in a glorified hamburger joint. But, it was a heck of a hamburger. Taps specializes in stuffed hamburgers, and mine was stuffed with habanero and jalapeno peppers. I believe that it was the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten.

Oh, another thing that may only happen in Nashville. My table had Kris Kristofferson’s face painted on it. I tweeted that fact, and a former student and fellow blogger wanted me to link a picture. Alas, I forgot to take one.