Tag Archives: Hank Williams

Songs for Me and Robert Neville

4 Oct

My wife and stepdaughter just left for the week at the beach. Next week, my wife and I are going to a real place – Santa Fe, New Mexico. However, that is happening next week. At the moment, I have the house to myself. This might be fun for a night, but I am certain that it will get old relatively soon.

The house has been quiet, and, in an attempt to break the silence, I turned on some music. The problem is that I have gravitated to songs with certain themes. I have listened to “Alone Again” by Dokken and followed that up with “Tired of Being Alone” by Al Green. Of course, there is “I Drink Alone” by George Thorogood.

On top of that, “Lonley Days” by Bee Gees is fitting for the occasion. In fact, it goes well with “The Lonely Man” by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Jackie Wilson sang “Lonely Teardrops“, which can only be shed by only the lonely. Luckily, the iPod has “Only the Lonely” by Roy Orbison. Merle Haggard sings about “Going Where the Lonely Go“. I do not know where that is, but I wonder if “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” plays there. If not, then maybe The Beatles do.

All of this adds up to being lonesome, and there are a ton of songs on my iPod that deal with that.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley

“The Blue Side of Lonesome” by John Prine and Mac Wiseman

I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” by Merle Haggard

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams

Lonesome Loser” by Little River Band

Lonesome Valley” by The Fairfield Four

Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” by Waylon Jennings

I could go on by listing “Solitary Man” by Neil Diamond and “Solitude” by Billie Holiday, but it might be time to stop listening to this kind of stuff. The iPod needs to change themes to something like “The In Crowd” by Ramsey Lewis or “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor. After all, the zombie apocalypse has not hit. There has to be other people in the world. Certainly, I have not become Robert Neville.Neville

Everyone knows who that is, right?

Advertisements

My iPod Has Issues – Brain Break

12 Aug

If you scroll down the blog, then you will see a recent post looking into the confines of my iPod. Usually, I like to put some time between those sessions. It gives my iPod’s brain a break from the constant analysis. However, there are times when you have to go back in and figure out what is going on.

Besides that, school is about to start, and my brain needs a break. The best way to do that is to crank up the music and see what the iPod chooses.Brain Break

“I Love” by Tom T. Hall

“The Look of Love” by Isaac Hayes

“Volcano” by Jimmy Buffett

“Les Tracas De Todd Balfa” by Balfa Toujours

“Hotel California” by The Eagles

“It’s Not My Cross to Bear” by The Allman Brothers Band

“Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

“Lebanon, Tennessee” by Ron Sexsmith

“Kaw-Liga” by Hank Williams

“When Love Comes to Town” by B.B. King

“How I Got Over” by The Fairfield Four

“Longer” by Dan Fogelberg

“Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard

“Arrival” by Daft Punk

“Pledging My Love” by David Allan Coe

“The Chokin’ Kind” by Joe Simon

“Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff

“An Old Fashioned Love Song” by Three Dog Night

“Orange Blossom Special” by Benny Martin

“Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Stevie Vaughan and Double Trouble

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 – Spring Break Has Come and Gone

16 Mar

Spring Break is over. School starts back, and I have to get my mind right to talk about history. That means getting into my office and spending some quiet time looking over notes. Of course, I have to arrive extra early to ask a couple of my cohorts about their Spring Break trip to Haiti.Spring Break

Getting my mind right also means listening to some tunes. With that in mind, I am going to turn on the iPod and see what kind of “Get My Mind Ready” music it can conjure up.

I think I will cheat and pick the first one.

“School’s Out” by Alice Cooper

“Mr. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds

“Up On The Roof” by The Drifters

“Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard

“99 Problems” by Jay-Z

“Blue Skies” by The Allman Brothers Band

“You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You” by Dean Martin

“Angel Eyes” by Scott Hamilton

“Immune” by Godsmack

“Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum

“Sonny Got Caught In The Moonlight” by Robbie Robertson

“The Beat” by Lou Johnson

“Gimme Back My Bullets” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“A Country Boy Can Survive” by Hank Williams, Jr.

“Sympathy For The Devil” by The Rolling Stones

“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver

“Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke

“Big Iron” by Marty Robbins

“Buck’s Boogie” by Matt “Guitar” Murphy

“The Pilgrim: Chapter 33” by Kris Kristofferson

Tomorrow, I will get up bright and early and teach class to a bunch of students who have gotten up just as early. I should enter the room to Elvis’s intro music. I bet that would get their attention.

Grand Ole Opry Song

29 Mar

Most people probably know that Nashville is known as “Music City”, and those same people probably know that it is called that because of the country music industry. Nashville actually has been a hotbed of several musical genres. At one time, there was a strong R&B scene, and Jimi Hendrix honed his craft in the clubs on Jefferson Street. Bob Dylan spent a great deal of time in the city, and Elvis Presley recorded here all the time. Heck, the Black Keys and Jack White currently call Nashville home.

Despite a diverse history, country music was and continues to be the dominating form, and, these days, it is dominated by performers like Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown. I can’t name them all because I don’t really like what they do. Today’s country seems like a Frankenstein’s monster to me. Take a little bit of country. Take a little bit of rock. Throw in a few more things. Once, you are finished a monstrosity has been created. Personally, I blame Garth Brooks.

Nashville didn’t become “Music City” because of today’s stars. It became “Music City” in the early part of the 20th Century because of a radio show, the Grand Ole Opry. It could be heard every Saturday night on WSM, a powerful AM station that took its signal throughout the United States. In the days before nationwide concert tours, artists could get their music to the masses over the radio. Since the performers gathered in Nashville to perform on the Opry, it made sense for record companies to set up studios nearby. As years passed, Nashville became the destination for those who wanted to get in the country music business.

Sometimes, I think that story gets lost in the glitz and glamor of the modern country music industry. In the old days, country artists didn’t have laser shows at their concerts. They definitely didn’t run around the stage and shake their asses. They stood behind the microphone and sang about heartbreak and trains.

Jimmy Martin was one of the old-time singers.

Jimmy Martin

Jimmy Martin

Known as the “King of Bluegrass”, he performed on the Opry many times. Unfortunately, he faced the demons of alcohol abuse, and uncertainty kept him from becoming a full member of the Opry. Despite that, he recorded “Grand Ole Opry Song“, an ode to the show and the people who made it special. I thought it would be interesting to use that song to introduce (or remind) the blogosphere to some of the people who turned Nashville into “Music City”.

Come and listen to my story if you will I’m gonna tell

About a gang of fellers from down at Nashville

First I’ll start with old Red Foley doin’ the ‘Chattanooga Shoe’

Red Foley

Red Foley

We can’t forget Hank Williams with them good old ‘Lovesick Blues’

Hank WIlliams

Hank Williams

It’s time for Roy Acuff to go to Memphis on his train

Roy Acuff

Roy Acuff

With Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield and Lazy Jim Day

Minnie Pearl

Minnie Pearl

Rod Brasfield

Rod Brasfield

Jim Day

Jim Day

Turn on all your radios I know that you will wait

Hear Little Jimmy Dickens sing ‘Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait’

Little Jimmy Dickens

Little Jimmy Dickens

There’ll be guitars and fiddles, Earl Scruggs and his banjo too

Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs

Bill Monroe singing out them ole ‘Kentucky Blues’

Bill Monroe

Bill Monroe

Ernest Tubb’s number, ‘Two Wrongs Won’t Make a Right’

Ernest Tubb

Ernest Tubb

At the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night

There  was Uncle Dave Macon his gold tooth and plug hat

Uncle Dave Macon

Uncle Dave Macon

Cowboy Copas singing ‘Tragic Romance’

Cowboy Copas

Cowboy Copas

Signed sealed and delivered with Sam and Kirk McGee

Sam and Kirk McGee

Sam and Kirk McGee

And the master of ceremony was Mr. George D Hay

George D. Hay

George D. Hay

There was Lonzo and Oscar a-poppin’ bubble gum

Lonzo and Oscar

Lonzo and Oscar

George Morgan singin’ ‘Candy Kisses’ yum, yum

George Morgan

George Morgan

‘Got a Hole in My Bucket’ ‘Bringin’ in that Georgia Mail’

We’ll sing ‘The Sunny Side of the Mountain’

And dance to the ‘Chicken Reel’

You can talk about your singers in all kinds of way

But none could sing the old songs like Bradley Kincaid

Bradley Kincaid

Bradley Kincaid

With his old hound dog ‘Guitar’ and the famous ‘Blue Tail Fly’

Stringbean with Hank Snow and old fiddlin’ Chubby Wise

Stringbean

Stringbean

Hank Snow

Hank Snow

Chubby Wise

Chubby Wise

Now, that’s country.

Deadaroo

18 Jun

Last weekend, my state hosted Bonnaro, the music festival that has become a destination for those looking for a good time and good music. They have a wide variety of acts, and I have often said that I would like to go if I could fly in on a helicopter for a few hours. Listening to music would be awesome, but I am too well into my years to be hanging out in a field without a hot shower.

After reading a lot of blogs and tweets about Bonaroo, I began to think about what performers I would like to see at a festival. Then, I took it a little further. What performers have I never seen live but would like to see? Then, with an idea string going, I began to think about the performers I would like to see live but never will because they are, well, not live. They are dead.

After coming up with a list of dead performers that I wished I had seen, I came up with my own music festival fantasy -Deadaroo. These are not zombie versions of famous people. This is a collection of people in their primes. This is a music festival of some of my favorites at the top of their game.

The following is a list of acts; the stage where they will perform; and, the thing I would most want to see them do (with links).

Appearing on the “Knockin’ ‘Em Dead” Comedy Stage:

Jerry Clower, the Mouth of the South, telling his greatest stories, including A Coon Huntin’ Story.

Rodney Dangerfield with his self-deprecating routine and trademark line, “I get no respect.”

Jackie Gleason, famous for television and movies, was also great at stand up comedy and was known for the signature line,”How sweet it is.” The video is from The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (begin watching at 5:03).

The Rat Pack, consisting of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others, brings their Vegas act to the stage.

Scheduled for the “Dead Zone” Music Stage:

Big Joe Turner, early R&B and Rock and Roll pioneer, performing his hits, including “Shake, Rattle and Roll“.

Jim Croce, folk singer extraordinaire, singing “I Got a Name” and the rest of his classics.

Waylon Jennings, one of the original Outlaws of country music, with a passel of hits including “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys“.

Johnny Cash – the Man in Black, the legend, and someone I actually met – singing songs that span decades but ending with one of the early ones, “Folsom Prison Blues“.

Sam Cooke, paragon of R&B and Soul, bringing his best and “Bring It On Home to Me“.

As the finale, THE country legend known to many as Luke the Drifter, Hank Williams singing “Hey Good Lookin’” and many more classic songs.

At “Rock in Pieces”, the main stage, Deadaroo brings you:

Isaac Hayes, Black Moses of 70s Soul, with his Academy Award winning theme, “Shaft“.

James Brown, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, performs all of his hits, including “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag“.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of the greatest bluesmen ever, breaks out his guitar and plays “Mary Had a Little Lamb“.

The Reggae man himself, Bob Marley, straight from Jamaica with songs such as “No Woman No Cry“.

Ray Charles, genius and master of all musical genres, performs songs known to all and promises to stoke the crowd with “What’d I Say“.

Who could top those legends? Who is worthy to close the show of such greatness? Jimi Hendrix, the greatest guitar player of them all, as he electrifies Deadaroo with “Purple Haze” and other songs of psychedelic form.

That’s Deadaroo. The End

A Tuesday Night in Nashville

15 Mar

I have written a couple of posts about Nashville and the great things it offers to those of us who live in its vicinity. For those who think it is a 21st Century version of Hee Haw, I feel the need to explain that Nashville is a cosmopolitan community that happens to be the home of country music. Last night, my girlfriend and I experienced a little of both – call it cosmo-country.

We started the evening by meeting some friends and going to Virago, one of my favorite restaurants.

It has fantastic sushi and is one of the go-to places in town for the famous and not-so-famous (which I am obviously part of). It is part of a collection of restaurants within a block, and each has a different feel. Across the street, sits Whiskey Kitchen, a laid back place where you can get good drinks and comfort food. Kayne Prime is also part of the collection, A high-end steak house, its bar has one of the best views of the Nashville skyline. There is also a secret locale known by only a few. Somewhere in the area is a speakeasy type club for members only. Luckily, I am a member. I would tell you all about it, but I would have to kill you.

After a dinner, we jumped a few blocks down and across the interstate to Marathon Village, home of several cool stores and Marathon Music Works, a new music hall that I had never been to before. I must admit that I entered with some trepidation. We were going to see a couple of performers that my girlfriend listens to all of the time, and we don’t have the same musical tastes. A few weeks ago, I took her to see Lady Antebellum on one night and Jason Aldean on another. I have been planning a post on those experiences, so I won’t go into detail now. I will just say that today’s country music is not my favorite, and some of them need to decide if they are going to be AC/DC or Hank Williams.

With that rant out-of-the-way, I will continue. We were there to see David Nail and Gavin DeGraw. I had no idea what either one of them sing, and I still don’t. However, that did not dampened the fun that I had. They are both great performers, and the crowd was buzzing as they sang. The music hall, which is located in an abandoned factory, is also cool with a huge layout and plenty of bars.

I firmly believe that there is no better place in the world to listen to live music than Nashville. I know that Austin, Texas claims to be the “Live Music Capital of the World”, and I have experienced that. There is definitely some great music played there. But, Nashville has numerous places where you can hear world-class music every night. I would venture to say that the vast majority of wait staff working at Virago or any other restaurant can play and sing as good as anyone you hear on the radio. People don’t go to Austin to get discovered, but they do come here. It is interesting to hear David Nail talk on stage about moving to Nashville three times before getting a gig playing in a local bar and feeling the appreciation he has for finally making it. It is cool to go to a dive and hear someone then see them some awards show years later. That is the musical experience in Nashville.

I am not a fan of today’s country music, but I am a fan of the city from which in emanates. It makes Nashville a special place in the eyes of the world. Those of us who live here know that it is special for other reasons as well.