Tag Archives: Jimmy Martin

Remembering Road Music

23 Sep

Today, we had a delivery to our house. However, this one was a little different from the typical visit from UPS or FedEx. A big rig, 18-wheeler semi-truck and trailer pulled into our driveway and parked at the side of our house. When the stuff was unloaded, the driver headed through the gate and turned around in the pasture behind the house.

I immediately started singing, “Give me 40 acres to turn this rig around.” My wife looked at me like I was nuts, and I had to explain that it was an old Country song.

When I was a kid, they sold albums on television. The commercial played snippets of songs on the album, and the announcer gave out a phone number to order it. Those commercials always got my attention, and I always wanted to buy the albums.

Certainly, my mom did not buy all of the albums that I wanted, but she bought one of the all time greats – Road Music: 23 Truckin’ Hits.

Looking back, the producers were certainly trying to capitalize on the trucking and CB craze of the time. However, they also mined some classic Country hits of the trucking genre. It included artists like Minnie Pearl, Del Reeves, Jimmy Martin and Red Sovine, who made a career out of trucking songs.

Of course, I did not know all of that when I was a kid. I just knew that it was a cool commercial with cool sounding songs. It also had a cover that attracted my young attention.

I listened to the album over and over. My favorite songs were:

“Six Days on the Road” by Dave Dudley

“Convoy” by T.H. Music Festival

“Give Me 40 Acres to Turn This Rig Around” by The Willis Brothers

“Phantom 309” by Red Sovine

It was a great album. Now, I have to see if I can find a copy out there somewhere. No more phone numbers. I will just Google it.

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My iPod Has Issues – We Are The Trivia Champions

27 Feb

Today, the History Club played Trivial Pursuit. It was students against teachers with the students having about ten people and we teachers only having three. In other words, the students were at a severe disadvantage.Trivia

The students streaked out to an early lead, but, by the end, we had pulled ahead and barely won. Some of the students were crushed. Some did not care. I think I can speak for each of the teachers by saying that we were relieved. A loss would have never been lived down.

To celebrate our victory, I decided to dig into the iPod and let it play. After all, it is party time for the history faculty. We were able to pull victory from the jaws of defeat.

“Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones

“Groove’s Groove” by Richard “Groove” Holmes

“Who’s To Bless And Who’s To Blame” by Kris Kristofferson

“Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent

“Les Flammes D’en Fer” by The Jambalaya Cajun Band

“Ode To Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry

“Breaking The Law” by Judas Priest

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2

“Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf

“In The Air Tonight” by Nonpoint

“Truck Drivin’ Man” by Jimmy Martin

“Let It Be” by The Beatles

“Surrender” by Cheap Trick

“Orange Blossom Special” by Benny Martin

“Here Comes The Sun” by Richie Havens

“An Old Fashioned Love Song” by Three Dog Night

“I Sang Dixie” by Dwight Yoakam

“You Really Got Me” by The Kinks

“I Never Loved A Man” by Aretha Franklin

“All Along The Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix

A victory in Trivial Pursuit? That must mean that the teacher team is the GOAT!

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.

My iPod Has Issues – The Great State of Tennessee

13 Nov

Tennessee, of which I am a native, has always been a musical state. Memphis has the Blues. Nashville has Country. The mountains have Appalachian Folk. It’s definitely a variety, and when it is thrown all together it turns into Rock ‘n Roll. As a historian who likes music, I have noticed a lot of songs about Tennessee. They either have the state in their names or as their subject.

Since I first heard a Tennessee song, I have wondered how many pieces of music are about this state. Yes, I was a weird kid. I still haven’t figured out all of the Tennessee songs, but I have collected a few on my iPod. To figure out what is there, I am putting the Tennessee playlist on shuffle and letting them fly.

“Roane County Prison” by Bill Monroe

“Nashville Jumps” by Cecil Grant

“Lebanon, Tennessee” by Ron Sexsmith

“Tennessee Waltz” by Jimmy Martin

“Tennessee Flat Top Box” by Johnny Cash

“Memphis Exorcism” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

“My Little Home in Tennessee” by Mac Wiseman

“Gene Nobles’ Boogie” by Richard Armstrong

“Rocky Top” by The Osbourne Brothers

“Tennessee Babe” by Dimitri Tiomkin

“My Little Girl in Tennessee” by Flatt and Scruggs

“East Tennessee Blues” by Tommy Jackson

“L&N Special” by Christine Kittrell

“Knoxville Girl” by Log Cabin Boys

“16th Avenue” by Lacy J. Dalton

“Team of Destiny” by Kenny Chesney

“Tennessee Whiskey” by David Allan Coe

Most of these songs are part of the Country genre, but a few come from the “Night Train to Nashville” album, which chronicles the history of Nashville’s R&B scene. If you want to hear some good Nashville music that is not Country, then you should check it out.

I will finish with a bit of Nashville trivia. When Jimi Hendrix was stationed at Fort Campbell, he played in the nightclubs along Jefferson Street. This is where he honed the guitar skills that would make him famous.

My iPod Has Issues – In Their Place

9 Oct

After several hours of grading papers, my eyes are imprinted with words typed in Times New Roman, and my mind is a mash-up of everything from Pocahontas to Mel Gibson. Honestly, I doubt that I can write coherent sentences, and I know I can’t type a coherent post. So, I have decided to rely on Old Faithful and dip into a playlist on my iPod to see what is happening in there.

At some point, I made a list of songs that have the names of places in their titles. Weird? True. What can I say? I’m kind of weird. There are probably a lot of weird places, too.

This qualifies as a weird place, and it’s one that I have actually visited.

Here is a list of twenty random songs from the playlist called “Location, Location, Location”.

“The Man From Laramie” by Al Martino

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins

“Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett

“Walkin’ Back to Georgia” by Jim Croce

“Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell

“Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King

“Chattanooga Dog” by Jimmy Martin

“Soul Francisco” by Tony Joe White

“Kentucky Woman” by Neil Diamond

“Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles

“Hotel California” by The Gipsy Kings

“Jackson” by Johnny Cash

“Ramblin’ Man From Gramblin'” by Sam Spence

“Texas” by Chris Rea

“European Swallow” by The Refreshments

“Tennessee Hound Dog” by The Osbourne Brothers

“If Hollywood Don’t Need You” by Don Williams

“California Love” by 2Pac, Roger Troutman and Dr. Dre

“Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks

“Good Time in London” by Big Mama Thornton

So, check out these songs. You might want to download them in your place.