Tag Archives: Johnny Cash

Bad Football and a Musical Complaint

7 Nov

Lately, I have watched some bad football. The Tennessee Titans leave a lot of be desired. The season of the Tennessee Volunteers has gone from great promise to a quagmire. I am also reading a book about an infamous game in the history of Cumberland University. For those who do not know, our school lost to Georgia Tech 222-0. It is the biggest defeat in the history of college football.

Sam Hatcher, who I have known for years, wrote a book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the game. Heisman’s First Trophy: The Game that Launched Football in the South is an interesting read that provides a great story of the game. I would recommend it to anyone. Some of it is fictionalized, but the heart of the story remains true.heisman-book

I have been surrounded by bad football, but I have also witnessed some bad halftime performances. The University of Tennessee Marching Band is known as the Pride of the Southland, and they have been performing something called the “Circle Drill” for 50 years. I know that because they announced  that this year is the 50th anniversary of the routine. Certainly, it is a difficult marching formation to perform, but I have one request.

PLAY SOME NEW SONGS!

I have been watching the “Circle Drill” for 42 of the 50 years that it has been in existence, and they have played the same songs the entire time. I can even recite the announcer’s script.

They do a musical tour of Tennessee by starting out in Memphis. That is when they play Elvis Presley’s “signature” tune “C.C. Rider.” Then, they go to Chattanooga with “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Next is a visit to Nashville with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” They end up in Knoxville with “Rocky Top,” the school’s unofficial fight song.

I understand “Rocky Top.” It fires up the crowd and needs to be played. However, it is time to spruce up the rest of the collection. Tennessee is one of the most musical places around. I know they can do better.

First, “C.C. Rider” is not the “signature” song of Elvis Presley. I guarantee that if you ask anyone to name and Elvis song that one would not be mentioned. I would choose “Hound Dog.” Here is the other thing. Elvis was not the only creator of songs in Memphis. What about doing a Tina Turner songs? Or an Isaac Hayes song? What about a Blues classic or something from Stax Records?

I know that “Chattanooga Choo Choo” is an obvious selection for Chattanooga. However, they could throw the crowd a curve with “Chattanooga City Limit Sign” by Johnny Cash. How about “Lookout Mountain” by Drive-By Truckers?

Nashville, otherwise known as Music City, is home to hundreds of artists and thousands of songs. I think they can find a new one. “Nashville Cats” by The Lovin’ Spoonful would be a great pick. Heck, they could shock the world by playing a Jimi Hendrix tune. It would work since he spent his early days in the clubs on Nashville’s Jefferson Street. I cannot even do this paragraph justice. There are so many songs to play that they could close their eyes and pick one out of a songbook.

Better yet, they could get the band from Tennessee State University to do the “Circle Drill.” I know the Aristocrat of Bands and the Sophisticated Ladies could circle it up.

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Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats

4 Mar

A few week ago, my wife and I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, which we like to do when they have an interesting exhibit. This time, they had a couple of exhibits that I wanted to see. The first was about Sam Phillips and Sun Records. The second was about the friendship between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash and the effect it had on the Nashville music scene.image-7

Nashville has always been known for Country music, but I have been more fascinated with the story of Nashville’s other music. For example, it has a deep Rhythm and Blues history and is where Jimi Hendrix got his start.

I have read about Dylan’s time in Nashville and was interested to see how the Country Music Hall of Fame would present it. They did better than I could have imagined and introduced me to facts that I did not know.

Obviously, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash were the focus, but that was only the beginning. It covered the artists who were inspired by Dylan’s work in the city and followed him here. It was awesome to see the display on Paul McCartney and his time living in my hometown of Lebanon.image-9

The story of Paul McCartney’s time in town has gone down in local lore, but there were a ton of artists that I never knew recorded here. On the way out, I bought an album of songs that were highlighted in the exhibit, and it provides an example of some of those artists.

Gordon Lightfoot

The Byrds

The Monkees

Leonard Cohen

Country Joe McDonald

Simon and Garfunkel

George Harrison

Ringo Starr

Joan Baez

Neil Young

Derek and the Dominos

Those people are well-known in the history of music. However, this exhibit also highlighted the session musicians who played the music to which those people sang. These are the unsung heroes of Nashville and have become known as the Nashville Cats.

Several people had their own displays, but Jerry Reed was my favorite. Those who only know him as Snowman in Smokey and the Bandit or the football coach in The Waterboy may not realize that he was one of the greatest guitarists to ever play in Nashville. He was the heir apparent to Chet Atkins and had a distinctive style that other players have tried to duplicate.image-8

As always, the Country Music Hall of Fame did a fantastic job with the exhibit. Each time I go to the museum, I learn something new. If you ever make it to Nashville, then you will need to visit the place. Just remember that Country music is not the only music that has come out of this city.

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

Songs of the Week

30 Jun

I was driving down the road when an old song came over my Sirius XM that I have not heard in a while. “Blue Monday” by Fats Domino is one of my favorites. That is probably because my dad is a fan of the piano player, which is a big deal because my dad is not a huge music person.

As the song played, my mind wandered to other songs about Monday. Then, it wandered to songs about other days of the week. Before realizing it, I conceived of a blog post about my favorite song for each day of the week.Week

This is not an original idea, but that keep me from this endeavor.

Sunday – This song came to mind in a nanosecond. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was written by Kris Kristofferson and best sung by Johnny Cash. When I hear it, I visualize wannabe country music star walking the streets of Nashville.

Monday – Fats Domino’s Monday song inspired this post, but “Stormy Monday Blues” is my favorite song for this day. It has been recorded by a ton of people, but Bobby “Blue” Bland did it best.

Tuesday – “Tuesday’s Gone” is not about the day. It is about a woman being left behind. Lynyrd Skynyrd had more famous tunes, but, for me, this one ranks at the top. It was also on their first album.

Wednesday – Honestly, I cannot remember hearing a song about Wednesday. Upon searching, I found several but did not know any of them. I am not going to force it. I do not have a favorite Wednesday song. If you know of any let me know.

Thursday – Well, this post is falling apart. I cannot think of a Thursday song, either. However, I went searching and found “Thursday” by Jim Croce. Since Jim Croce does not have any bad songs, this one is my new favorite.

Friday – I am going deep for this one. Ward L. Chandler created the theme for Friday Foster, the movie starring Pam Grier. If you have never seen a Pam Grier movie, then I suggest you get on with it. She is awesome.

Saturday – There are a ton of Saturday songs, and I like a bunch of them. However, I am going to take it into the deep tracks with “Saturday Night in Oak Grove, Louisiana” by Tony Joe White. He never duplicated his “Polk Salad Annie” success, but this one is good because it perfectly describes a big night in a small southern town.

There you have it. A week of songs. What would your week look like?

My iPod Has Issues – Brain Drain

25 Jun

There are a lot of things going through my mind that I could write about. My opinion on the Confederate flag. Some issues in local politics. The events of everyday life. Heck, I could even give out the Yard Dog Award. However, I am not going to write about any of those things.

I am tired. My brain is tired.Brain

At the moment, the energy does not exist to create a post of any depth. As has been done before, I will take this opportunity to take the easy way out and let my iPod do all of the work.

It is now time to put it on shuffle and listen to what comes out.

“I Sang Dixie” by Dwight Yoakam

“Flash Light” by Parliament

“Broken Arrow” by Robbie Robertson

“She Shot A Hole In My Soul” by Clifford Curry

“Arranca” by Manzanita

“Sweet and Slow” by Carol Sloane

“He Went To Paris” by Jimmy Buffett

“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition

“Tiger Man” by Elvis Presley

“Texas” by Chris Rea

“Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.)” by Glen Campbell

“Dear Mr. Fantasy” by Traffic

“Safe From Harm” by Massive Attack

“Civil War” by Guns N’ Roses

“Comin’ Home” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash

“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding

“Lotta Love” by Nicolette Larson

“Sweet Tennessee” by Judah and the Lion

Man, that wore my iPod out. I think we both need a good night’s sleep.

 

Music on the Inside

20 Jun

The other night, we saw The Rolling Stones at LP Field, the home of the Tennessee Titans. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know that I am a music lover and am a big fan of concerts. However, I learned something about myself at this one. I do not like stadium shows. Seeing an iconic band like The Rolling Stones is great, but football stadiums are not conducive to a good show.

First, the weather has an impact. It was miserably hot and affected my ability to enjoy to music. However, other kinds of weather can mess it up. Rain. Thunder. Lightning. Anyway, the heat was unbearable.

Second, there are no good seats. Unless you are in front of the stage or have some sort of VIP pass, there is no good place to watch a concert in a football stadium. You are always far from the stage. That means you can hear a live concert, but you cannot necessarily see a live concert.

All of this means that I am a fan of indoor concerts. Good seats are actually good seats. Even bad seats are close enough to see something. People can feel like they are part of an event rather than being on the outskirts of one.

On top of that, indoor concerts are climate controlled. I saw Jimmy Buffett in an arena while it was storming outside. It rained enough to flood Nashville over the next several days.

Bringing up Jimmy Buffett makes me think of something else. His concerts are known as outdoor parties under the sun. I have seen him outside. I have seen him inside. The indoor shows were better.

The same goes for The Rolling Stones. I saw them in an arena and in a stadium. The arena show was better. They may not have performed better, but it was a better experience.

A few months ago, we saw Kenny Chesney in concert. It was an awesome show and a lot better than the time we saw him in a stadium.

Bottom line, football stadiums are not designed for concerts and the best ones are in smaller indoor buildings. However, I do not want to disparage the band. The Rolling Stones are great, and it is hard to believe they can perform at that level at their ages. They are a Hall of Fame band, and I want to end this post on a positive note. Since they are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I thought it would be interesting to see how many members I have seen in concert.Rock Hall

I guess it can be done by their year of induction.

1986

The Everly Brothers

Elvis Presley

1987

Bo Diddley

B.B. King

1988

Bob Dylan

Diana Ross

1989

The Rolling Stones

1990

Simon and Garfunkel

The Who

1992

Johnny Cash (I did not actually see him perform, but I met him in a bookstore.)

1993

John Fogerty

1994

Elton John

Rod Stewart

1995

Al Green

Robert Plant

1996

Pink Floyd

1997

Crosby, Stills and Nash

Parliament-Funkadelic

1998

Eagles

Fleetwood Mac

Santana

1999

Del Shannon

Bruce Springsteen

2000

Eric Clapton

Earth, Wind and Fire

James Taylor

2001

Aerosmith

Steely Dan

2002

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

2003

AC/DC

2004

Prince

Bob Seger

Steve Winwood

ZZ Top

2005

Buddy Guy

U2

2006

Ozzy Osbourne

Lynyrd Skynyrd

2008

Leonard Cohen

John Mellencamp

2009

Metallica

2011

Alice Cooper

Neil Diamond

2012

Axl Rose

2014

John Oates

Kiss

They are all Hall of Famers, and I can guarantee they all put on better shows indoors.