Tag Archives: Marty Robbins

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.

 

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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.

My iPod Has Issues – Grammy Edition

27 Jan

The Grammy Awards are on and taking my focus away from the blog. Between Twitter and the television, I am being inundated with information. Lorde has black fingers. Daft Punk has cool headgear. According to my wife, Keith Urban has a messed up haircut. Katy Perry tried to emulate the witchy aura of Stevie Nicks. All I can say is that she is no Stevie Nicks.Stevie Nicks

With my mind cluttered with the world of music, I may as well go ahead and add more music to it. That means putting the iPod on shuffle and teeing it up. I don’t know how many of these people won a Grammy, but being included on the playlist should make up for any previous snubs.

“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Valerie Wellington

“Cindy” by Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan

“Ballad of the Alamo” by Marty Robbins

“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith

“Workin’ for MCA” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“I Threw It All Away” by Bob Dylan

“I See You Baby” by Groove Armada

“Highway to Hell” by AC/DC

“Rhiannon” by Stevie Nicks

“Pearl Necklace” by ZZ Top

“Immune” by Godsmack

“Don’t Bring Me Down” by The Animals

“Montana” by Sons of the Pioneers

“The Theme to Route 66” by Nelson Riddle

“Ecstasy of Gold” bu Ennio Morricone

“Oh, What a Night” by The Dells

“Save My Soul” by Blues Saraceno

“The Day Begins” by The Moody Blues

“I Don’t Trust Nobody” by George Thorogood

“Still…You Turn Me On” by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

I would like to see all of them on stage at the Grammy Awards.

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?

Country Music Reincarnated

1 Oct

The Highwaymen came up on my iPod. That was an 80s country super group consisting of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. In the 80s, each of them were legends. Now, they are icons. When they first recorded together, there wasn’t a name for the group. Then, “The Highwayman“, one of their first songs, went to Number One.The Highwaymen

That was the song that came up on my iPod. I hadn’t heard it in a while, but the words were still familiar enough for me to remember. As the song played and I sang along, I began to think about its subject matter – reincarnation. Then, I realized that there was once another hit country song about a reincarnation-like theme. That was “El Paso City” by Marty Robbins. It went to Number One in the 70s.El Paso City

These were two songs by major artists that tackled a controversial subject matter. Did the listeners who turned them into hits realize what they were about? If yes, then did they even care? These questions went through my mind along with another one. Would these songs make it to the radio in today’s market?

For a couple of reasons, I think the answer is no.

In the past decade, mainstream country music has attached itself to right-wing conservatism. That means that a great deal of its target audience is of the Christian faith, and, obviously, reincarnation does not fit within that belief. However, I would think that Christians also listened to country music in the 70s and 80s and probably bought the records by The Highwaymen and Marty Robbins. What is different now? Has there been an awakening of religion in the past decade? Were country music listeners in the 70s and 80s less religious than today? No matter the answers, country labels are scared to test the waters.

There is another reason these songs would not make it on today’s radio. They are not about pickup trucks; John Deere tractors; girls in sundresses; drinking beer on a back road; or anything else that is stereotypically country or southern. Obviously, these songs sell, but they all sound the same and are sung by people who sound just as similar. By the way, they kind of look alike, too.

The older songs are about deep, if controversial, subjects written by talented tunesmiths who were able to take such a subject and make an entertaining song that is also thought-provoking. They were also sung by talented artists who did not have to cover themselves in pyrotechnics and voice enhancements. Marty Robbins and The Highwaymen may not have all been great singers, but they were great artists.

Today, labels are afraid to push someone who does not fit the formula of looks and sound that form a cookie cutter industry. If that had been the case in the past decades, then Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash would have never gotten into the front door. Now that I write that, they almost didn’t, and that would have been a shame.

That’s it for my critique of the evolution of country music. Now, on to the next part of this post.

I do not believe in reincarnation. It always seemed silly to me to think that our souls jump from generation to generation. On top of that, people who claim to be reincarnated always say that they used to be someone famous or adventurous. I have never seen someone on television who claimed to have been some guy who dug ditches for a living.

With that in mind, I did a little Google experiment. If reincarnation were true, then it would make sense that a soul would jump as quickly as possible. I Googled my birthday to see who died on that day and started a fake reincarnation chain. Here it is:

In the last life, I was Upton Sinclair. That’s a pretty famous person.

Before that, I could have been Henry James Montague, a British actor.

Then, it gets back to America with Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism

Another jump across the pond brings me to Pehr Osbeck, a Swedish explorer.

It’s Sir Christopher Wren. Hey, he’s pretty smart.

That brings me to Kutsuki Mototsuna, a Japanese samurai commander.

Pope Paul III pops up. It’s good to be pope.

Johannes Gutenberg! Man, this list is filled with some influential people.

Here comes Acamapichtli, Aztec ruler. Things might have been different if he was around when Hernan Cortes showed up.

That’s as far as the chain goes. There’s no way of knowing what happened before that. Google went into overload. I suppose it’s a good place to stop this critique of country music and reincarnation.

Bigfoot, Under Hair and Gert Frobe’s Co-Stars

30 Jan

Otherwise known as the lazy man’s post. With nothing else to write about, I decided to explore recent search terms that led people to the blog. I could write something witty about each one, but I decided to search them myself to see what pictures pop up. Here’s the plan: Type in the search and grab the third picture on the second row. Here goes nothing.

Kevin Costner Move

Is he moving to the left or the right?

Is he moving to the left or the right?

Rome’s Government

I didn't know the Romans invented flow charts.

I didn’t know the Romans invented flow charts.

Under Hair Machine

Kill it! Kill it!

Kill it! Kill it!

Religion In Your Face Buckle Bible Belt

This is exactly the picture that I knew would pop up.

This is exactly the picture that I knew would pop up.

Kurt Cobain Robert Frost

His face looks like the road most taken.

His face looks like the road most taken.

George Washington Is Cool

Yes, he is, son. Yes, he is.

Yes, he is, son. Yes, he is.

Marty Robbins Margaritaville

Marty sang about reincarnation, not blown out flip flops.

Marty sang about reincarnation, not blown out flip flops.

Is Bigfoot An Alien

I cheated on this one. This is a picture from my blog that showed up on the first line.

I cheated on this one. This is a picture from my blog that showed up on the first line.

Sean Connery Gert Frobe Kevin Bacon

Surely Kevin Bacon is not six degrees connected to this classic.

Surely Kevin Bacon is not six degrees connected to this classic.

What Vegas Mayor Wore A Coonskin Hat

I really can't tell from this picture.

I really can’t tell from this picture.

Push To Start Gas Pump

Looks simple enough

Looks simple enough

Linda Gray In Mini Skirts

It's not a miniskirt, but it is a beautiful 80s flashback.

It’s not a miniskirt, but it is a beautiful 80s flashback.

Surrounded By Imbeciles

I am so proud.

I am so proud.

How To Spend In World End

That's how.

That’s how.

That’s also the end.