Friday, April 26, 2013

Country Club #7: George Jones and the saddest song

George Jones died today. I thought the radio reports on NPR and elsewhere focused too much on his problems with alcohol and, admittedly decades long,episodes of bad behavior, and not enough on his artistry. Many say he was the greatest country vocalist, others say he was topped only by Hank Williams. "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is Jones' signature song. I love the soaring strings in the original but I've heard them enough today. In this live version listen to what the pedal steel does to fill that musical space.
Here is how Classic Tracks starts it's analysis of the tune

It's the saddest song, and the most mournful voice, and the most histrionic production and the cruelest punchline in the history of country music. But what a magnificent cry America had in 1980 when the first track of George Jones' album I Am What I Am became the brilliant, infamous superstar's first Number One single in six years.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Country Club #6: Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert is one of today's country who makes good music, something above and beyond the current formulas. Here is her hit "Mama's Broken Heart." It recounts how the narrator and her mother clashed over her breakup.

Monday, April 08, 2013

You might just be a lefty...

if when you start to do a search for "stone bridges" and Google suggests "Jay Lovestone."

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Country Club #5: the best answer song ever?

Originally released in 1952, Hank Thompson's The Wild Side of Life became one of the most popular recordings in country music history, spending 15 weeks at No. 1 Billboard country charts, solidified Thompson's status as a country music superstar and inspired the answer song, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" by Kitty Wells. I think it may be the best answer song ever.It became the first Billboard #1 Country song by a solo female performer and made Wells a country music superstar.

The melody probably sounds familiar.It is a traditional folk song was used in the Carter Family's "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes" (1929)and Roy Acuff's "Great Speckled Bird" (1936).