Here’s another country music post. I guess it’s just that time of year. Up here in Michigan its hunting season, which means its almost time for my annual trip up to the north woods with the boys (high school friends, not kids) for a weekend of drinking Wild Turkey liquor, playing poker, eating steak, and telling jokes. (We don’t actually hunt.) It’s always great fun and it goes especially well with the kind of country music I like--old. This year’s trip to the cabin pictured above is just around the bend. I can't wait. Here’s a preview of some of the great country music we'll be hearing:
I don't know how you could not like Charley Pride singing Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone (buy album). This track is what classic country is all about. Charley hits you right in the face with a driving beat and lyrics to match. If you are wavering about whether to become a country music fan, this one will bring you into the fold.
Now let's take our foot off the gas a bit with this reflective number from the legendary Merle Haggard (who stands with Tom T. and Johnny Cash--just below Hank Sr.--atop the pinacle of my own personal country music mountain). In My Own Kind Of Hat (buy album) Merle adopts a live and let live approach to cherries, fairies, mothers, dogs, cats, etc. Who says real country singers can't be sensitive?
Quick! Can you name the greatest country record of all-time (according to the authors of Heartaches By The Number)???
No. They did not realize that the correct answer is "Okie From Muskogee." (you must buy album).
You might be surprised to know that the authors tabbed Sammi Smith's version of the Kris Kristofferson-penned Help Me Make It Through The Night (buy album) as the greatest achievement in the history of country music. Hmm? Read about it here. I'm not so sure, but after listening to it a few more times tonight, I can see what got them so excited. It might even sneak into my own top twenty-five.
Well gee, its been over a week since my last Hank Sr. post. So here's a live version of I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind (buy album) from the Health And Happiness radio show. You should also check out this version of the same song (buy album) from The The's 1995 album of Hank Sr. covers called, cleverly enough, "Hanky Panky." The instrumentation and delivery is nothing like Hank, but it still sounds great. Hanky Panky is a real testament to Hank's abilities as a composer.
Unfortunately, my next post won't be about country music. Stay tuned for the tragic story of Jim Walewander...