Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Gram Parsons (famous, of course, for the corpse's subsequent adventures). Read a long bio starting here, a small interview, or page through one of his notebooks and the guestbook that sits in his last hotel room.
The man in black is no more. Johnny Cash passes away from diabetes complications early this morning.
Laugh as much as you like: I still think there's a certain intensely dramatic and lyrical redneck technique behind these country music song titles. I like a song title that says everything upfront. It's not as easy as you think, either. [Via Bifurcated Rivets]
I'm in the middle of a book called Will you miss me when I'm gone?, which chronicles the history of the famous Carter Family, and includes some incredibly charming descriptions of June Carter (later the wife of Johnny Cash; the development of her musical voice, her mountain-tinted wit, and her onstage goofball comedy. Unfortunately, June Carter Cash died yesterday.
Dixie Chicks Pulled from Air After Bashing Bush Dude, these Texas people didn't find criticism of the president unpatriotic when Bill Clinton was president. They thought it was a sacred duty...Apparently country stations in Texas and elsewhere are pulling Dixie Chicks albums because their lead singer, while on an overseas tour, criticized Bush, saying she was ashamed to be from the state as him. People who want to criticize the critics of the critical comments are supporting the Chicks by buying their albums and requesting their songs. I never thought I'd buy a Dixie Chicks album, but that's what I'm going to do tonight, and I'm paying full price!
Take this life and shove it: So goodbye then, Johnny PayCheck. Even the very British and conservative Daily Telegraph honoured you today with an affectionate obituary [Reg. required: full text inside.] I wonder how many unrepentant rebel-singin', cocaine-sniffin', bar-brawlin', hard-drinkin', good-lovin', corn-munchin' musicians there are left. And whether any of the young 'uns today will be able to keep up, livin' the life, as long as you did. Even though you too eventually succumbed to preaching against drink and drugs. I suspect most of the new generation will become health freaks by the time they hit forty and that you, Sir, were one of a dying breed.
Just another guy on the lost highway died 50 years ago today. Here's an interesting site with some newspaper clippings, and here are some video clips and tabs in case you feel like doing a little strummin'.
Very Rude, Very Unsafe For Work, But Charming And Just About OK For Friday Night...Perhaps! Whatever: There's still no excuse for this kind of thing. It's number one E-mail forwardista in Portugal and 9 out of 10 female Iberian bloggers recommend it. So please don't click if you're a prude or dislike pseudo-country music. Is all I'm saying...[Shockwave required]
Let’s visit with the father of bluegrass, shall we? (inside)
Harlan Howard is dead. The greatest American country songwriter outside of Hank Williams and Merle Haggard wrote more than four thousand songs, including Patsy Cline's "I Fall To Pieces" and Buck Owens' "Tiger By The tail", but "God May Forgive You (But I Won't)", performed by Rosie Flores and Iris Dement, is the one that turned me on. Known as the Dean of Nashville songwriters, Harlan had a permanently reserved barstool, and plenty of tips for aspiring songwriters, one of which was "country music is three chords and the truth". Old stool.
Post-Country Heartache. A very down to earth interview with Paul Brill. Who doesn't seem jaded at all from the music industry. Still writing good music and playing shows. (from Sound the Sirens)
Country Great Waylon Jennings Dead Well, there aren't too many outlaws left.
Charlie Daniels's racist 9.11-related song banned Country Music Television refused to allow ever-increasingly reactionary redneck musician Charlie Daniels to sing a new song, "It's a Flag, Not a Rag," at Nashville benefit for victims of the Sept. 11 terror. The conclusion to the title line is, " . . . and we don't wear it on our heads." Daniels, however, says the effect has been to increase sales at his web site. Can he be officially lumped in with Klansmen and skinheads now, and only invited to severely marginal, sub-Jerry Springer talk shows? Please?
"Country. Admit it. You love it."...this is what the country music industry's new campaign says. "There was one young woman in Dallas in one of the focus groups that said, `I listen to country music in my car, but if I pull up at a traffic light and I see someone cool pull up next to me, I'll hit the button and change the station."
What the hell? Garth Brooks is playing pro baseball now? Does this mean he has to sing the national anthem at every game?
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