7/31/20 New Music Friday

Let’s start with a few new albums:

10-time CMA Musician of the Year Mac McAnally is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame, but he’s probably best known for his work with Jimmy Buffett.

Charley Crockett has a strong following in the independent country scene. I saw him in Memphis in February.

Rascal Flatts has an EP…

Contemporary Christian artist Chris Tomlin collaborated with numerous popular country artists such as Florida Georgia Line. Is there any way that combining bro country and contemporary Christian music won’t be godawful ? Oops, did I type that out loud ?

My new music list has grown a lot since last week, thanks largely to some one-offs like a lost Randy Travis track that was recorded way back when. I’ve added a dozen or so artists to my current new music list since last week, so be sure to check them all out. Here’s the link to my huge list of playlists: https://countryopinionblog.wordpress.com/music-playlists/

For those who like very old music and “roots of country,” Archeophone Records continues to reveal one track a day from its huge “Before The Big Bang” project. Some of these are from the 1890s: https://www.beforethebigbang.com/tracklist/

7/30/20 Star Route

YouTube channel “The CAD Amusement Channel” has several episodes of Star Route, a Toronto country television show from 1964: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv39FCMgk88vDHN3v04T2Tg

The Collins Kids and Glen Campbell were regulars on these shows. Larry Collins went on to find great success as a songwriter, penning songs like “Delta Dawn.”

Here are links to individual episodes:

George Morgan: https://youtu.be/VK3-Bbb3hD8

Roger Miller: https://youtu.be/25OpyZ41Y6Y

Leroy Van Dyke: https://youtu.be/WDXg0EXdfq8

Carl Smith: https://youtu.be/5Nu4JEOkIHQ

Sonny James: https://youtu.be/gbBS6lC860s

Skeeter Davis: https://youtu.be/nOx51sXcnQI

Bob Luman: https://youtu.be/2jgo2ppDGFw

Faron Young: https://youtu.be/V-KAwegyYw0

7/29/20 Country Side of Jack Yellen

Jack Yellen (1892-1991) was born in Poland, and found great success as a screenwriter and songwriter, mostly early pop and jazz. Here’s his profile at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame: https://www.songhall.org/profile/Jack_Yellen

Let’s take a look at a few of his songs that carried into country music:

Billy Murray was the first to record “Are You From Dixie” in 1916, but Jerry Reed took the song to #11 on the country chart in 1969. Here’s Grandpa Jones’ version: https://youtu.be/qEQsEzJ223A

“Alabama Jubilee” was first recorded by Collins and Harlan in 1915, but countless country stars have covered it, such as Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers in the 1920s. Red Foley had a number 3 country hit in 1953: https://youtu.be/s547PGPivhc

“Hard Hearted Hannah” was often covered in pop and jazz, but Vernon Dalhart covered it in 1924, as Robert White https://youtu.be/eV0uXhd3qA4 and as the Regent City Orchestra https://youtu.be/cWyepzNCaEc

Merle Haggard covered Big Bad Bill in 1973: https://youtu.be/-gRR8o6qn6Y

Ernest Thompson recorded “Don’t Put A Tax On Beautiful Girls” in 1924 (comic Eddie Cantor recorded a version in 1919): https://youtu.be/YJsW2qY9LyM

Eddy Arnold is one of a number of country artists (see also Ernest Tubb, Jim Reeves, Mac Wiseman, Moon Mullican) who covered “I’m Waiting For Ships That Never Come In” https://youtu.be/3darU7ltNzM

Hoosier Hot Shots covered “Ain’t She Sweet” in 1937: https://youtu.be/ivadkBm6jU0

Hoosier Hotshots covered “Noah’s Wife” in 1940: https://youtu.be/YZ3MP7cYFNY

Vernon Dalhart recorded “My Old Ramshackle Shack” in 1923: https://youtu.be/yTzvzq62WvA

Vernon Dalhart also recorded “Mama Goes Where Papa Goes” in 1923: https://youtu.be/xFVEJ9DIH_A

Sonny James covered “Forgive Me” https://youtu.be/6bcGpkor1g0

7/28/20 More Cowbell

Cowbell has been used in every type of music, but it’s probably easiest to find examples from classic rock.

The Ultimate Cowbell Database has over 4,000 “cowbell-containing” songs ! http://www.ultimatecowbell.com/index.php

I found some cowbell playlists on YouTube:

“Cowbell Playing” includes dozens of live cowbell performances (Grandpa Jones is one of the few country acts, and there are many Germans) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7kgr_SbN6BM4TVNnnCNEeb3gQfejnwor

“More Cowbell !” has close to 300 songs, mostly non-country https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcN8HaEVnfECgCi7FnTCw64lY41iZBh7i

“Rock the Cowbell” is a compact list of cowbell rock: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOJazR7_OviDx4HwT4n1c9nP0LS9sjBTk

I expected to find more cowbell examples from country music. There are several Jerry Reed songs in the Ultimate Cowbell Database.

7/27/20 Grandpa Jones Yodeling

Grandpa Jones (1913-1998) was a legendary country personality, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the CMHOF. Despite his great popularity, he didn’t have a lot of radio chart hits. His discography is definitely worth checking out, though.

In 1963, he released the album “Yodeling Hits” https://youtu.be/w9SQKIiSV9U

Here’s a video of Grandpa Jones singing Blue Yodel #1: https://youtu.be/v_Xm9Z5q0ro

Here’s a video of Tritzem Yodel: https://youtu.be/RkzdsQtnHqs

7/26/20 Arthur Fields

Arthur Fields (1884-1953, actual name Abe Finkelstein) was a prolific recording artist, especially in the acoustic era. He recorded under different names and in different styles. There’s a great profile of his career on Tim Gracyk’s site, which credits “The Encyclopedia Of Acoustic Era Recording Artists” https://www.gracyk.com/fields.shtml

In the late 20s, he made some “hillbilly” records under a variety of names, including Jim Cole’s Tennessee Mountaineers, Gunboat Billy and the Sparrow, Sam Cole & His Corn Huskers, and Buck Wilson & His Rangers.

Here are some of his hillbilly records, under a variety of names:

Arthur’s Camp Boys (1930), “Long Lean Lanky Lew” https://youtu.be/czmKIXAdlP0

Eddie Younger and His Mountaineers (1930), “She Cost Two Dollars and Seventy Cents” https://youtu.be/t6q6UfslqR8

Colt Brothers with Rex Cole’s Mountaineers (1931), “Eleven More Months and Ten More Days” https://youtu.be/rTUz7r0IBwU

Buck Wilson and His Rangers (1930), “In Dear Old Tennessee” https://youtu.be/BAd0hX2IcqA

Arthur Fields (1927), “The Terrible Mississippi Flood” https://youtu.be/AvbE395Kg9U

Arthur Fields (1928), The Dying Hobo” https://youtu.be/igQgXFlapEs

Arthur Fields’ catalog is extensive, so if you like these few samples, there are many, many more of his records to discover.

7/25/20 Free Speech

I usually try to keep this blog about music, so bear with me as I get on my soap box about the cancel culture terrorism.

Fear of retribution has silenced many who disagree with the extremist mobs.

The Cato Institute recently published a poll that found that “62% of Americans say they have political views they’re afraid to share” https://www.cato.org/publications/survey-reports/poll-62-americans-say-they-have-political-views-theyre-afraid-share

Perhaps even more concerning is the sizable percentage (especially of leftists) who believe that those with opposing views should be fired from their jobs. It’s disgusting.

As for country music, artistic expression shouldn’t be limited to whatever some “entertainment ruling class” media demands. Most of the blue check mark “writers” never liked country music in the first place, but see it as something to conquer and remake into the sort of music and politics they prefer.

Some of the “country/Americana” leftists have openly stated a goal of “rewriting country music’s racist history.” No, don’t rewrite history. Learn from history: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Learn from it. Nazis, Maoists, Bolsheviks, Isis, and Al Qaeda tear down and rewrite history. Those tactics are not acceptable here or anywhere else.

7/24/20 New Music Friday

I’ve added over ten songs to my current new music list (May-December 2020) in the last week. Here’s the link to my playlists: https://countryopinionblog.wordpress.com/music-playlists/

There are several new albums out this week:

Whispering Bill Anderson revisits ten of his hits on his new album. He first hit the country charts in the 1950s, and became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1961 ! He’s a member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame, Songwriters Hall Of Fame, etc. He’s “quietly” achieved the very highest levels of success, and this new collection should be a good introduction to his catalog for younger generations who might not be as familiar with his work.

Scott Southworth has a new album this week, and he’s in the country traditionalist/ honky tonker lane.

Lori McKenna has a new album out today. Most of her music is more what I think of as “adult contemporary” than really “country country,” but I haven’t heard the new album yet, so I’ll mention it, anyway.

7/23/20 2020 Country Videos

Here’s a half dozen videos released this year:

Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen, “Rodeo Clown” https://youtu.be/cNhAb_brEGg

Nicholas Jamerson and the Morning Jays, “Ride” https://youtu.be/1IWRrC3F90I

Mules and Men, “John Keavney” https://youtu.be/2Ehc5_rURvI

Clint Black, “America (Still In Love With You)” https://youtu.be/kv0Kgif_a80

Tyler Childers, “Country Squire” https://youtu.be/FxuLRkHn7rQ

Special Consensus, “Chicago Barn Dance” https://youtu.be/lmDoxyuRM60

7/22/20 Rez Country

A few years ago, I enjoyed listening to KTNN (The Navajo Nation radio) on my visit to Arizona. They played mostly mainstream country music, but also independent country and even some traditional Diné songs.

I found some playlists of “native country” / “reservation or ‘rez’ bands” that feature many regionally popular country groups:

Native Country: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBEQPLRzudwS1jYwd5lAYheEckDwgeN0s

Awesome Rez Bands: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYc2KxH9fMx6GW_2XbgEIeZacDDjbaNSm