There are countless Nudie suits floating around out there, but only a few Nudie cars. Webb Pierce’s ’62 Bonneville was decorated with over 300 silver dollars, six-shooters, and longhorns. The unabashedly old school Gin Palace Jesters, fronted by Pennsylvania Dave Sisson, sing that the Webb-mobile was “stranger than a UFO in East Tennessee”, and Pierce himself “the ostentatious king of all the honkytonks and bars.”
Deep-voiced Turner gets playful on this goofy tune in which he gets Dolly Parton to hop in the Coal Miner’s Daughter’s Lincoln and then…just drives around and lip synchs to the radio with her. Even in his fantasies, that Josh Turner sure is a gentleman.
Hank Williams’ early death is one of music’s greatest tragedies, even as it cemented his place in the country music pantheon. On this gorgeous cut from Satisfied Monroe imagines what she’d do if she were in the car with him that fateful New Year’s Eve in 1952: “I’d have kept him up all night/I wouldn’t let him close his eyes/Made him sing ‘I Saw the Light’ ’til he sobered up again/I’d have kept the coffee strong/Oh, I could have kept him hanging on.” Someone get this woman a flux capacitor.
On this gutwrenching tribute to her father, Cash notices the similarity between the black Caddies Johnny used to drive and the one that took him to his final resting place, mournfully realizing “One of us gets to go to heaven/One of us has to stay here in hell.”
The #1 spot on this week’s list goes to five and a half minutes of flawless Southern rock from modern classic The Dirty South. This must-listen is a damn fine tribute to Sam Phillips and the artists of Sun Records’ golden age.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.