Friday Five: Ghosts (Part Two)
Ken Morton delivered the first installment of ghostly country songs last week. Today, we add a few more to the list.
5. David Ball – “Riding with Private Malone”
Who needs airbags when your classic Corvette comes with a ghost who’ll save your life after a wreck?
4. Chelle Rose – “Browder Holler Boy”
This one’s based on a true story. From Ken’s 2012 interview with Rose: It was one night visiting my grandmother and I was having visits from my childhood sweetheart who died tragically when he was only 25 in a canoeing accident. That sounds crazy to some people but it’s my truth. I was frustrated with him. He didn’t do anything to scare me at all, just little silly things. But that night, he picked the bed off the ground and let it drop. It’s a big old antique bed. I think they had to take it all apart to get it upstairs it’s so heavy at Momma’s house. I could never lift this bed. It’s just crazy heavy. But they could feel it in the whole house, they thought we had an earthquake or something. I just picked it up and dropped it and then left. And that prompted me to write that song, “Browder Holler Boy.”
3. Alan Jackson – “Midnight in Montgomery” / David Allan Coe – “The Ride” / Kentucky Headhunters – “The Ghost of Hank Williams”
Hank might be busier—and chattier–in death than he was in his too-short life.
2. Johnny Cash – “Delia’s Gone”
In both of Cash’s versions of this song, Delia torments her murderer in his jail cell, as the sound of her footsteps keeps him from sleep. Meh, the guy had it coming – didn’t he learn anything from “The Tell-Tale Heart”? (Jokes aside, take a few minutes out of your workday to read this essay by Sean Wilentz for more information on the real Delia, who was only 14 when she was murdered in 1900 – her killer was a year older.)
1. The Stanley Brothers – “Keep Them Cold, Icy Fingers Off of Me”
Bill Johnson doesn’t mind ghosts—or doctors–as long as they keep their hands to themselves.
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.