Friday Five: Velvet

Ken Morton, Jr. | December 9th, 2011

Perhaps 19th century Santa Claus just had a jump start on the swinging 1970s. How else do you explain the groovy red velvet suit that he rocks on Christmas night? With that smooth finish covering his husky frame, is there any wonder Mrs. Claus can’t leave him alone?

Lots of artists have sung as smooth as velvet, but not nearly have many have sung songs utilizing the fabric as part of their song. This week, we’re celebrating the official duds of Christmas. We present to you: five songs about velvet.

 

5. Neko Case — “Stinging Velvet”

Case shows off her impressive voice on this track from Blacklisted as she sings, “Safe from all the horrors in your stinging velvet arms/And I surrender, surrender.”

 

4. Stoney LaRue – “Velvet”

LaRue sings, “Oh the rain came down and you covered me in velvet.” In other words, it rained Muppets.

 

3. Townes Van Zandt — “The Velvet Voices”

This song can be interpreted as the “Velvet Voices” either being a choir or angels. I prefer the latter, especially when considering that Van Zandt passed away on the same day as one of his biggest songwriting influences, Hank Williams, Sr.

 

2. Johnny Cash — “Red Velvet”

The Man in Black reminds us that you can’t keep a high-rent city girl like Red Velvet locked up on an edge-of-town farm. Well, not literally locked up. That would be kidnapping.

 

1. Hylo Brown — “Girl in the Blue Velvet Band”

Bill Monroe helped make this song so popular, releasing it as a single in 1949. The protagonist in the song has a stolen diamond planted on him by a girl in San Francisco and is sent to prison in San Quentin for ten years. My guess is that he steers clear from Match.com upon his release.

  1. Jon
    December 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Not that I don’t like me some Hylo, and not that I don’t think putting the song at the top of the list was the right call, but that is a really unrepresentative version of “Girl In The Blue Velvet Band,” which is almost always done in waltz time. You can hear Del McCoury’s version on his new Bill Monroe tribute album on the player here:

    http://www.delmccouryband.com/releases/old-memories-the-songs-of-bill-monroe/

    And if you really must favor Hylo’s cut time version, you might as well watch him, backed by the Foggy Mountain Boys, here:

    http://youtu.be/xL_C0G9SW5s

  2. Paul W Dennis
    December 10, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I’ve always associated “Girl In The Blue Velvet Band” with Hank Snow

Tagged In This Article

// // // //

Current Discussion

  • A.B.: Anyone else think Marty Stuart might be part of Lakehouse Holdings that bought the Johnny Cash/Barry Gibb property?
  • David Cantwell: Thanks, Andrew. It almost seems inevitable that the greatest singers--Sinatra and George Jones, say--just don't sing so well at the …
  • Andrew: Very well put. I don't remember the last time an album gave me chills right from the opening note quite …
  • TX Music Jim: All valid choices. I will forever hold out the hope that Gram Parsons, Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary Stewart will …
  • Leeann Ward: Oops...the link: http://www.engine145.com/summer-lovin-ronnie-milsap-looks-back-new-album/
  • Leeann Ward: Yes, great choices for inductees! In Milsap's case, I guess if you say it to Juli Thanki, it will happen!:): Do …
  • Paul W Dennis: Delighted to see "The Voice With A Heart" being inducted - he is my all-time favorite bluegrass vocalist. Hank Cochran …
  • luckyoldsun: I don't know what exactly makes one a national treasure, but I'd give that appellation to Mac Wiseman before the …
  • Barry Mazor: Why exactly would it be "weird" to induct an earlier deserving veteran before a later one? (Some people are …
  • sheldon: You beat me to the punch, mrsandydog. No Dottie for another year. Dolly is a national treasure, btw.

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • raypricebeautyis
  • rodneycrowelltarpapersky
  • rhondavincentonlyme
  • mandybgibson
  • paulburchfevers
  • kelliepicklerwomaniam
  • ronblockwalkingsong
  • lindiortegatinstar