It troubles me no end that the artistry of Merle Travis has been lost in the sands of time. It troubles me, but does not surprise me, as Travis–the victim of changing tastes and a lifelong battle with John Barleycorn–had largely disappeared from the airwaves by the time I started really following country music in […]
If Linda Davis is remembered today, it’s usually as the mother of Hillary Scott, lead singer of the modern pop-country group Lady Antebellum, who won a bunch of awards over the past few years for their first two albums. Occasionally, Davis is remembered for her Grammy winning 1993 duet with Reba McEntire, “Does He Love […]
In Rock & Roll, February 3, 1959, is known as “The Day The Music Died.” On that date a small plane crash in Iowa claimed the lives of Charles Hardin “Buddy Holly” Holley, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Richard “Richie Valens” Valenzuela. Holly was already a superstar, The Big Bopper was a songwriter with […]
I am not sure why this should be true, but the 1960s produced an enormous number of silky-smooth male vocalists. Perhaps it was due to the crossover success of artists such as Eddy Arnold and Jim Reeves. More likely it was the result of the Rock ‘n Roll revolution of the mid-50s wiping out the […]
Being related to a famous country entertainer can be a mixed blessing. Although the family ties can open doors for the aspiring singer, they can also serve to set unrealistic expectations. Just ask Roy Acuff Jr., Ronnie Robbins (billed as Marty Robbins, Jr.), The Lynns (daughters of Loretta Lynn), Riley Coyle (daughter of Jeannie C. […]
“I figure we live in two worlds – public and private. It seems like I’ve got to prove myself in both all the time. I’ve got to climb mountains right to the top and then find new ones to climb. Whenever I finish writing a song, I always ask myself, ‘Well, Stutterin’ Boy, is that […]
James “Guy” Willis (July 5, 1915 – April 13, 1981) Charles “Skeeter” Willis (December 20, 1917 – January 28, 1976) John “Vic” Willis (May 31, 1922 – January 15, 1995) One of the most entertaining vocal groups ever to play the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, the Willis Brothers carved out substantial careers without […]
This article will focus on some more artists who either had a very short period of great success or had an extended run of near-success. The McCarters blazed brightly across the sky in 1988 and ’89. Comprised of lead singer Jennifer and her twin sisters Lisa and Teresa, this trio hearkened back to an older […]
This article will focus on some artists who either had a very short period of great success or had an extended run of near-success. In other words, I cannot justify an entire article on any of them. Deborah Allen was born in 1953 in Memphis, and probably has had greater success as a songwriter, having […]
Very few artists have been as successful at reinventing themselves as Donald Eugene Lytle (May 31, 1938–February 19, 2003). Possessed of enormous talent as a vocalist, Lytle was not as talented at keeping himself in check. As a result, he continually found himself in hot water. Lytle was born in the small rural town of […]
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Barry Mazor: It may be over-stated, in arriving at practically a single explanation of everything, but Adam Gussow's book on lynching and …
- Leeann: Wow! Heavy topic and horrifying indeed! "Beer for My Horses" was all fun and games until that reference, I'll have …
- Barry Mazor: Everything else aside, the way that reporter fills us in, with must-have, pointless generational snark included, about who this "Little …
- luckyoldsun: "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" seems to be about a lynching--even if there's something about a judge …
- Arlene: Sorry. I meant to give the link for "Supper Time." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ58Kfe41kI
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
- bob: Powerful songs. I read the book "A Lynching in the Heartland" by James H. Madison about a dozen years ago. …
- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."