Writer Peter Egan Follows Hank’s Last Ride
- Even if you have no interest in Hank Williams (hah, who am I kidding?), Peter Egan’s article, recounting a trip he and Richard Mayer made following the route of Williams’ famous last ride to a gig in Canton, Ohio, is a captivating read full of interesting details and trivia. For instance, Hank’s driver, Charles Carr, was in a cheerful mood during the trip and the two of them sang songs together for quite a while. The last song Hank sang was “Midnight” by Red Foley. Egan describes the trip:
We soon discovered that virtually everyone we talked to along this route knew the entire Hank Williams story, almost to the point of scholarship — his life and death, down to the smallest details. You’d just say, “Hank” and “Cadillac” in the same sentence and they had the whole picture immediately. No explanation of our intentions or motivations was required. We were assumed to be on a holy pilgrimage.
- Alison Bonaguro ponders the effect that the government’s bailout decision for automakers could have on country music, which is steeply entrenched in American-made vehicles (just take a look at the previous Hank Williams article for proof).
I can’t help but think of what it would do to all those country songs steeped in Motor City history. How would we explain all those Ford, Chevy, Cadillac, Mercury and Buick mentions to future generations? And how the hell will songwriters come up with words that rhyme with Hyundai, Kia, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Toyota, BMW and Nissan?
- Do they give Grammys for cover art? The HearYa indie music blogs asks, because if so, Neko Case — crouched in a three-point stance and wielding a sword on the hood of an American-made car — would win in 2009 for her new album, Middle Cyclone, to be released March 3.
- Watch the blistering, new video for Dierks Bentley‘s “Feel That Fire.” (via Country Music Is Love)
- Four tracts of land in Bristol, Tenn. — where Ralph Peer recorded Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family and Ernest Stoneman — are being auctioned off today.
Tim Carter, owner of the building, told the Bristol Herald Courier he is selling the property to reduce his commercial inventory and brace for a leaner economy.
He said he hopes the site can be preserved by the new owners.
- Waylon Jennings first appeared on Austin City Limits in 1984, years after he’d become a superstar, and the latest release from that taping includes material not originally aired on the 30-minute program. PopMatters‘ Christel Loar rates it an eight out of ten.
- Emmylou Harris ends her year of touring with appearances at the Opry this weekend. The Randy Rogers Band makes their Opry debut (I think?) tonight and 2008 newcomer Ashton Shepherd will perform tomorrow.
- George Jones tops Rock’s Backpages‘ list of “The 20 Most Heartbreaking Songs of All Time!” with “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” I’d like to use this opportunity to re-highlight a haiku version of Jone’s weeper penned by Chris N. and invite you to create your own haiku for a famous country song:
The only reason
He stopped loving her today
Is that he is dead
- It’s Country Day 6 over at Photocrap where John Schneid…I mean, Bo Duke’s Greatest Hits album is highlighted along with Sara Evans’ ironic Go Deep, Jay Barker and Tim McGraw’s uplifting Live Like You Owned An Island.
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
- 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."