Wednesday, January 30, 2013
My Dad Was Pretty Smart About Music
My husband subscribes to Uncut magazine. The justification for pricing its magazine at $100 a year, apparently, is that the editors include a CD with each issue (still not worth $100; but maybe that's just me).
The latest issue had, slipped into its plastic wrapper, a CD titled, "The Music That Inspired Gram Parsons".
My husband said, "Hey, maybe you might want to listen to this". (He's not a country music aficionado.)
I'll admit, here and now, that the only thing I know about Gram Parsons is that Emmylou Harris was his girlfriend. I'm not some country music snob, but I never knew exactly why I needed to get to know G.P. since, it seems, he glommed his style from artists like Buck Owens, and The Byrds, and The Louvin Brothers; and I already knew about their music.
So, tonight, I'm playing the Uncut "Honky Tonk Heroes" CD, which essentially consists of songs I am well familiar with, but since I haven't heard them in ages, it's fun!
The Louvin Brothers, Faron Young, Carl and Pearl Butler, Ray Price, Buck Owens, et al.
The first cut on the CD is "Close Up The Honky Tonks", by Buck (and I will note, importantly, Don Rich; because without Don, that track would never have been so great. Ever hear Buck sing harmony with himself? He wasn't that much of a singer. Don Rich made Buck Owens so much better than he ever would have been).
My dad had the album, Together Again/ My Heart Skips a Beat. My mom and dad owned two country albums back in 1964. That one, and Ray Price's Burning Memories. Mom and Dad didn't have any disposable income back then,
Together Again/My Heart Skips a Beat is the quintessential country album. One can't get much better than this. And Burning Memories is pure country soul.
Two country albums. As tight as their budget was, Mom and Dad still picked two of the very best.
Yup, I have good taste in music. I inherited it from my dad.
And now, since I'm not about to become one of those crotchety old ladies, I'm going to search out some Gram Parsons. See what the big deal was all about.
(This isn't exactly how the song went, originally; but you can't find Buck singing this song anywhere on the 'net, so here is my latter-day hero, Dwight):