Showing posts with label bill anderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bill anderson. Show all posts

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Awards And Things

I haven't watched the CMA Awards since roughly 2001. Honestly, I don't know Luke Bryan from Jake Owen (seriously, I don't). I only know who Blake Shelton is because he had some minor hits early in the 2000's, when I still listened to country nominally, and when Blake still had extra-long hair. 

The CMA's were a decades-long mainstay for me, from the time when, as a teenager, I purchased a money order and mailed it to the Country Music Association in Nashville in order to become a voting member. The CMA's vetting process was rather rudimentary in the late sixties. I think I told them I was a radio executive or something. I take credit for putting Merle Haggard over the top in 1970 (not really; it was Merle's year).

Ever since I stopped listening to country music, I've satisfied my fleeting curiosity by reading next-day recaps of the awards show. 

So, I hear that Garth Brooks won Entertainer of the Year award this year. Did I fall asleep and wake up in 1992? How pitiful does country music have to be to be forced to reach back in time and bestow its highest award on an artist who was relevant twenty-five years ago? I wonder if Garth still climbs ropes on stage, or does he now shuffle in grasping his walker? I hear next year Charley Pride will be in contention. This is no knock on Garth, but more so an indictment of today's country music. This is what happens when you clutch "relevance" and sacrifice "music". 

I used to think that country would cycle through its bad periods and become good again. It happened so many times in my life. Just when I thought country was done, it surprised me. The mid-seventies was a bad time; an approximately ten year period of bad times, but then some artists who hadn't forgotten country music showed up on the scene and breathed life into it again. Even back as far as the sixties, in the period of Chet Atkins' slickly-produced middle-of-the-road singles, with the Anita Kerr Singers oohing and ahhing in the background of every song, Merle showed up and put the Nashville sellouts in their place. 

Now I think country is gone for good. 

In the western town I called home for most of my life, pretty much everybody listened to country. If somebody asked a random person, what's your favorite song, they might answer, "In My Life" by Collin Raye. Now, in the oh-so-sophisticated metropolitan area in which I live, nobody listens to country music. Nobody actually listens to music at all. A co-worker the other day, however, outside on a break, said, "I think I'll go back to listening to my old-time stuff, like Harper Valley PTA." In the eighteen years I've worked for my company, that was the first time I ever heard anyone say anything about country music, and what she said was a reference to a 1960's throwback.

Which brings me to the 2017 CMA's. 

I understand that Brad Paisley (who also is a bit long in the tooth, to be honest) did one of his famous parodies, this one implicitly criticizing the President. Really, Brad? Know your market, Brad. I'm not that big a Paisley fan to begin with, but for sure I won't be purchasing any of his albums now. But if it makes you feel good, Brad, knock yourself out. I understand there was a bit of controversy this year when the CMA decreed that the awards would be a "politics-free zone". I guess Brad didn't like that, so Brad went his own way. I personally endeavor to not offend the person who is signing my paycheck, but whatever, Brad. The last "political" moment I remember from the CMA's was when Charlie Rich torched the card naming John Denver the Entertainer of the Year. At least Charlie's gesture had purpose; meaning. John Denver wasn't a country artist and was an interloper. Brad Paisley simply doesn't like the President's tweets. Here's a suggestion, Brad: Don't read them.

Some other people, too, won some awards, but since I don't know them, I don't actually care.

And speaking of Harper Valley, PTA:

The inductees into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame were recently announced. In the "Non-Performing Songwriters" category, there is Bill Anderson. This was most likely news to Bill, since he's actually been performing since sometime in the early sixties. He has a band and everything. That's what happens when you don't do your research. 

Nevertheless, Bill Anderson has written some classic (classic!) country songs; such as:

You're welcome, Brad Paisley:

Proof that Bill Anderson was a "performing" songwriter:

In the "Performing Songwriters" category (in an upside-down world), we have Tom T. Hall. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Bill Anderson was more of a performing songwriter than Tom T. ever hoped to be, but let's not quibble.

Here's my beef with Tom T. Hall ~ he doesn't represent the epitome of songwriting. For one thing, he apparently disdains choruses. A chorus is the lifeblood of a song! Trust me. One can write the most inane dribble, but if they write a good chorus, all is forgiven. Tom went his own way, though. Every single song that Tom T. wrote is notable for its lack of a chorus. Such as:

Everybody hates this song, and with good reason:

I will admit that I purchased a Tom T. Hall album in the late sixties. Somebody told me to do so. I think it was called, "A Week In A County Jail". One of the tracks on the album was this one (note the absence of a chorus):

The only song I ever liked that Tom T. Hall wrote:

Then there's the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame says, you're somebody. You're really somebody. You've arrived. It's not easy to be a Hall of Fame inductee. You have to pay your dues. You have to slog through brittle bone-chilling December towns and put on a show for people who just want to see what you have to offer. They're not necessarily sold on you; you need to prove yourself. 

I saw Alan Jackson in concert. He was no Randy Travis, but he sure had the songs. I got as much out of an Alan Jackson concert as I would have by staying home and playing his CD's ~ he wasn't what one would call a dynamic performer. He didn't climb ropes. He was George Strait without the charisma. Don't care. He still had the songs.

If for nothing more than this song, he deserves his place in the Country Music Hall of Fame:

Thus ends my recap of awards and things. The good news ~ Bill Anderson. The bad news ~ Brad Paisley and his political biases. The retro news ~ Garth Brooks. 

The more things change, they really, seriously, don't.

I like the continuity.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

They Did Have Music In 1975


I was confused in many ways in 1975. I'd forgotten that until I took a glance at the top hits of the year, and then it all came back.

I was twenty years old, newly married; torn between my new home and my old, dysfunctional life. Funny thing about dysfunction -- you think you yearn to get away from it, but it pulls you back because that's your "normal". The thing regular people don't understand about kids of alcoholics is, you glom onto the familiar, as awful as it is, for dear life; because that's what you know. It's safe -- in a psychotic way.

I kept coming back. I'd tried the real world and didn't like it much. I'd had a regular job for a year; a job that pulled me deep into new dysfunction. I didn't know if it followed me like a heavy cloud or if the whole world was crazy. (In hindsight, I realize that, yes, the whole world is crazy; but I was young and naive.) Nevertheless, I fled -- back to the waiting arms of my parents who didn't exactly welcome me home, but who needed an able-bodied motel maid who could pick up the task with no training.

I wasn't ready to live my own life. I was scared of the world. I no longer had a best friend who'd slay the dragons for me. My marriage was one of convenience; a couple of kids who thought they could do no better. I had no connection to my husband. We struggled to tolerate one another. Mom and Dad were nuts, but they were at least nuts that I knew intimately.
Musically, life revolved around songs that other people liked. It wasn't that I didn't have definite tastes of my own, but I sublimated those, because I was a scared coward and afraid of being scorned if I expressed an opinion.

Mom and Dad had a long walnut console stereo in the corner of the living room. Dad was enthralled, for a while, with a guy who made a record imitating Richard Nixon -- David Frye, I think his name was. Dad thought Frye was hilarious. I found it tedious after the hundredth listen. 

The stereo also had a slot where one could shove eight-track tapes in. Eight-tracks were one of those failed musical experiments. Eight-tracks came on the scene just prior to cassette tapes. They were portable, if one had an automobile that accommodated them. The big drawback of eight-tracks was that the tape stopped smack-dab in the middle of a song and one had to flip the tape over and re-shove it into the slot to hear the rest of the song. That sort of ruined the whole musical experience. Dad had Ray Stevens and a couple of other artists I no longer remember. In total, he owned three eight-track tapes, so I heard Ray Stevens over and over and over.

In an effort to imitate a normal life, Mom purchased LP's that she played on the console. In my opinion then, Mom didn't actually like music -- she was a pretender. Today I have decided to give Mom a break. Who actually doesn't like music? Everybody likes music in some form. She did, though, seem a slave to the charts; as if she had no musical opinions of her own and had to rely on the words of the local DJ to tell her what was good. In reality, she was in love with Ray Price, who she considered a "hunk". I, on the other hand, didn't judge music by how the artist looked. Shoot, I thought Eddie Rabbitt was a country god, and he was ugly as sin.

My mom and dad played singles like this on their ugly coffin-like stereo console:

Mom was always buying records by artists like Billy "Crash" Craddock and Conway Twitty and Mac Davis. Usually they weren't even number one songs. I have somehow come into possession of all Mom's singles and I recognize only a paltry few. I think maybe she was simply a '45 collector.

Dad loved this next song. One of his idiosyncrasies was that he loved Latin music; all the better if the lyrics were in Spanish. Dad knew no Spanish, but I guess it just sounded nice to him.  

Thanks to one of Dad's three eight-track tapes, I love this next track still today:

After my work day was done, or after one of our interminable family gatherings, I went home and played the singles I liked -- on my own crappy (JC Penney) stereo -- which was, of course, better because it had detachable speakers and it didn't look like someone had just been sprinkled with holy water inside it.

Best song, bar none, of 1975:

Weirdly, Tanya Tucker has very few live performance videos on YouTube. Who does she think she is -- Prince? Nevertheless, in '75, Tanya was still a hot artist. I like this one (with guest vocals by Glen):

There was this new girl who appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. She was doing old songs (old songs -- even ones I didn't know). I bought her first album because I liked her sound; I knew nothing about her. Here is a sample (with guest appearance on mandolin by a very young Vince Gill):

Merle was still going strong. Unfortunately there are no live videos of this song, just like all of Merle's seventies hits. I don't know where he went, but he wasn't appearing on TV anymore. 

I won't feature songs by Ronnie Milsap and Gary Stewart, because I've recently featured them in other posts, but suffice it to say, the three big artists for me in 1975 were Gene, Ronnie, and Gary.

And, of course, Glen Campbell had the number one hit of the year, but if you want more of Glen, please see Still On The Line

Now, the elephant in the room:

Like many (most) country fans in 1975, I resented interlopers swooping in and collecting country awards. They were trying to change country. I didn't want country changed. I liked it just fine, thank you. It started in 1974 with a girl who had three names -- and she wasn't even American! Sure, "If You Love Me, Let Me Know" was catchy. She didn't, however, have a tear in her voice; and where was the twang? Yea, she would later go on to star in one of the guiltiest of movie pleasures of all time, but I didn't know that! I wasn't telepathic! And she won the 1974 CMA female vocalist of the year award! Over Loretta Lynn and Tanya!

Then it got only worse. In 1975, previous Entertainer of the Year Charlie Rich fetched a lighter out of his pocket and set fire to the card that announced the new award winner. (I just gotta say, that was one of the very best entertainment spectacles of all time. Kudos, Charlie!) 

I had an intense, fiery hatred for the new guy. I didn't know what he was supposed to be -- was he country or folk or some weird hybrid? He seemed to me like a pretender -- somebody who was trolling for award trophies. The very last time I talked to Alice on the phone, she informed me that she was really "into" this new guy, and I thought scornfully, well, she's gone over to the other side. How ironic. The person who'd originally tugged me into the bright light that was country had now become a turncoat. Thanks, and, oh -- enjoy your Roberta Flack records.

I can't say that I ever became a huge John Denver fan, but I grew to appreciate him. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" is a sublime song (although not written by John). This, however, made JD soar to the heights of country music stardom:

This post could have ended with John Denver, but oh no....

Much like eight-track tapes, 1975 was the year of completely unnecessary inventions. Remember those old K-Tel commercials for things nobody knew they wanted, and actually didn't want? The pocket fisherman was probably my favorite. Because one never knows when they'll be strolling down a sunny path on their break from the business meeting and thinks, damn! If only I had a fishing rod, I could reel in some of those tasty trout! 

And don't forget Mr. Microphone!

Well, CB radios were just as useless! From what I can gather, long-haul truckers used CB radios to tell other truckers where the "smokies" were hiding out. Not really germane for someone like me, who traversed The Strip about seven miles from home to work. And not exactly relevant for anyone. Regardless, CB's became the latest fad. They were like Rubik's cubes -- completely pointless and needlessly aggravating. The mid-seventies were a time of bumpkins who would fall for anything. Seriously. We loved lime green and orange. And afghans, preferably in orange and lime green hues. And shiny, slippery polyester. Honestly, the seventies, in my mind, are a low-hanging, foreboding cloud. They're best forgotten, as if they'd never happened.

Without further comment, here is "Convoy":

Can I be blamed for being confused in '75? It was a confusing, confounding time. I wasn't quite an adult, although I pretended to be -- yearned to be. Music was a bridge, albeit tottering, from my old life to my new. 

And it was about to get worse....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Singer-Songwriter Series ~ Episode 4

Just because a guy had his first hit song in 1958 doesn't mean that he's over the hill. Just because he happens to be 74 years old, that doesn't mean that there's still not great songs rattling around up there. Because apparently there are.

Again, I am....well, I was going to say "aghast", but that doesn't really fit, does it? I the prolificacy of the great songwriters.

Bill Anderson has been around for my whole life (obviously), and when I first became aware of him, it was through his syndicated TV show, which my channel always broadcast on Saturday afternoons, which they apparently considered the "dead" time slot, but not for me! I think it was Porter Wagoner's show and then Bill Anderson's show, and probably the Wilburn Brothers' show, or somebody's. I only actually remember Porter's and Bill's.

The show looked something like this:

Let's just say at the outset that Bill (whom I'm sure would be the first to tell you) is not the world's greatest singer.

As a matter of fact, he's really kind of a bad singer. Which is probably why he always did those sappy recitations. Which were awful! In fact, many performers through the years have parodied those recitations, and who can blame them? It's almost too easy.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

Be that as it may, I don't think Bill really set out to be a singer anyway. I'm not sure how or why it happened, but somebody somewhere said, "Hey Bill ~ LOVE your voice! Did you ever think about recording?"

And Bill said, "Huh? Is this a joke? That's kind of cruel."

But none of us can sing, really. Unless you're LeAnn Rimes, and you've made yet another crappy cover album (even if it was produced by Vince Gill), in which you've slowed down all the songs that were meant to be up-tempo, just so you could put your "stamp" on them. And you've ruined them; just ruined them.

I digress (Don't I? But I still managed to make my point.)

But back to Bill Anderson.

The year was 1958. That year of Bill's first hit song. And it was a good one. I remember listening to this song (not in 1958!) and thinking, that's a really well-written song. And it didn't hurt that Ray Price was singing it:

Bill, as you know, or maybe don't know, was in essence responsible for Connie Smith's career. I bought Connie's first album, and I think every song on it was written by Bill Anderson (There might have been one or two that weren't, but I'm not going to dig through my closet to find the album to prove myself right or wrong).

Here's Connie's first big, big hit:

Here's another one, introduced by Bill himself. "Cute and Country" Connie Smith (aww, isn't that sweet?)

One more, a bit more recently performed:

But Bill wasn't just about Connie Smith and Ray Price, and well, himself. No. Do you remember this one? I wanna say 1963, but I'm really just guessing, to be honest. The only hit song that Roy Clark ever really had, and he managed to parlay that into a pretty lengthy career (Thanks again, Bill! Says Roy.)

Yet, Bill moved into the almost-twenty-first century, with songs like this one, recorded by Steve Wariner (I think Steve deserves a post all his own, really.)

And, you know, this one, of course:

And yes, here we go again, with this video that I really dislike, but I really, really like the song:

That's a damn long good career! Bill Anderson is someone who can get up in the morning and honestly say, "I'm going to write a hit song today. Or at least I know I can write a hit song today."

To be honest,and not satirical, Bill Anderson is a songwriter who has been able to adapt to the times.

If you listen to the songs he wrote in the late fifties, early sixties, they were different from the songs he writes now. Not lyrically, so much, although perhaps his lyrics are a bit more frank now than they were back then. That's a sign of the times, no doubt.

There was a formula in those days. It was basically, verse chorus, verse chorus. Simple? Well, not so simple that you or I could write a great one. Deceptively simple, maybe.

Times and tastes change, though. And Bill's writing has changed, too. He co-writes a lot now. Maybe that's what keeps him current. I'm not a fan of co-writing, but if it works, and it makes Bill big bucks, then, hey! I think a lot of those young co-writers can thank their lucky stars that someone of the caliber of Bill Anderson has agreed to write a song with them.

As the saying goes (MY saying, because I have repeated it so much that I've now laid claim to it), either you've got it or you don't.

And I guess, if you had it in 1958, and you still have it more than 50 years later, then you've GOT IT.

You don't have to wonder. Fifty years is the cutoff point for wondering.

I only started writing in 2002, so it would not be until the year 2052 that I would know for sure. I would then be 97-freakin' years old. I ain't living that long. So I guess I'll never know. But I'm pretty sure; I don't got it.

But that's okay. I can still admire those who do.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Blast From The Past - Top Country Hits Of 1966

I had so much fun with 1963, I thought I'd stick with the sixties for awhile. I chose 1966, because it doesn't really hold any significance for me, so therefore, it'll be a surprise to see what top songs I can find for that year. And it's fun to be surprised. This isn't a class lecture, after all. It's supposed to be fun.

Here's someone I haven't had the pleasure of featuring yet on my blog, but she has always been one of my favorite singers. And boy, she really had a lot of hits in 1966! I guess that was her year.


Introduced by Bill "Endless Recitation" Anderson, here's Connie performing at the most uncool high school prom ever. "Who's going to be singing at the prom? Frankie Avalon?" "No, Bill Anderson and his Po' Boys." "Yay!"

As I mentioned, the Po' Boys are backing up Connie here. And they do a good job. I did think it was totally inappropriate, however, for the drummer to snicker, "Shake your BOO-tay!" Go back and watch. Read his lips. That's just rude in any decade.


Admittedly, this is a shaky amateur vido, but a shaky amateur video of Merle is still better than a professionally-produced video by any other artist.

I would advise the videographer (?), however, to practice panning a bit. It's kind of static and, well, not boring, really, but okay, boring. Not that Merle himself is boring. But it would have been nice to see the band, too.

Good tip for beginning guitar players....This song has only two chords in it. So, really easy to learn! Trust me. As a novice player myself (for about mumble mumble years), this song is easy to play!


Wow ~ this was fun to watch! Boy, I haven't heard this song in a long time. I can't even find anything to make fun of in this video. Excellent performance; she looked good; she sang perfectly.

Jeannie wrote this song ~ she was a really good songwriter, having written hits for other artists as well.

It struck me, as I was watching, that this is the chord progression I use in 99.9% of my songs. Hey! No wonder I sound dated! Cool ~ now at least I know! If 1966 music ever comes back in style, I'm ready!


Lest we forget Roger Miller, here's a live performance of one of his hits from 1966. I personally don't think anyone should forget Roger Miller, but you know how people's attention spans are nowadays.

I'm not sure what TV show this is from, but the teenage audience certainly was enthusiastic. Later, they all discovered The Who, and they subsequently hid their Roger Miller albums under their beds.

Ah, but in 1966, Roger was cool. I think he always was cool. He was a tremendous songwriter. Although, to sing one of his songs, one needed great breath control, because you will notice, there were very little pauses between words in his songs. He wrote a lot of words!

This is by no means my favorite Roger Miller song, but this was a hit.


Hey, The Statler Brothers just got inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, didn't they? I'm asking, because my memory is really bad. And the sad part is, I think I blogged about that not too long ago.

So, this was their first hit, featuring the late Lew DeWitt. Look how young they look here! The brothers have now retired. So, they're now sitting on that white-painted front porch with the red gingham curtains, just rocking away. Well, all of them except Lew, I guess.

I always thought Phil had the toughest job of all the "brothers". Harold did the lowwww part, Don sang the lead, Lew (and later Jimmy Fortune) had the high harmony, and there was Phil, somewhere in the middle. Kudos, Phil! I know you haven't gotten much recognition over the years, but where would these songs be without your "somewhere in the middle" part?


Ooh! My teeth are starting to hurt, watching this video! Hey, they can't all be winners. Apparently, someone liked this song, because it was one of the top hits of 1966.

In retrospect, Bill would vow never to write another song that had sssso many s's in it. Because it really sounds lame when you sing it: "I love you, dropsssss. I miss you, dropsssss." Sort of sounds lisp-ish.

I make fun of Bill (and his endless talking songs), but he was and is an excellent songwriter. Starting with "City Lights" for Ray Price, up until today, with "Give It Away" for George Strait, hey, I bet the guy is really rolling in dough!

And so what if someone played a practical joke on him, and told him he'd make an excellent singer. You have to laugh at yourself sometimes. And laughing is especially easy when you are rolling in dough.


The first thing one notices about this video is that Johnny is stoned.

With that in mind, it is a wonder that he actually remembered all the words, and only slightly messed up one time.

And what the heck is he playing? A ukelele? Or just a mini-guitar? No matter.

This song is some kind of political protest song of some sort. I don't really get into those, but I guess it was clever. Not by any means one of my favorite JC songs, but my dad always liked this song, for some reason. But he was known to like quirky things.


No quibbles here. Because Bobby Bare is cool.

You know, I can keep saying it and saying it until I'm blue in the face. But it's time to put Bobby in the Hall Of Fame. If you need more videos, there's plenty more where this one came from. I'm getting a little tired of repeating myself, but c'mon, powers-that-be! Do you have dementia? I can stop this tirade at any time. It's up to you. And by "you", I mean whoever the heck it is that votes for the Hall Of Fame. I shouldn't have to remind you. Geez. Don't you have an alphabetical list you refer to, or something? Morons.


You know, every time I see Loretta performing, all I can think of is Sissy Spacek in "Coal Miner's Daughter". I saw that movie (more than) a few times, and I liked it a lot. Just a tip, though. Mooney Lynn looks nothing like Tommy Lee Jones. I mean, if he did, who wouldn't have married him? (I mean, back when Tommy Lee Jones was hot.)

One of the funniest parts of that movie, for me, was when Mooney (or "Doolittle", as Loretta called him) took publicity photos of Lorett-y, and used the bedspread as a backdrop. "Put the backdrop back on the bed", Tommy Lee (Mooney) said, when the photo shoot was over. I thought that was funny. Sort of like how our band works now ~ improvising as we go. Okay, maybe it was just funny to me.

I remember seeing Loretta (the real Loretta) in concert at Panther Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, when I was just a young'n. It was pretty cool. This was a place where you had to bring in your own booze, but you could buy "mix" there. Well, of course, I wasn't drinking or anything.......I just mean, this is what I saw.

Yikes. Anyway, I did get Loretty's autograph, and I remember telling my mom that it looked like she signed it, "Buffalo Lynn". She had terrible handwriting. But I guess when you get married at age 13, you probably miss the penmanship class at school.

So, to sum up 1966, did you know that the CMA awards were not presented until 1967? I didn't know that. However, the Grammy awards for that year included:

  • Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, Female -- "Queen of the House," Jody Miller.
  • Best Country and Western Vocal Performance, Male -- "King Of The Road", Roger Miller
  • Best Country & Western Single -- "King of the Road," Roger Miller.
  • Best Country Song -- "King of the Road," Roger Miller
  • Best Country & Western Album -- The Return of Roger Miller, Roger Miller
  • Best New Country & Western Artist -- Statler Brothers
So, it looks like it was a "Miller" year pretty much all around. Notice how they call it, "Country & Western". How quaint.

And also notice how, "Queen Of The House" was simply a ripoff of "King Of The Road"? I mean, nothing against Jody Miller, but I think there had to be other records more deserving. Well, the Grammys were still learning about "country & western" music back then.

And, for my usual disclaimer, there were several hit songs from 1966 that were unavailable on YouTube. I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking, "Almost Persuaded" was probably the top song of that year (by David Houston, by the way), but this one is nowhere to be found, video-wise.

So, I'll leave you with this one:


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blast From The Past - Top Country Hits Of 1963

I thought it might be nice to get back into country music a little bit, since, you know, that's sort of my niche. I got sidetracked with some stuff that ticked me off (See: Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame), and other stuff, like American Idol. And by the way, I surrender. I wasn't going to post much about AI, but it's too good and/or bad to pass up.

But to get back into the country
groooove, I just randomly picked 1963. No reason, really. I just think it's kind of fun and eye-opening to review the hits from earlier days. You know, when it actually was country music.

Good old Wikipedia hasn't failed me yet. You can find just about anything there. If you're not picky about accuracy. But I figure, how hard is it to copy and paste info from Billboard Magazine? So, I'm relatively certain that Wik's list of top songs for any given year is probably correct.

We always like to start our shows with an uptempo number, so here we go:


This is a live performance! Lucky for me to have found this! From the syndicated Buck Owens TV show. Don't you love their BRIGHT! colorful outfits? (I guess guys don't call them "outfits").

They kick off the show with "Buckaroo", which I guess must have been the theme song of the show. It's so nice to see Don Rich again, by the way.

A common misconception is that Buck wrote "Act Naturally". It was actually written by Johnny Russell. Not that it's a big deal, but I like to give credit where it's due.

So, to sum up, a hit song from 1963 not written by Buck Owens; performed in some kind of Mayan temple, BRIGHT outfits; good beat; you can two-step to it.

Seems like this performance has it all.


Is it just me, or does Dave seem kind of pissed off here? I guess being stuck in a tractor cab for six days would make anyone cranky. Suffice it to say, this is one dude you don't want to accidentally spill your drink on.

And he's hungry, too! That's just a recipe for disaster. I know he hasn't been eating well, because he had to stop to hitch up his pants in the middle of the song. He's obviously lost some weight while out on his run. And the little white pills, I hear, are good for weight loss, too.

To make matters worse, the only clean shirt he had to wear to the show was that yellow matador number. All in all, Dave was not in a good mood. Just ask the band, after he locked them out of the tour bus, and they had to hitchhike home that night.


Poor Bill. Jilted by his girl at the popcorn stand.

Little known fact ~ the reason she jilted him was because she just couldn't take his endless depressing recitations anymore.

She'd say something innocent, like, "How was your day?" And he'd launch into, "Another day, another hour, I just can't seem to get you off my mind."

"I think about your perfume as I'm making copies at the copy machine. Co-workers ask me what's wrong, and I say, oh, nothing. I'm just thinking about Sally's perfume again. And they nod. Because they can see just how much I miss your perfume".

"And then when I go to the little kitchenette to pour myself a cup of coffee, I see your laughing eyes in the coffee decanter, and I start to cry. Because I miss your laughing eyes. So, I pour a little cream in my coffee, and your eyes start to get all cloudy".

"And I sit down (on the floor, because there are no chairs in the little kitchenette), and I start to count on my fingers the hours until I can see you again."

"And Gus stops by, and he smiles, knowingly. He knows that I'm missing your laughing eyes......and your perfume."

"Eventually, I get up off the floor and go back to my cubicle. I start mindlessly shuffling papers at my desk, and in the papers, I see the swirl of your hair."

"So, in addition to your perfume and your laughing eyes, NOW I'm seeing the swirl of your golden hair."

"And my boss comes over, and he asks me, 'Did you get the Wilson report done yet?' And I look up at him with a tear in my eye. And he knows."

"He says, 'You've been writing another song about Sally with the cloudy eyes and the twirling hair and the Coty Emeraude cologne, haven't you?'"

"And I say, 'You're mostly right. It's LAUGHING eyes and SWIRLING hair. And it's HEAVEN SENT perfume'."

"But you get my drift."

"So, I've spent endless hours; okay maybe just eight hours, but they seemed endless, away from you, and now here you are."

"And you're asking me how my day was. Isn't that just like you? To ask how my day was."

"That's why I love you so much, and why I will never, ever be more than one step away from you."

"I'll be there in your thoughts, there in your dreams, there when you step outside in the morning to pick up your newspaper. That'll be me, parked at your curb, in the brown Chrysler Imperial. Trying to look inconspicuous. So, even if we're far apart (which can never happen, trust me), I love you STILL."

So, eventually Sally entered the witness protection program. Bill, to this day, writes letters to Sally (LONG letters). Ones that Sally will never read, because she has left no forwarding address.


Here's Laura Ingalls, on the banks of Plum Creek, singing........

Oh, wait. That's not Laura Ingalls. That's Skeeter Davis!

One really can't begrudge the Little House On The Prairie attire, since this was a HUGE hit for Skeeter.

It was a cross-over hit!

I like it, but there's one thing that bugs me.....and that's the stilted recitation. Has she never seen Bill Anderson?? Wow, Skeeter, you should have learned from the master!

Why. Does my heart. Go on beating.
Why. Do these eyes. Of mine cry.

It's almost believable! But not exactly.

Anyway, kudos to Skeeter on a monster hit from 1963. And she was a really nice person. So just disregard my previous comments.


I couldn't find an actual performance by F&S, so this will have to suffice.

And who could forget this classic opener, anyway?

Of course, this video raises a lot of questions:

  • If you can just shoot at the ground and strike oil, where's my shotgun?
  • What happened to MRS. Clampett? I don't want to start any rumors or anything, but she never seemed to be mentioned on the show, even in passing. I don't know if Elly May was just dropped off on Jed's shack-step or what, but if there really WAS a Mrs. Clampett, apparently, nobody ever missed her. Again, I don't want to make any assumptions, but it seems like old Jed was pretty handy with that gun.
  • Who would take a dolt like Jethro along on a move to Beverly Hills? If I was in Jed's shoes, I would have just packed up in the dark of night and pushed my jalopy out to the main road, so no one would be the wiser.
  • What does, "Welllll, Doggies" mean?
  • Did Mr. Drysdale truly only have one customer at his bank? What the hell? How bad of a banker do you have to be, if you live in Beverly Hills, and the only customer you can get is some rube from Arkansas?

Well, these are my questions. I'm sure you have many of your own.


While this is a 1968 performance, the song itself was recorded (and was a hit) in 1963. There were two versions of this video to choose from on YouTube, but I chose to go with the better quality one. Plus, by this time, Johnny'd stopped taking those "little white pills" that Dave Dudley had told him about, so he had a little more bulk on his frame.

The song was written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore, and this performance featured not only the Carter Sisters, in their HOT PINK! dresses, but also a youngish-looking Carl Perkins.

A huge hit from the year 1963.

So, to sum up, there were a lot of big hit songs, most notably those from Patsy Cline, for which I could not find videos. Alas! I don't want to leave the impression that the ones I've included here were the only hits from that year. I wish, especially, that more videos from Patsy were available on YouTube. Maybe one day they will be.

I also couldn't find videos for "Abilene", "Detroit City", and "Ruby Ann", among others. Pity. I really like those songs. And my intent is not to exclude them.

But, as we say goodbye to 1963, let me leave you with this one. After the video, I do have a comment.


Okay, TWO comments.

1. If you want to learn how to do recitation correctly, Bill and Skeeter, here's someone from which to take notes.

2. CMA Hall Of Fame voters ~ Are you forgetting someone, per chance?? C'mon. It's time.