Showing posts with label porter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label porter. Show all posts

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The CMA Awards - 1971

In 1971, country music was ever so slightly starting to turn toward the "sappy". Most of the year's awards don't reflect that; however, as you watch the progression from the 1971 awards into those of 1972, I think you will start to see a trend emerge.

Overall, the 1971 CMA's rewarded some stellar songs and stellar performers. And the best news of all was, they eliminated the Comedian of the Year category!

I'm going to run these two awards by you early in the post, because frankly, these performers kept winning these awards year after year, and I've run out of videos.


Jerry Reed


Danny Davis & the Nashville Brass


Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton

Technically, this single was released in 1971, so it didn't help Porter and Dolly win the 1971 award, but geez, give me a break. I'm running out here. They just keep winning.

This performance of "The Right Combination" is from the Porter Wagoner Show, and once again, I must comment on P & D's lack of color coordination. The deep red "cactus" coat with the princess pink dress just clash, in my estimation. Nevertheless, they do have matching towering blonde bouffants, so that's a plus.

Dolly has a bit of a laughing fit during this performance, and I think I can guess why. It seems to me that fiddler Mack Magaha was just a bit too "enthusiastic" during his solo. Not that I'm complaining - it was fun! And I guess when you've got the spotlight, even for four bars, you've gotta make the most of it!


The Osborne Brothers

Wow, I love these guys! Sonny and Bobby, the Osborne boys. Bluegrass, yes, but some really great bluegrass! As Sonny notes in his introduction here, the Osbornes were the first to record the song, "Rocky Top", and I think they did it the best out of the hundreds who subsequently recorded the song, including our female vocalist listed below.

I love the banjo here; I love the mandolin. I love the harmonies. Gee, I kinda miss these guys.


"I Won't Mention It Again" - Ray Price

Funny, but considering that this was the album of the year, the only way one can buy it on Amazon is in the LP format. Now granted, if this was 1971, sure, I'd buy an LP. But I'm not what they call an "audiophile", which is just a fancy word for people whoe are living in the past. I no longer own a turntable.

You see, I'm old enough to remember how aggravating the whole vinyl record-playing process was. Almost as aggravating as computers! You'd either have to listen to the whole album, or else get up off your chair, go over and lift up the stylus and try to place it exactly at the beginning of the song you wanted. Oh, and you'd have to scrape the dust off the needle every so often with your fingertip. Then, sometimes you'd get records that weren't exactly "round". You'd hold them up at eye level, and the warpness was evident. And I don't know why, but some of the albums were of a harder vinyl material, while others were like limp paper. And then storing them. You'd have to have a whole long bookcase row of LP's, and then, because they were positioned right up against each other, some of the album covers would have those black round indentations on them, from snuggling up too close to their next-door neighbor.

So, I'm not gonna buy this, or any other, album on LP.

But, all ranting aside, Ray Price is one of the legends of country music, and one of my all-time favorites. YouTube doesn't seem to have any of the cuts from "I Won't Mention It Again" available, so I just thought I'd throw in this one, because, after all, it is on the list of my top twenty country songs of all time.

Wow, not only a steel guitar prominently featured, but three, count 'em, three fiddles! Nice going, Ray!


Help Me Make It Through The Night - Sammi Smith

I'm psyched to get to include another of my top twenty country songs of all time here! This song, as you know, was written by Kris Kristofferson; one of many great songs by a "how does he do that?" songwriter. Man, if only I could write like.......oh, sorry; I'm off topic again.

A lot of people recorded this song, but Sammi had the hit, and while a lot of people did a great job on it, none did better than this (even if she had to sit on a hay bale in her evening gown to sing it):


Charley Pride

While this is not a vintage performance, it's still a good quality video (not one of those hand-held video camera operations), and thus it is actually enjoyable.

Well. It seems that old Charley has put on a few pounds since 1971. And I'm glad he could come in from doing his gardening to perform this number. What's with the lime green sweatshirt?

I don't know why none of these videos of this song have him whistling at the end, like he did on the record. Has he lost his whistling capabilities? And it was just a sorry sight to see him try to hit a low note instead of doing the whistle, and he couldn't quite do it. Low note, indeed. Not to pick on ol' Charley.

I'm just going to get this out of the way now, with apologies. There's no embeddable video of the song of the year winner by the original artist. I will give you a link to a non-embeddable version, however. But since I still wanted to include this category, I did find an alternate version, done by, I'm sure, the runners-up for the Vocal Duo of the Year award. So, here's:


Easy Lovin' - recorded by Freddie Hart; written by Freddie Hart
; done here by Conway & Loretta:

I don't want to be mean to C & L, since they are the substitutes here for the original, but they really did this badly! Why were they so far behind the beat? Geez, did they just get awakened from a nap?

Here's how it really goes: Easy Lovin' - Freddie Hart

Just so you know, Freddie is a very nice gentleman. I have an autograph from him on my bulletin board (on the same sheet of paper as MERLE HAGGARD's autograph!), where he wrote, "To Shelly, a little doll" (I was just a kid then). This version is the superior version of the song, by far.


Lynn Anderson

Now, I like Lynn Anderson. She had a lot of great songs, especially during her Chart Records years. You know, she did do other songs besides "Rose Garden". As I've mentioned before, yes, she is a distant relative of mine, a fifth cousin once removed or something equally obscure, but that's neither here nor there. I just happen to like her.

This video is from a 1970 single, and probably helped her win the award. It's an old Hank Snow song, without the nice lead-up, which she just conveniently left off...."I was totin' my pack along the dusty Winnemucka road......." (you know how it goes). This song is a tongue-twister, and I was just dorky enough back then to learn it. I could probably remember it now. Let's see.....hang on.......Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota........yup! I can remember it!

Funny that this performance is from the Lawrence Welk Show (she was, early in her career, a regular). Lawrence, you know, is from Strasburg, North Dakota, not too far from my old stomping grounds. And I used to play the accordion, too (dork alert #2!)

So, here we go with "I've Been Everywhere"

Okay, hold on here. First of all, she's lip-synching this! And thus, I feel kinda sorry for the goofy guy who has to "fake" playing that xylophone/harmonica contraption (what the heck is that?). Then, did you notice that she looked down at her wrist before one of the verses? She's cheating! She wrote the words on her arm! Lynn, Lynn, Lynn. I took the stupid time to memorize this song; you could have at least done the same. I'm terribly disillusioned.

Well, that just leaves the Entertainer of the Year, and here we go again.....

Now, I see this video is also from the Lawrence Welk Show. Hey, I didn't plan this! I didn't even know ol' Charley ever appeared on the LW Show.

But I will say this: Charley certainly looks younger and thinner here, and he was nice and polite. And Lloyd Green is here on the steel! Okay, Charley had two hits in 1970 that probably garnered him this award, and I already featured one of them. The other one, "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore" isn't available on YouTube, so I decided to just go with one that I like.

So, here's the 1971 ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Charley Pride

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The CMA Awards - 1970 - At Last! - Something I Can Get Behind!

The 1970 CMA awards, I believe, marked a turning point in country music.

Why? Well, I got nothin' against Johnny Cash, and he's held up by many as the ultimate bright shiny symbol of country music, but let's face it, he's no Merle Haggard.

Let's just start this thing off right, shall we? With the:



Merle Haggard - Okie From Muscogee

Now, it took me almost 40 years to realize that this song was meant to be ironic. Maybe it was the delivery. He certainly presented it with a straight face. How were we supposed to know? I wasn't totally on board with the sentiments that Merle expressed here, although, speaking of irony, I am more on board with them now. Even though he, apparently, had the last laugh.

And, you know, I don't even really give a damn if he was making fun of us, or if he meant what he said at the time.

Yes, I know (now) that Merle is more a liberal than a conservative. But, you know, one can overlook the shortcomings of loved ones, and I love Merle Haggard.

You see, Merle and I go back a long time. Of course, Merle doesn't know this, and he probably wouldn't care. But, aside from Buck Owens, who was of another time, a time of my parents, Merle is the one person who made me love country music. The one who's allowed me to stick with it; to acknowledge that maybe all music doesn't suck. The one who has shown me that one can write about stuff that means something, and prevailing winds be damned, we're gonna write it anyway, because it's honest.

So, if Merle was just playing with us, and making us think one way, when he was leaning the opposite way, well, it's the one transgression in music that I will forgive. Cuz all I have to do is click on "Silver Wings" or "Sing Me Back Home", and all that political stuff goes out the window.

I guess it's the way that some people feel about Dylan. Merle is my Dylan. Merle is country music's Dylan.


Merle Haggard

Along with "Okie From Muscogee", Merle had some major hits leading up to the 1970 award season, including "Workin' Man Blues" and "Mama's Hungry Eyes", both recorded in 1969. Alas, couldn't find 'em on YouTube. So, let's go with this one, recorded in 1968, which is a sentimental favorite of mine.

You gotta feel bad for Merle, stuck on the fake front porch, in front of the lace-curtained window, singing about how he got life without parole. Now, I don't know what prison this is, but it's pretty nice! Each inmate has their own little cottage! If this is prison, sign me up! I don't know what they're bitchin' about. "Mama" probably drops by every week or so, to cook up some fried chicken and mashed potatoes. That's better than I eat! Better than my bowl of corn flakes and dry toast.

So, we've actually learned something here. Prison's not so bad. Thanks, Merle.


Sunday Morning Coming Down
- recorded by Johnny Cash, written by Kris Kristofferson

I like this version a lot. Kris'll be the first to admit that he's not the world's best singer, but he was in pretty good form here. He even handled the harmony parts quite nicely. It's always a treat, I think, to hear the writer sing his own songs, plus this version has a little more "get up and go" than the original recording. I think the original kind of dragged a bit, in comparison.

I wonder if Kris is still writing songs. Of course, he'd have to release them himself, considering that they don't have bridges and all the bells and whistles (which is basically, what you hear on recordings lately - a bunch of bells, a bunch of whistles). And, you know, his songs just wouldn't cut it nowadays. Too simple. They say too much. And they're not "ME-centric". I hate to break it to Kris, but that's the way the old ball bounces.


Tammy Wynette

Obviously, from perusing the pages upon pages of videos that fans have posted of Tammy, she is held in very high esteem. One note, though.....she did record other songs besides "Stand By Your Man". I mean, c'mon. I wonder if Tammy's up in heaven, wondering, "Is this the only song they remember me for? You know, I did have others. I think I'll just go back down there and set the record straight."

So, I couldn't find embeddable videos of any songs that helped Tammy win this award (again) in 1970, such as "Singing My Song" or "I'll See Him Through". So, since I've posted a bunch of Tammy videos already, I'm going to go with a recording from 1966, "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" (If you keep winning, Tammy, I'm afraid I'm going to run out of choices.)


Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton

1970 was the first year that the CMA decided that two people do not make a "group", and therefore, they created the vocal duo category. A spin-off, shall we say. Porter & Dolly were previously the vocal "group" of the year, so now, in 1970, they have been downsized.

This single was released in 1969, so again, this probably put them over the top for the 1970 awards season:

Nice performance, on the old Porter Wagoner Show, or, as his guitar strap indicates, the "Goner" Show. I wonder if anyone looked back at the tape later and said, "Hey Porter, you might want to adjust that strap. Do you really want people referring to you as a 'goner'?" I do also wish that Porter & Dolly had coordinated their outfits better beforehand. Porter's green and yellow kind of clash with Dolly's powder blue. But that's sort of nitpicky, I guess.


Tompall & The Glaser Brothers
I don't blame you if you don't remember these guys. They definitely had their time, and that time was the early seventies. But they actually were around a lot earlier than that; apparently starting in the 1950's. As brothers do, these three guys had great harmonies. I don't think they had a lot of chart success, however. I do remember a recording they did of the Bob Wills song, "Faded Love", and I liked their version. "Tompall" is an unusual name, though, don't you think? I wonder if his parents quibbled over what to name their firstborn. "Tom!", Daddy said. "No, I like Paul!", Mama retorted. It was only after a 19-hour labor that Mom & Dad finally came to a consensus. And thus, "Tompall" came into the world.

Tompall, you may recall, was featured on the hit "Outlaws" album, along with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. The fact is, none of the three even knew that this album had been created. The producer slapped a bunch of tunes on an album and released it as "Wanted: The Outlaws". I bet Tompall didn't even know that he was an outlaw. But he reaped the benefits of the album's unexpected success.

Here's the only representation I could find of the group, and this is not a 1970 performance, but rather from 1985. And sadly, there's a fake Jim Glaser singing here, and I'm sure there's a logical explanation for this, but I have no idea what that might be.


Jerry Reed

Here's a "guitar duet", you might say, featuring Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. I guess Chet is passing the torch (or the guitar pick), since Chet had owned this award in years prior.

I think they were both really good musicians. I say "I think", because what do I know? It all sounds really good to me, but I'm certainly no guitar connoisseur. I can barely hold a pick without dropping it inside the guitar hole (is that the technical term?) and then I have to hold the guitar upside-down and shake it to get the pick out, because I only own one pick.

So, take it from me, these guys are WAY better guitar players than me. God rest your soul, Jerry Reed.......and Chet.


Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass

As you know from my previous post, there are no videos available for Danny and his Brass, but I liked them, and there were a bunch of guys in this group, so they had to split the earnings several ways, which kept them relatively poor over the years, except for Danny, I'm sure, who got a bigger share of the pot.


Roy Clark

Thankfully, 1970 was the last year that this award was given out. And really, by then (after only four years), they were scraping to come up with a winner (not to mention five nominees).

I just don't think of Roy Clark as a "comedian". Great guitar player, yes. Decent "Hee Haw" co-host, okay. Had a nice recording called, "The Tips Of My Fingers", agreed. But I don't really know how he qualifies as a comedian.

But, you know, I could just be missing something. I know he made a lot of weird facial contortions when he was performing, so maybe that's it.

I was just thinking - what if you won an award for comedian of the year, and you were never trying to be funny? How embarrassing that would be! "What do you mean, comedian of the year?" And you'd slink up to the podium and say something serious, and everybody would be rolling in the aisles. I think ol' Roy probably just rolled with it....and that's how his career as a comedian began......


Merle Haggard

No surprise here, after the year that Merle had. And, fyi, I saw Merle Haggard in concert back in 1968, and yes, he deserved to be named Entertainer of the Year for 1970, and for a whole bunch of other years.

Strangely (ha!), Merle only had that one year in which he grabbed a whole bunch of awards. You'd think his career stopped in 1970 or something. Nothing could be further from the truth. But all things are cyclical, I guess. So, the CMA moved on to someone else.

And he didn't even get into the hall of fame until 1994. I don't know if there's a waiting period or what. They could have just slapped him in there in 1970, but I guess they wanted to give others a chance.

This is a nice video performance. Merle didn't actually release this single until 1970, but I've done a bunch of Merle videos, so I had to change things up a bit. So, even though he won the entertainer of the year award technically prior to releasing this song, I'm sure the CMA voters knew that he was going to come up with another great one, so they were ahead of the curve, let's say.


The Carter Family

There were a couple of true pioneers inducted into the hall of fame in 1970, the Carter Family, certainly fitting that bill. Hard to think that this is where country music originated, since it's nothing like this anymore (obviously), but without Ralph Peer traveling around the country to document the original American music of the day in 1927, maybe there would be no country music at all.

The original group consisted of A.P., Sara, and Maybelle. I can't find any early videos of the original Carter Family, but here is one with Maybelle and daughters Helen and Anita. (Note that June is not included here. Truth be told, June was by far the worst singer in the family, but that's really neither here nor there.)

Bill Monroe

Bill Monroe was the father of bluegrass music. I don't know exactly how that works. How do you invent a new genre of music? There's not too much precedence for that. Could that happen now? I really don't think so. What could be different enough from the established forms of music to be considered something new? So, that's quite an accomplishment. That'd be something to put on your resume: "I invented a new style of music". "Hey, you're hired then!"

Admittedly, before I knew anything about Bill Monroe, other than his name, I imagined his singing voice to sound quite different from how it actually sounded. I was taken aback by his high tenor. Now, of course, it seems natural. But one generally doesn't expect a guy to sing like that.

So, 1970 was a watershed year for country music.

I don't know exactly how it was a watershed year, but I like using the word "watershed".

Oh, wait. I know. It's when electric guitar-dominated music came to the fore. Because prior to 1970, it was that "string" thing that good old Chet advocated. And so, in 1970, country music got real.

If only that were to last. Country fans had to suffer through a bunch of crummy stuff in years to come, before the music "swung back" to what it was supposed to be. That was just before it finally took the fatal plunge into Crap Land.

So, it's nice to look back, isn't it?

You may be asking, how long can I keep going with this year-by-year recap? I don't know yet. I haven't gotten disillusioned yet, although I know that disillusionment is on the horizon. The seventies are upon us, and the seventies were brutal.

But we'll keep on keeping on........for now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The CMA Awards - 1968

1968 was the first year that the CMA awards were televised; on CBS, I think.

I remember these awards, for their low point in cutting off Bob Wills, as he was starting to make his speech, after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He got to the stage, opened his mouth to speak, and suddenly we were "joining our regularly scheduled news broadcast, already in progress."

Even at my young age, I knew that was just rude. And disrespectful.

I don't care who you are or how young you may be. If you like George Strait, even a little bit (?), you need to know about Bob Wills. Watch this:

So, Bob Wills was disrespected in 1968. Hold on. It gets worse.


Honey - recorded by Bobby Goldsboro, written by Bobby Russell

Okay, it's a difficult choice, but I would have to say that this is my MOST HATED SONG OF ALL TIME.

Shall we count the ways in which this song is PUTRID? Sappy, yes. But more than that. Words really cannot describe. Suffice it to say that I was SO GLAD that Honey hit that tree with her car. Had she not, I would have had to take matters into my own hands. Honey was a bimbo. She deserved to die. I mean, if you can't even drive your car to the market without ramming into a tree, then your existence is some stupid freak of nature, and yet, some clueless poor sap is now SINGING about you and eulogizing your rank stupidity, and we all have to suffer the consequences.

But knowing Bobby Goldsboro, he also loved his bowl of Rice Krispies (remember the story told, ad nauseum, about how he stepped on a Rice Krispie kernel, and hurt his foot? I think he told Merv, Johnny, Joey, and any local-cable access guy who would listen about his stupid Rice Krispie incident, and it didn't even have a punch line!)

So now, Bobby's mourning the loss of his Rice Krispies, which, sadly had more intelligence in their individual kernels than HONEY had in her vast wasteland of a brain pan.

Moving on (while monitoring my blood pressure), let's look at the:


Harper Valley PTA - Jeannie C. Riley

This song was written by Tom T. Hall, so basically any connection to this song has to be limited to someone with a middle initial prominently displayed.

I don't have any quibbles with this song, except for the fact that it was played over and over and over....and over.

This style of song would never make it nowadays. It really is all verses. There's no chorus. Certainly there's no bridge. Tom was lucky that he was writing at a time when one didn't need to conform to a standard pattern of songwriting. He would just be poor and working at a 7-11, moaning about the fact that nobody will listen to his songs. Join the club, Tom.


Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash

Again, not to come off as being a chronic bitcher, but how many damn times do we need to hear this song? Yea, I know. Key of E. I played it, too. Didn't you? Didn't everyone?

Again, do you think in your wildest dreams that a song like this would make it nowadays? Ha! (as Johnny would say). You'd be patted on the head and sent off on your way back to your factory job, shame nipping at your heels. You'd join old Tom T. Hall, working at the 7-11 and bitching about how A&R guys have no taste; no taste at all, in music.


Tammy Wynette

Whew! Something I can get behind, finally! What can I say about Tammy Wynette? I am just in awe of her talent. I miss Tammy. We'll not see the likes of Tammy again, well, probably never. Like Patsy, someone like Tammy comes along once in, what, 50 years?

Here's the song that probably won her the award in 1968:


Glen Campbell

This single was released in 1967, so it probably played a major role in Glen winning the male vocalist award in 1968. It was written by John Hartford.

I like this one. I know that Glen tended to record Jimmy Webb songs, and I like some of those. But this is just a nice, folky kind of song (that has a lot of verses, if you study it) and it has a banjo! And didn't Glen use this as his theme song for his show on CBS? So, I guess he liked it, too.


Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton

Okay, I wouldn't technically call Porter and Dolly a "group", but there wasn't a "duo" category back then, so there you go.

Porter and Dolly went on to win this award countless times, deservedly so. Their major competition, at least for awhile, was Conway and Loretta, so I think there might have been some knock-down, drag-out fights in the alley of the Ryman Auditorium, over who was the better duo. But alas, Conway didn't want to muss up his oily slicked-back "coiff", so Porter won.

Here's a 1967 song, that probably garnered this duo their first (of many) awards:


Ben Colder

Okay, it's maybe an acquired taste. Maybe you had to be there. But I frankly find Ben Colder (Sheb Wooley) funny. "Ben Colder here". She said, "It ain't been no colder here than anyplace else".

What Ben (Sheb) did was take-off's on popular songs, in a drunken, debauched kind of way. So here's "Almost Persuaded # 2 1/2":

The INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR and INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR repeated from 1967: Chet Atkins and The Buckaroos. Take a look back at my previous post to see a sampling of their wonderful performances.


Glen Campbell

Yes, Glen was at his peak in 1968. I like Glen better now than I did back then. It was, to be honest, a stretch to call what he was doing "country". Jimmy Webb is a wildly successful songwriter, and I love his song, "Galveston". I just don't really like this one. But it put Glen in the catbird seat, and made him entertainer of the year for 1968.

Are we having fun yet? I am. I like this retrospective of the CMA awards, year by year.

And if 1968 sucked, and you know it did, just hold on. It starts to get better, as the years go by.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Blast From The Past - Top Country Hits Of 1970

I always enjoy traveling back in time, to revisit the days of country music of yore.

Today, I chose the year 1970, because I think I've forgotten a lot of the music from way back then, when I was but 15 years old, and thereby is the challenge....find some good stuff from the year 1970.

As you know by now, I always like to start these things off on a high note, so here's a high note:


Anyone who knows me, knows that Merle Haggard is, to me, the best thing that ever happened to country music. That said, this is not my favorite Merle song, not by a long shot. But it does have its charm.

And it was a huge hit in 1970, leading millions of country music fans to the false assumption that Merle was a conservative.

But, doesn't he look cute here? Nice, wavy hair. Young. Shy smile.

And here's Bonnie Owens in the background, smiling. Probably thinking, "You a**hole. Oh sure, on stage, you make everyone think that you're such a nice, sweet, genteel guy. Try living with you! You and your black moods. And I can't even get away from you, since, when you go out on tour, I go."

I'm just conjecturing here, of course. But I know the type.

Now, for something completely different, remember this? It was a big hit in 1970:


This video proves two things:

1. In 1970, even a lounge act could have a major hit.
2. People were awfully easy to please back then.

And to think that I was kind of lukewarm about "The Fightin' Side Of Me"!

Here, you've basically got a duo with their dueling synthesizers, a really corny song, and big hair. What more do you need for a hit? And poor Tanya Tucker is trying to look enthusiastic.

Alas, Jack and Misty are now residing on SoundClick. Hey, even we're on SoundClick! It's not the most discerning site for music. But, you know, things happen.


I've always been ambivalent about this song. I mean, it's okay. It has a nice twin fiddle opening. But it's kind of boring, really. No offense to the writers - and it apparently took two people to write this song. It's simply a matter of divergent tastes, I guess, because it was a number one hit. So, more power to them! The best part of the song is Charley's whistling at the end. Of course, that's not actually a part of this video.

One note, though. I would really have hated to be in Charley's band, because I think I might have just fallen asleep during these numbers. Charley had a lot of potential, but his song choices just weren't the best. After "The Easy Part's Over", things sort of went downhill.


I always love watching Marty Robbins concert videos. As Marty notes here, he won the Grammy for this song, and "I don't want you to think that I feel that my song was the best song of the year....I heard many songs that year, but I never heard any that I liked better than mine".....(heh heh)

When you listen to the lyrics of this song, you almost want to break down in sobs, in sympathy for this poor woman's life......

Hands that are strong but wrinkled
Doing work that never gets done
Hair that's lost some of the beauty
By too many hours in the sun

Now, maybe it's just me, but it seems like Marty was making a pretty good living. Did he have his wife living in some run-down shack without running water? Good god. Maybe Marty had the "main house", and the "woman, woman, wife" was relegated to the abandoned chicken coop out back. Seems kinda cruel.

But, in the end, while the little woman is out mowing the grass, Marty is here doing a superb job as usual. I particularly love the way Marty kind of "slides" up to the high notes. It's sort of his signature. I do not, however, understand why his bandmate (Bill Johnson, is it?) is shuffling index cards behind him. Maybe he was practicing for his upcoming toastmaster speech.

Maybe we could learn more about that here: Country Music Hall of Fame Panel Discussion: The Story of My Life: Friends and Family Remember Marty Robbins

I can't seem to find which recording from 1970 was the number one record of the year, but I've got two finalists in mind. Here is the first one:


I'll just admit it and get it over with. I never really "got" Conway Twitty. Sort of like George Jones. I know that both of these guys are revered in many country circles. I guess it's just a matter of taste.

Don't get me wrong. Conway had some earlier hits that I liked a lot, including this one. Then, sometime later, he got all "curly permed" and started remaking Pointer Sister songs and other crimes against humanity, and all the while, he kept building up his fan base. I just don't get it. I liked him way better before he became a sex symbol for the blue-haired ladies.

And, admission number two. I went to a package show that included Vince Gill and somebody (?) and Conway Twitty, and I actually left before Conway came on. A short time later, he passed away, so I still feel kind of guilty about walking out - in hindsight.

Anyway, kudos to Conway for this huge hit. And it was HUGE. And I can definitely see where it would be a fun song to sing.

BLOGGER'S NOTE: I'm going to break from the topic at hand for a moment, because, while Tammy Wynette had three number one songs in 1970, and while Tammy won the female vocalist award at the 1970 CMA Awards, none of her three hit songs from 1970 are available on YouTube.

Therefore, since I happen to think that Tammy is one of the best female singers of all time (second only to Patsy Cline), I felt it warranted including a Tammy video here, even if the song is not technically from 1970. So, here is (and I happen to love this song):


Okay, now back to 1970. Well, here's another top hit of the year - maybe this one was #3; I don't know; can't tell. Nobody will tell me. But it's a great song and a great performance, nevertheless. A song written by Kris Kristofferson.


Not much to say about this. Just a classy performance.


The most interesting aspect of this performance is that the recording itself is this performance. If I remember correctly, this was the first time that Johnny actually performed Kris's song, and it was recorded to be released as a single. I guess this is one of the few times in history in which a live performance sounds exactly like the record.

Oh, and he promised not to say, "stoned". But, of course, he did. That's Johnny.


I apologize for the relatively poor quality of this video. Unfortunately, it was the only live performance by Jerry of this song that I could find.

Rest in peace, Jerry Reed (March 20, 1937 - August 31, 2008)

And now for something completely different.

Am I the only person who remembers Susan Raye? She and Buck Owens had some duet hits back in the seventies, and a really nice album, titled, "We're Gonna Get Together". Susan also had a string of hits of her own. Unfortunately, all I can find on Amazon are LP's! Hey, I don't have a turntable anymore. Somebody needs to reissue these. Sundazed, maybe?

This is apparently Susan's first number one hit. She had a lot of others I liked better, but here is:


I have since learned, through searching the net, that Susan subsequently retired from the music business, and became a marriage, family, and child counselor. She also married Jerry Wiggins, Buck's drummer (I knew that) and had six children. I didn't think anyone ever retired from the music business. I thought they just went to Branson. Kudos to Susan.


I always love watching Waylon's performances, be they the "clean cut Waylon" or the "shaggy Waylon". Waylon was great. And notice Jessi Colter here on the keys? This is just a real nice performance.


Okay, maybe For The Good Times wasn't number three. Maybe this was number three. Because it was HUGE. This was, of course, Anne Murray's first number one single.

I've always liked and admired Anne Murray. She seems so real. Doesn't buy into that show biz stuff. Just a great, great singer.


Campy schtick aside (just slide that little slider button closer to the end to get to "Goin' Steady"), make no mistake, Faron Young was a tremendous performer. If you consider that Faron started out in the late forties on the Louisiana Hayride, and here he was, in 1970 with three number one songs (Goin' Steady, Occasional Wife, and "(If I Ever Fall In Love With A) Honky Tonk Girl), that's not too shabby of a career. And, at this time, he hadn't yet released "Four In The Morning".

Of course, Faron is essentially forgotten by people who should know better, but he was my favorite country singer, and an astute businessman. Sadly, he reached a tragic end. But I always smile when I see videos such as this one.


Before I talk about what a great duet team Porter and Dolly were, did you notice the introduction to this number?? What the ?? This performance is from the Wilburn Brothers TV show, and Doyle (or Teddy - who knows?) says to Porter, "Why don't you tell us about this song that Dolly wrote?" Well, ahem, Dolly's standing right here! Wow, sexism was alive and well in 1970. I bet she just wanted to shove him out of the way, after he and his brother horned in on their (her) song. She could have used those long fingernails to stab him. But no, she just smiled sweetly. I don't even know anything about Doyle (or Teddy - who knows?), but man, I really don't like him. I think I heard that Loretta wasn't crazy about the brothers, either, after she finally got out of her contract with them.

But all sexism aside, I would venture that Porter and Dolly were probably the best country duo ever. And it wasn't just because of Dolly. People sort of like to push Porter aside (like Dolly should have done to Doyle - or Teddy), and give Dolly all the credit, but I've heard Dolly sing duets with other artists, and the mix doesn't sound as good. I don't think just anyone's voice can match up with hers. Porter's did. And her voice did not overpower the songs. His parts come through loud and clear. They had the right combination (yea, that was corny).

Yes, this post is very long. I hope you just skipped the parts you weren't interested in. But, number one, there turned out to be a lot of good songs and/or available videos from 1970; and, two, I had a lot of free time. : )

So, I will leave you with what I think was probably the top single of 1970. Absent an official chart, it's just a guess on my part, but if you consider how many times this song was played over and over and over and over, so that you just wanted to grab your plastic-cased table-top radio and smash it to smithereens, while simultaneously banging your head into the wall, WELL! That sounds like a HIT!

Don't get me wrong. I like Lynn Anderson! And I'm even distantly related to her (or that's some old family tale that was invented and passed along - I could go either way on that).

And the song itself, written by Joe South, is pleasant enough, the first 5,000 times you hear it.

But hey, you be the judge. Watch it once. Then tell me if you could stand to watch it again and again the rest of the day. And you already have certain parts in your head, even before you watch it, don't you? How about, "or let go - o - o - oh" ?

But Lynn does look awfully cute here, with her feathered dress.

So, here we go:


This now concludes our look back to the year 1970.