February 9 2021

Dave Alvin first album in eleven years

The day was kinda cloudy and the wind was blowing hard. The sky was a little dusty on my way home from work and I was pretty sure I saw Lamesa blowing by. I was scrolling through the music on my phone I guess I was on Spotify and something kinda catchy sounded through my speakers and I knew that I heard the tune before, but I was not sure when or why. It wasn’t the original voice I was hearing belt the lyrics out over the rhythm and bluesy guitar rifts that were a welcome accompaniment for my drive at five.

The song that was playing tonight was called “Highway 61 Revisited.” I later recognized it as a Bob Dylan tune. The version I heard today was by Dave Alvin.

From An Old Guitar: Rare and Unreleased Recordings, came out this past November 20 on Yep Roc Records. It is Dave Alvin’s first release in eleven years. Today the album is sitting at the number 12 spot on Americana Music Association’s Americana fest albums chart.

The 16 songs on Alvin’s latest album ,includes songs written by Alvin and songs written by Alvin’s friends. Peter Case, Bill Morrissey and, Chris Smither. Other cover songs on the album include song writing talents from Bob Dylan, Earl Hooker, Doug Sahm, Marty Robbins, Bo Carter and more.

The album definitely brings a hard hitting sound of an all star selection of great country, folk and rockabilly music.

Dave Alvin originally did the song, “Highway 61” for a tribute to Dylan CD. He was asked to do the song by Uncut magazine.

“The guys and I had an absolute blast reimagining this version of Mr. Dylan’s classic, and I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did playing it.”

Dave Alvin

Wikipedia has this to say about the artist:

David Albert Alvin (born November 11, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, music producer and poet. He is a former and founding member of the roots rock band the Blasters. Alvin has recorded and performed as a solo artist since the late 1980s and has been involved in various side projects and collaborations. He has had brief stints as a member of the bands X and the Knitters.

I have heard the name Dave Alvin before, mainly as a producer. He has worked with a personal favorite of mine, the singer- songwriter author and artist Tom Russell. Alvin has worked as a session musician for Katy Moffatt and has even accompanied Ramblin’ Jack Elliot.

In this version of “Highway 61 Revisited,” Alvin who is doing the vocals and plays the electric guitar is joined with electric guitarist Greg Leisz, Bass player Gregory Boaz and Drummer Don Heffington. The recording is done at Craig Parker Adams’ Winslow Studios in Los Angeles, California. The cool video was created by Victor Krummenacher.

As Dave Alvin told the press, he hopes you enjoy listening. I sincerely hope that you do as well. I sure did.

Pancho.

February 8 2021

Everything That Glitters

McCamey, Texas is a city in Upton County Texas. As of the last census it had a population of just under 1900 people. McCamey is known today as the “Wind Energy Capitol of Texas,” because of the many wind farms in the area. Dan Seals was born on this day, February 8, 1948 in McCamey, Texas.

Big Wheels In The Moonlight,” by Dan Seals is about McCamey, or as I have always been told It could be about Rankin, Texas. Rankin is another small town in Upton county only minutes away from McCamey. Either way, I have been to both of these towns many times in my life and the song fits.  Even as of today, Rankin only has one red light. In between these two towns lies the shell of a building. A place long gone before my time. This old roadside beerjoint was once known as The Girvin Social Club. I have sat many times looking at that old abandoned rock structure and have imagined dancing the night away to the music of Dan Seals.

I came from a town that was so small

You look both ways, you could see it all

All I wanted was some way out

Every evening I’d slip into town

And stand around by the caution light

And watch the big trucks rolling by

For me it was a beautiful sight

Big wheels in the moonlight

Big Wheels in the Moonlight -Lyrics by D. Seals and B. McDill

Danny Wayland Seals began his career in music as “England Dan” a nick name he had received from his older brother Jim Seals. He got the nickname because of his fascination with the Beatles. He even tried to speak and reflect an English accent.

Older brother Jim Seals also had musical fame in the American rock duo of Seals and Crofts. The group is best known for their singles, “Summer Breeze” (1972), “Diamond Girl” (1973), and “Get Closer” (1976).

“England Dan” was one half of the soft rock duo England Dan & John Ford Coley. The two charted nine singles between 1976 and 1980. After the duo disbanded, Dan Seals dropped the “England Dan” moniker and went solo in country music.

As Dan Seals he released more than 16 albums. He had over 20 singles on the country charts in the 1980’s and 90’s. Eleven of those singles reached number one, including “Big Wheels in the Moonlight.”

One of my favorite country songs ever written is “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold).” This is also a Dan Seals #1 hit song. The song was released in March 1986 on the EMI label. The song appeared on the album, Won’t Be Blue Anymore. It was cowritten by Dan Seals and Bob McDill.

The song is about the story tellers estranged relationship with his wife who is also on the Rodeo Circuit. In the song the storyteller has custody of a daughter and he is obviously not the star he once was. He is getting older. He fails at answering the questions of what his daughter is asking him. He feels resentful towards a woman he once loved so much.

I cannot hear the song even today without feeling a bit of heartache and sadness inside myself. The story in the song is a story that I can easily put myself into. Throughout the song Dan Seals has this most beautiful high octave voice. “But ohh sometimes I think about you..” I do not know if it’s his voice that is able to bring me to tears, the story behind the voice, or a combination of the two.

Dan Seals last studio album was Make It Home in 2002. A greatest Hits Album, The Best of Dan Seals was released in 2005. Seals battled cancer for several years in the mid to late 2000’s. He received cancer treatments at M.D. Anderson in Houston and at Vanderbilt in Nashville. Sadly he passed away in Nashville at his daughters home on March 25, 2009 at the age of 61.

Seals may be gone, but his songs will carry us through forever..

 And oh the crowd will always love you

But as for me I’ve come to know

Everything that glitters is not gold

Everything that glitters, Happy Birthday “ENGLAND DAN”

Pancho.

February 6 2021

For the Last Time

On the fortieth anniversary of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, in 1973, the Man and his band that created “Western Swing” got together to make music. As a result, The album, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys For The Last Time Was Born.

For The Last Time was recorded December 3rd and 4th 1973 at Sumet-Burnet Studio, Dallas Texas. Besides The King Bob Wills, personnel listed in the record include a great line-up of Country and Western musicians.

The musicians on the album include Merle Haggard, Hoyle and Jody Nix and more.

Tommy Allsup produced the album and is also listed as one of the bass players. Tommy was that guy, the one who lost a coin toss to Ritchie Valens and lost his seat on the plane that crashed, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie, and the Big Bopper. Investigators originally thought that Allsup had perished in the crash. Allsup had given his wallet to Buddy Holly prior to that fateful flight so that Buddy could use his I.D. to claim postage on his behalf. Allsup was expecting a package sent General Delivery from his mother.

The Winter Dance Party tour continued even after the death of the star musicians. Allsup finished the tour with Waylon Jennings the bass player of the band singing Buddy Holly’s songs. Dion and the Belmonts were brought in as headliners.

One of Tommy Allsup’s most noted accomplishments in music is his guitar solo in Buddy Holly’s, ”It’s So Easy.” It has become a classic.

Allsup is known for his associations with Buddy Holly and Bob Wills. Tommy Allsup a rockabilly and swing guitarist also played back up for Kenny Rogers.

Besides producing The Last Time, he also produced Bob Wills 24 Greatest Hits. He spent time in Odessa, Texas working with Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson. Tommy Allsup also produced for Asleep at the Wheel and Produced the Zager and Evans hit, “In the Year 2525.” As a session musician, Tommy played on nearly 7000 sessions. Later Tommy would open a club in Dallas he called the club “The Heads Up Saloon”

Thomas Douglas Allsup was born in Owasso, Oklahoma. He was a member of the Cherokee Nation. Allsup died in Springfield, Missouri on January 11, 2017, the last surviving member of Buddy Holly’s “touring” Crickets for the 1959 Winter Dance Party.

THE COIN TOSS

“Everything in life is subject to the will of God.”

Hal Looney.

Tommy and Ritchie Valens coin toss on the night of February 2nd 1959 in the Surf Ballroom, Clearlake, Iowa changed history. What if Tommy had been on that plane and Ritchie had not? I’d like to think that Valens would have had a long and productive career. I think his crossover talents from Mexican folk music to rock and roll would have been more evolved than he had already done with “La Bamba.”

This morning my wife and I were talking about this event. How many times has my own life changed direction at the “flip” of a single coin? I would like to say that my life isn’t necessarily controlled by me. I believe in divine direction. A belief in God’s will and not my own. It is usually when my own self will gets involved that I get into trouble. My wife reminded that a man named Hal Looney once told us that everything in life is subject to the will of God.  Sometimes I feel that my life is traveling along in the right direction and then in a single event that happens everything changes. Life is complicated like that at times.

Perhaps, Tommy and Ritchie’s coin toss was the will of God. I would like to think that it was more than just coincidence.

I want to believe that the coin keeps landing on the right side up for me and my life. I know that when it’s over it will be over even if my coin lands on tails, I will accept it.

Pancho.

February 4 2021

The Day the Music Died: Part 3

When I originally created this blog, I had grand intentions of focusing Mostly only on musicians who were Texas born and bred. As time has gone on, I have strayed away from my original idea of blogging only Texan. This week I have focused on “The Day the Music Died.” To try to hold true to my original idea of this blog, I want to point at that two out of three of the musicians who died during the plane crash in the Winter Dance Party tour were Texans.

Buddy Holly- born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock Texas during the Great Depression, September 7, 1936. His first demo albums were recorded just across the state line in Clovis, New Mexico. Buddy Holly is buried in the City of Lubbock, Texas Cemetery. A simple marker offers a carving of of a Fender Stratocaster guitar and Buddy Holley, his surname in the original spelling, H-O-L-L- E-Y, marking the spot.

Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr. known as The Big Bopper was born in Sabine Pass, Texas where his father was an oilfield worker. Later the family moved to Beaumont, Texas.

JP Richardson began a career in radio. At KTRM radio in Beaumont, Richardson decided to start calling himself, The Big Bopper. He came up with the name because the college students at the time were doing a dance called The Bop.

As a songwriter Richardson wrote, “Running Bear” for his friend Johnny Preston. The song was based on The Bopper’s childhood memories and Indian tribes along the Sabine River in Texas. He also wrote and first recorded “White Lightning.” The song would later become George Jones first number one hit.

J.P. Richardson is also credited with creating the first music video. Filming and recording his early works in 1958.

The Big Bopper, J.P. Richardson, is buried in Beaumont, Texas. Rumors of foul play caused concern for his son. In 1987 at the request of The Big Bopper’s son, Jay Richardson the body was exhumed and an autopsy was performed by Dr. William M. Bass, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jay Richardson was present during the entire procedure. Dr. Bass’s findings indicated no signs of foul play.

“There are fractures from head to toe. Massive fractures…. Richardson died immediately. He didn’t crawl away. He didn’t walk away from the plane.”

Dr. William M. Bass

The Big Bopper was placed in a new casket and buried next to his wife at Beaumont’s Forest Lawn Cemetery. For a time Jay Richardson, allowed the original casket to be on display at the Texas Musicians Museum.

Due to success with his song “Chantilly Lace,“ The Big Bopper took off from KTRM radio to join Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens on the Winter Dance Party Tour. The Tour began on January 23rd 1959. The eleventh night of the tour, Buddy Holly booked a plane to fly his band to the next venue, Moorehead, Minnesota. Waylon Jennings voluntarily gave his seat to The Big Bopper. Through a coin toss, Ritchie Valens won his seat from guitarist Tommy Allsup.

“Well, I hope your ol’ bus freezes up again.” Buddy Holly bantered at Waylon Jennings.

Jennings jokingly replied, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes.” Those words haunted Jennings for the rest of his life.

The Eleventh show ended at around midnight, in Clear Lake, Iowa. The Headliners of the Winter Dance Party Tour, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson drove to the Mason City Airport, and boarded the red and white single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza. At around 12:55 am on Feb 3rd 1959, the pilot, Peterson, received clearance from the control tower. They took off—but the plane remained airborne for only a few minutes. Shortly after taking off, the Bonanza slammed into the ground at full throttle…The cause for the crash remains a mystery. Some theorists speculate Peterson may have lost his visual reference and thought that he was ascending while he was actually descending. The right wingtip of the Beechcraft Bonanza hit the frozen ground first, which sent the aircraft cartwheeling across a cleared cornfield at approximately 170 miles per hour. The pilot, Peterson’s mangled body was found inside the wreckage with Holly and Valen’s bodies nearby the main body of the wreck. JP Richardson, The Big Bopper was hurled approximately 100 feet from the crash site. His body cleared a barbed wire fence and was found in the next cornfield from the crash.

Chantilly Lace had a pretty face

And a ponytail hangin’ down

A wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk, Lord

Make the world go ’round, ’round, ’round

Chantilly Lace- Written and Performed by the Big Bopper J.P. Richardson

“The Day the Music Died,” is what February 3rd is now known as. Don McClean wrote the lines in his song “American Pie.” The song is about how music changed in McClean’s life after the death of these inspirational musicians. We will always remember Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and of course The Big Bopper.

“I’m glad that my music has helped other people as it’s helped me. It makes me glad that I did what I did with my life.”

Don McClean

Pancho.

February 3 2021

The Day the Music Died: Part 2

One of my all time favorite movies has always been La Bamba. Lou Diamond Phillips portrays singer Ritchie Valens. I have seen the movie a million times my favorite character of the movie was Ritchie’s Bad Boy brother Bob played by Esai Morales. My most memorable line in the movie is of Ritchie’s mother Connie, who was played by Rosanna de Soto.

“Not my Ritchie Bob, Ohh Bob not my Ritchie” Connie cried.

I feel like the movie La Bamba was a realistic portrait of the musician Ritchie Valens ( Richard Steven Valenzuela) actual life.

Only 8 months after signing his recording contract, Ritchie Valens was dead. Valens was only 17 years old on the day the music died. February 3, 1959 a plane crash claimed his life along with rock rollers, Buddy Holly, and JP Richardson known professionally as the Big Bopper. The pilot of the chartered airplane, Roger Peterson also died that fateful day during a tour that was named, The Winter Dance Party headlining the 3 rock musicians.

Ritchie Valens recorded several hit songs including La Bamba. La Bamba was originally a Mexican Folk Song. It was a song that Ritchie made famous to America even though the song lyrics were entirely in Spanish. It was ironic, that even though Ritchie Valens was of Mexican heritage he had to first learn the phonetics of the Spanish language in order to re compose and then record the song. Selena would later do the same with her crossover blend of music.

In May of 1958, Bob Kuhn, known professionally as Bob Keane signed Ritchie Valens to a contract with Del Fi Records. Together the two would record several records. Come on Lets Go an original score by Valens and Kuhn and Framed would be the first record to release.

La Bamba coupled with Donna on it’s flip side was the final record to be recorded in the artists life. The record quickly sold over a million copies and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Valens’ was successful in blending the songs Latin American roots to rock music. It is said to be his most successful song. Ritchie Valens was the first musician to attempt such a recording. The formula of blending the Mexican roots music with the rock in roll culture inspired other artists to do the same. Selena and Gustavo Santaolalla, ( who won academy awards for Best Original Score two years in a row in movies Brokeback Mountain and Babel) among many others were inspired by Valens.

Valens guitar style influenced artists like Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana.

In recent years Ritchie Valens songs have been recorded by Los Lobos.

It was partly just dumb luck that Ritchie Valens was even on that plane that cold winter night in February of 1959. A coin toss with Buddy Holly’s back up guitarist Tommy Allsup sealed Ritchie’s fate by “winning” him a seat on that flight. Waylon Jennings who was Buddy Holly’s bass guitar player at the time also could have, should have, would have been on that flight, but he volunteered his seat on the plane to JP, The Big Bopper, as he had been battling the flu during the tour and was uncomfortable on the bus.

Ritchie Valens is buried next to his mother Concha “Connie” Valenzuela, who died in 1987, at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California.

In 2001 Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also has a “Hollywood Star” in his honor located at 6733 Hollywood Boulevard.

A club in Dallas opened by Musician Tommy Allsup in 1979, “Tommy’s Heads Up Saloon.” The club was named for the fateful coin toss between Valens and him twenty years prior.

They were singin’, bye-bye, Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry

Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye

Singin’, “This’ll be the day that I die”

American Pie by Don McClean

The song commemorates the event that took place in Clear Lake Iowa on Feb. 3rd 1959. “The Day The Music Died”

Pancho.

February 2 2021

The Day the Music Died

We have all heard Don McClean’s one hit wonder “American Pie.”  

But February made me shiver

With every paper I’d deliver

Bad news on the doorstep I couldn’t take one more step I can’t remember if I cried

When I read about his widowed bride But something touched me deep inside

The day the music died

The day the music died. Tonight is the night. February 3rd at around 12:55am Central Time, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza crashed in a frozen corn field near the town of Mason City, Iowa. Aboard the plane were rock legends Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper (JP Richardson), and Ritchie Valens.

Buddy Holly is one of the most influential musicians to ever exist. His musical talents and songwriting influenced many other artists including Elvis Presley. Buddy Holly left behind dozens of unfinished recordings. He basically pioneered the standards still used today, the use of two guitars, bass and drums by rock bands.

Encyclopedia Britannica stated that Holly “produced some of the most distinctive and influential work in rock music”. AllMusic defined him as “the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll”. Rolling Stone ranked him number 13 on its list of “100 Greatest Artists”. The Telegraph called him a “pioneer and a revolutionary […] a multidimensional talent […] (who) co-wrote and performed (songs that) remain as fresh and potent today”. – WIKIPEDIA

Buddy Holly was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame noted his large quantity of material he produced during his short career. They stated that he made a major and lasting impact on popular music, and called him an “innovator.”

Pancho.

January 30 2021

Kat Hasty Texas/Red Dirt

Texas Music Pickers ranks the weeks most streamed Texas/Red Dirt Singles.

At number three on the Texas Music Pickers Spotify charts this week is “Pretty Things” by Kat Hasty.

This native Texan is someone to keep an eye on as her songs are gaining popularity. With her Drowning in Dreams EP, released last year, Kat has gained a significant following. According to Spotify, she has 264,813 monthly listeners. As of this morning, Kat has 21.7K followers on her Twitter account.

Kat Hasty is managed by fellow Texas musician Dalton Domino. Besides just making good music, Kat Hasty is a business woman of sorts. She understands that promoting herself and her brand is also important. It is because of this that she has begun to make a name for herself. The Kat Hasty brand and her music will be a force to be reckoned with in Texas and Red Dirt Music. I expect to hear more great music coming from her in the future.

Most important for me is the fact that Kat Hasty’s songs sound of things I love. Texas.

My favorite by her thus far is called “The Highway Song.”

That 15 minute epiphany has pretty much changed the entire course of my life“

Kat Hasty

Recently, I read an article about Kat on raisedrowdy.com. Kat told of writing, “The Highway Song.” She said she had just began singing the lyrics in her head on a trip to Ft. Worth. After a few miles and only a short time, she pulled over into a gas station and typed the Lyrics into her phone.

“That 15 minute epiphany has pretty much changed the entire course of my life“ she said.

If you haven’t heard Kat Hasty, I suggest you go listen to her now. Music is important to me. I am grateful to share my old favorites and my new discoveries, like Kat Hasty to you.

Pancho.

January 29 2021

For No One

I am a collector of sorts. A collector of sad songs and broken dreams. Recently on Twitter, I asked for some feedback from others as to what they thought was the saddest song ever. My goto has always been “Teddy Bear,” by Red Sovine, “Roses for Mama,” a song also recorded by Red Sovine and sometimes C.W. McCall. Other sad songs for me have been Towne’s Van Zandt’s, “Tecumseh Valley,” and Blaze Foley’s, “Clay Pigeons.” John Prine did a great cover version of the “Clay Pigeons” as well.

Another sad song that my mind often goes to Willie Nelson wrote and sings the song lyrics:

I’m writing a song all about you, A true song as real as my tears, But you’ve no need to fear it, Cause no one will hear it, Cause sad songs and waltzes aren’t selling this year.”

Sad Songs and Waltzes- Willie Nelson.

Wrecking Ball Radio turned me on to another sad song due to my Twitter post. “For No One.”

@CosmicJt23 Tweeted:

“For No One”- Beatles song, but covered by Emmylou Harris. Paul’s version is great but it’s more upbeat so you don’t notice how sad it is, but Emmylou’s version blows me away.

He was right. “For No One” was written by Paul McCartney and gives songwriting credits to John Lennon. McCartney began writing the song in a swiss chalet while on holiday with his girlfriend Jane Asher in March of 1966. The song was written about Asher who was a successful London actress. There is speculation that the song was written after an Argument involving Asher and McCartney. The pair didn’t split until 1968 two years after the song was written so the argument must not have been a deal breaker.

Paul McCartney’s original title for the tune was to be “Why Did It Die.” Alan Civil who played the French Horn on the track thought it was an orchestral piece called “For No One.” I suppose the name stuck

Emmylou Harris covered the song on her 1975 Album, Pieces of the Sky, released in 1975. Her version does seem to go much deeper with the song than the Beatles version. Emmylou’s version sounds so much more haunting and chilling than the Beatles sound.

The day breaks your mind aches

You find that all her words of kindness linger on

She no longer needs you

She wakes up she makes up

She takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry

She no longer needs you.

And in her eyes you see nothing

No sign of love behind the tears

Cried for no one

A love that should have lasted years

You want her you need her

And yet you don’t believe her when she said her love is dead

You think she needs you

She goes out you stay home

She says that long ago she knew someone but now he’s gone

She doesn’t need him.

And in her eyes you see nothing

No sign of love behind the tears

Cried for no one

A love that should have lasted years

Your day breaks your mind aches

There will be time when all the things she said

Will fill your head

You won’t forget her…

Songwriters: Paul Mccartney, John Lennon

I would like to thank my Twitter friend WreckingBallRadio for the recommendation of this sad song for my collection.

Emmy’s version of “For No One” is getting lots of streams by me this week.

If you like sad songs too, The last line in the song says everything. There will be a time when all the things she said will fill your head. You won’t forget her..

Pancho.

January 26 2021

You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma

There’s a full moon over Tulsa,

I hope that it’s shining on you.

The nights are getting cold,

In Cherokee County.

There’s a Blue Norther passing through.

I remember green eyes and a ranchers daughter.

But remember is all that I do.

Losing you left a pretty good cowboy,

With nothing to hold on to.

YOU’RE THE REASON GOD MADE OKLAHOMA

SONGWRITERS: LARRY COLLINS/SANDY PINKARD

PERFORMED BY: DAVID FRIZZELL/SHELLY WEST

“You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma” was Shelly West’s debut on the country charts and David Frizzell’s second hit on the charts. Together, the duo would produce a total of seven hits. “You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma” was their most successful song together.

The song spent a week at the number one spot and eleven more weeks in Country’s Top 40. In 1981 the song earned Frizzell and West, Song of the Year and Vocal Duet of the Year at the Country Music Association awards. The song also appeared on the movie soundtrack for Any Which Way You Can starring Clint Eastwood.

David Frizzell was the younger brother of country superstar “Lefty” Frizzell. David was born in El Dorado Arkansas, Sept. 26, 1941. David toured with his brother in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. In 1970 he signed with Columbia Records. His first hit came in the 1970’s with “I Just Can’t Help Believing.” Later he would score success with Shelly West recording with her until the mid-eighties. His most successful solo hit came in 1982, David Frizzell’s only number one solo hit “I’m Gonna Hire A Wino to Decorate our Home.”

Shelly West was born in Cleveland, Ohio May 23, 1958. Her mother was country star Dottie West. Shelly married into the Frizzell music legacy when she married Allen Frizzell. Younger brother of “Lefty” and David. The marriage only lasted a year but the union earned Shelly the opportunity to record hit duets with David Frizzell. West’s version of the song, “Jose Cuervo” in 1983 was her solo number one hit. The song provided a sales boost for the Jose Cuervo tequila company and brought even more success to West. The song was released on her first solo album, West by West.

You’re the reason God made Oklahoma,

You’re the reason God made Oklahoma.

And I’m sure missing you,

I’m sure missing you.

I don’t know whatever happened to David Frizzell and Shelly West after the 80’s. They were here and then they weren’t. “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” was always my goto at the Karaoke microphone. I used to tease that I could do both parts. And, I did make a pretty good Shelly West though not near as cute. Ha! Their music together as well as each of their solo acts was a big part of growing up. In the early 80’s you couldn’t turn on country radio without hearing a song by one of them or both. My thanks to this Dynamite Duo. David and Shelly. They just don’t make country music like this much anymore.

And I’m sure missing you.

Pancho.

January 25 2021

Somedays You Write The Song

There always has been a turmoil going on inside of my own mind as to who was the greatest song writer ever. Some days I am stuck on Kris Kristofferson. Sometimes, I think Townes Van Zandt might just be the best. Steve Earle is responsible for the infamous quote:

“Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.”

Steve Earle

What if Townes hadn’t died so early? Imagine the masterpieces he would have written if he only had a little more time? Or Gram Parsons same as Townes, gone too soon.

Ray Wylie Hubbard is most likely in my top 20 and of course Willie is in there somewhere. There is Steve Earle and there was Billy Joe Shaver and Jerry Jeff. Dylan was great. I could switch genre and throw in so many more, Paul Simon, Graham Nash, McCartney, Stephen Stills, even Lennon. Oh, and don’t forget Keith Richards.

Guy Clark once sang,

“There’s no rhyme or reason

Ain’t a damn thing you can do

Some days you write the song

Some days the song writes you.”

I consider Guy Clark one of the best ever. He wrote so simple and natural. He had a knack to tell a story and to draw on one’s emotions. His song lyrics might make one laugh and cry in one single song.

Today I guess the Wolf in my brain that is winning would pick the Guy, as the greatest songwriter ever. You never know though. Because my mind is like the weather in West Texas and it will change in the blink of an eye.

I love music from all generations and genres and I have enjoyed talking about it here in Under The Sound. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I have enjoyed writing. Drop a comment and let me know!

Pancho.