It Ain’t Over Yet
Last August, On behalf of Rodney Crowell, his daughter Hannah accepted the Poet’s Award for him at the Academy of Country Music award show. The Poet’s Award is a special songwriter award that goes to those who have contributed musically and lyrically throughout their careers.
“This is a very fitting award for my father, because he is truly a poet to his core. He is a poet in the songs that he writes. He is a poet in the way he plays with his grandbabies. He is a poet in the way he used to peel into the parking lot at our conservative Christian school with a top hat on, blaring Bob Dylan. (I knew he did that just to instill in my little brain the importance of being on the outskirts and being who you are.) He is a poet in his friendships. He is a poet in what a beautiful mentor he is to young artists. He is a poet in his deep commitment to being truly authentically himself. As an artist, and as a human being.”Hannah Crowell
Hannah Crowell is the daughter of Rodney Crowell and Roseanne Cash. Granddaughter of Johnny Cash. She is an interior designer.
The “Poets Award” places Rodney Crowell at the top end of a long line of singer-songwriters including Guy Clark. Guy and Susanna Clark were mentors to Rodney since his earliest days in Nashville.
This morning, I listened to Rodney’s newest Poetic Work. “The Damage.”
The Song was released earlier this year for the soundtrack of the film, Once Upon A River. It is Rodney’s first single, since releasing the album Texas in 2019.
The lyrics are certainly poetic. I found them rather chilling.
Rodney was originally selected for a role as one of the film’s main characters. Due to health issues he had to opt out of that role. I believe that his contribution of “The Damage.” to the soundtrack was enough.
Rodney Crowell was born August 7, 1950 in Houston, Texas.
He was born into music. One grandfather lead a church choir, while the other was a blue grass banjo picker. Rodney’s father James Walter Crowell sang in bars and honky tonks. By the time Rodney was 11 he was a drummer in his father’s band.
In 1972 Rodney Crowell moved to Nashville. He was discovered by Jerry Reed, and soon had his first job as a songwriter.
Emmylou Harris recorded Rodney’s song “Bluebird Wine.” Rodney accepted a position in Emmylou’s, The Hot Band. Rodney played guitar and sang backup vocals for Emmylou.
“Early on, Emmylou recorded three or four of my songs and had hits.”Rodney Crowell
Crowell told Vanity Fair in a 2015 interview, about him spending an entire day writing a song that he wanted Emmylou Harris to record.
When the song was done, he went to her house, pulled out his guitar, and played her the song he made especially for her.
Emmylou rejected the song, saying to him, “That’s really nice, but man, I heard a demo for your song- ‘You’re Supposed to be Feeling Good,’ I want to record that.”
“That’s the only time I tried to write a song for somebody.”Rodney Crowell
Rodney and Emmylou have been friends since the earliest days of their careers. Together, they received Album of the Year for, Old Yellow Moon and were named Group/Duo of the year in 2013.
In 2015, the duo again made music together, releasing The Traveling Kind.
Diamonds & Dirt, Rodney’s critically acclaimed album from 1988 produced five consecutive number one singles in 1988 and 89. His album in 1989, Keys to the Highway produced two top 5 hits.
Other songwriting success for Rodney Crowell in the last decade include top ten hits “Song For Life,” for Alan Jackson, “Making Memories of Us,” performed by Keith Urban, and “Please Remember Me,” recorded by Tim McGraw.
In 2003 Rodney Crowell was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 2006 Rodney won the “Lifetime Achievement award in Songwriting.”
In 2009 Rodney wrote “Sing.” It was released by Wynonna Judd on her album Sing:Chapter 1. It peaked at number four on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
“It Ain’t Over Yet” written by Rodney, and featuring his ex, Rosanne Cash would become 2017’s song of the year. It is probably my favorite Rodney Crowell song of all time.
The sheer brilliance of Rodney’s lyrics in this song remind me of Rodney’s early beginnings with Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt.
I first fell in love with Rodney after hearing him perform on Guy Clark’s Heartworn Highways.
This song is a gift, so simple, so sweet so deep.
Rodney is truly a poet and a songwriting genius.
I hope and pray that we get more out of him before he leaves this old world.
I may be getting old, but it ain’t over yet. – It ain’t over yet Rodney, your music is going to live forever.