Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Playlist Day

I've spent all morning surrounded by coffee and music. It's been pretty neat, I must say. I was playing guitar, and for whatever reason, I started playing a bunch of old country music. Well, old to me, anyway. See, JJ and I had this idea to cover these old songs and go to nursing homes and VFW halls and the like and play for the old fogeys. We still discuss it from time to time. In preparation of this, I've learned a bunch of songs over the years - Tennessee Ernie Ford (or as JJ calls him, Kentucky Ernie Chevy), Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Don Williams, Conway Twitty, etc. I was playing these and remembered how much I love these old tunes. Much much better than the new crap out there. I was texting JJ and he told me to check out a song called "Clyde" by Waylon, so I did. Which caused me to go on a trip concerning my favorite Waylon Jennings songs:

1 - "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" - Tell me you can listen to it without bobbing your head or tapping your feet and I'll call you a liar.
2 - "Wurlitzer Prize" - A heartache/jukebox song done better than any. And it's only 2 minutes.
3 - "Omaha" - I'm not a fan of Omaha the city, but it's a cool song. I play it on my gitfiddle a lot.
4 - "Black Rose" - I still don't really know what this song is about after 4,391 listens.
5 - "Lucille" - Actually, I like Mike McClure's cover better, but Waylon still rocks it.
6 - "Clyde" - Go watch Waylon's bass player rip it up on YouTube.
7 - "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out Of Hand" - Um. It just rocks.
8 - "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" - "I've been travelin' these highways/Been doing things my way/It's been making me lonesome, on'ry and mean"
9 - "You Ask Me To" - "Let the world call me a fool/But if things are right with me and you/That's all that matters and I'll do/Anything you ask me to"
10 - "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang" with Johnny Cash - I like songs about guys that go to prison. I dunno. I'm weird like that.

Of course there are plenty of other Waylon songs I love. This is my personal top 10, though. This caused me to think about my classic country top 10 list. Sheesh. That might take awhile to wade through. I'll give it a shot, though.

1 - "It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer" by Charlie Pride - This has always been one of my favorite songs, period. I don't know why, really. I just love his voice. And I like the fact that he's telling people that he's not going to get over her in a day the way they think he should.
2 - "Amos Moses" by Jerry Reed - Dude can sing and play guitar like nobody's business. And he played Snowman in Smokey and the Bandit, my all-time favorite movie.
3 - "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" by Waylon - We already covered this one, but I didn't mention the guitar solo that fades out in the end of the song. Maybe my favorite guitar solo ever.
4 - "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" by Kathea Mattea - Probably doesn't count as "classic" to some, but I don't care. I really, really, really like this song.
5 - "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard - "I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole/No one could steer me right but mama tried" Another prison song. 
6 - "(Turn Out The Light And) Love Me Tonight" by Don Williams - Great song and one of my favorites to play and sing. And Don's voice is amazing. Do yourself a favor and check out this song.
7 - "The Auctioneer" by Leroy Van Dyke - He was actually an auctioneer, which is apparent when you hear this song. I like auctioneers.
8 - "Rock Island Line" by Johnny Cash - It makes me smile and it's fun to sing. Check this one out, too.
9 - "Waitin' In Your Welfare Line" by Buck Owens - "I got the hungries for your love/And I'm waiting in your welfare line"
10 - "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford - Makes me think of going to Omaha with JJ in the tour bus (that's what we called his Ford Explorer) and hearing this song for the first time. 
Honorable mention - "Big Ball's In Town" by the Texas Playboys, "Desperadoes Waiting For A Train" by Guy Clark, "Living With The Shades Pulled Down" by Merle Haggard, "Stay A Little Longer" by Willie Nelson, "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass" by Buck Owens

I know most people don't like this old music. That's ok, I guess, but I'm here to tell you you don't know what you're missing. This was when people actually had talent and you couldn't fix crap in the studio. And they played music that was relevant to actual country living. So. Check some of it out. If you want a recommendation, let me know. I'll steer you down the path.


  1. This is such a gift! It's like looking at my dad's set list. I remember loving "Amos Moses" since I was REALLY little. Dad would tease us about using us for alligator bate. Hey! Did you know there's an old Scooby Doo starring Jerry Reed? Lucille. Mama Tried. Such great stuff.

  2. Very nice, very nice.

    Your blog has inspired me to think about my classic country top 10. I agree it will be hard and I know I will forget some good ones.
    1 “Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way” I love it also, really makes you want to stomp the boards, “It’s the same old tune, fiddle and guitars, where do we take it from here”
    2.“Why not me” The Judds yep my guilty pleasure.
    3.“I believe in you” Don Williams the gentle giant, great voice.
    4.“Rainbow Stew” Merle Haggard Just makes me smile
    5.“Tulsa Time” Don Williams, a Danny Flowers Tune again try not tappin your foot
    6.“My Uncle Used to Love Me” Roger Miller Don’t know what it means but I like it
    7.“She’s Acting Single, I’m drinkin Doubles” Gary Stewart King of the Drinkin songs
    8.“One Piece at a Time” Johnny Cash
    9.“Amos Moses” Jerry Reed I think he could out play anyone RIP Snowman
    10.“Hello Walls” Ferron Young Written by Willie Nelson Just a good tune
    11.“Six days on the Road” Dave Dudley Just a good old truckin song
    12.“I Love” Tom T Hall He had so many, this one is great “old dogs, and children and watermelon wine”
    13.As an honorable mention basically the whole “Shotgun Willie” album by Willie Nelson Love it.
    I realize that was 12 but I got on a roll and you have to have a truckin song and a Tom T Hall song. There are so many more, I’m envious of the days when you could just turn on the old AM radio and hear songs like these “Solid Country Gold” all day long.