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When's a country song a COUNTRY song?

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  • When's a country song a COUNTRY song?

    Answer:  When it gives people who think they "don't like country music" goose bumps.

     

     


  • #2

    I was 18 years old when the Beatles made their final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (August 14, 1965).  Like most every budding guitarist at the time, I was in a band (

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    • bee3
      bee3 commented
      Editing a comment

      That was great!  Never saw that footage before.


    • guitarville
      guitarville commented
      Editing a comment

      Mark Blackburn wrote:

      I was 18 years old when the Beatles made their final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (August 14, 1965).  Like most every budding guitarist at the time, I was in a band (


  • #3

    Great video!  2 phenomenal guitarists.  I always remember my 1st guitar instructor telling me to keep your ears open to all genres of music, because there are really only 2 types of music, good & bad.  To this day, I'll give anything a fair listen.

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="Franklin Gothic Medium"><font size="2"><font color="red">Guitars: Heritage H-150CM, Jackson USA SL-2H, Ibanez Jem 7V, Gibson SG, Fender Strat, Carvin ST-300, Yamaha AES620 <br />
    Amp: Carvin Legacy VL-100 half stack, Gibson L-5 Lab Series<br />
    Effects: Suhr Riot, Barber Dirty Bomb, Soundblox Classic Distortion, TC Elec Chorus, Boss DD-3, Dunlop EVH Wah, Gig-Fx MegaWah, Boss TU-2, Boss ME-50, Digitech GNX4</font></font></font></div>

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    • Mark Blackburn
      Mark Blackburn commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks, "leftyaxeman." I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy (nice weapons of choice in that equipment list!)

      Your first guitar instructor was quoting Duke Ellington who famously observed, "There are only two kinds of music: good and bad." 

      Two songs for you, sir -- by singer/songwriter & guitar giant, Vince Gill: Oklahoma Border Line and What the Cowgirls Do, played consecutively -- each featuring virtuosic solos -- the first, dedicated to his hero


  • #4

    Jessi Colter, who turns 70 this year, wrote a song called

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    • Mark Blackburn
      Mark Blackburn commented
      Editing a comment

      Chet Atkins called them his


  • #5

    When did a  "Nine Inch Nails" song become a COUNTRY song?  When Johnny Cash made it his own -- ten years ago, just before his death at age 71. His birthday is tomorrow.

    His last video, HURT, is a countrified, anthemic, gospel reading -- more haunting (to my eyes and ears) than the day it was recorded. Assisted by masterful editing that Johnny didn't live to see, this video is deservedly his most-watched -- nearing 44 million

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    • Mark Blackburn
      Mark Blackburn commented
      Editing a comment

      Satellite radio is playing Wynonna Judd's recent rendition of I'M SO LONESONE I COULD CRY --  arguably the best song composed (words & music) by Bob Dylan's life-long hero, Hank Williams.

      Wikipedia's long list of important singers who've tried their hand at this one, begins with Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and of course, Bob Dylan.. But no mention of Ms Judd.

      Well, it's a 'guy song' that she succeeds in making all her own -- with a spare but lovely arrangement -- true to the song's country roots --  with a campfire-simple harmonica solo on the musical bridge. 

      Coincidentally or not, my wife just informed me that this season's DANCING WITH THE STARS (for 15 years our one shared guilty pleasure on TV) will include Wynonna Judd in its lineup. My wife quotes her as saying, about her weight, 


  • #6

    Here on this thread and its previous

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    • #7

      It is perhaps George Gershwin's most recorded melody from his 'jazz opera' Porgy & Bess -- SUMMERTIME.  Yet my all-time favorite version is still a 'country funk' rendition by the greatest-ever guitarist/singer/songwriter (and actor!) Jerry Reed. A live duet with his hero Chet Atkins. Both dead and gone, but not forgotten.  Accompanied by two other guitarists -- Paul Yandel on Chet's signature model Gibson 'country gentleman' and by someone good armed with a green customized Fender Strat (wish I knew his name). 

      Posted I know in the previous incarnation of this thread (when it drew a comment from our erudite moderator about Chet's 'fretless' guitar). The "views" total for this posting just topped 100 thousand. So.  For those who can appreciate a moment in time when 'country' musicians celebrated Gershwin.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

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      • LCK
        LCK commented
        Editing a comment

        This is my favorite "countrified" version of Gershwin's classic. It's a version I used play myself (sort of) back when I was gigging in cafes and pizza joints in my college days.

         


      • Mark Blackburn
        Mark Blackburn commented
        Editing a comment

        A local 'good music' FM station played Tennessee Ernie Ford's 16 TONS and I was flooded with memories:  I'm suddenly nine-years-old again, and sitting next to our family's little


    • #8

      Country music was the last resting place for the virtuosic instrumental. And often the greatest singers were great pickers too.  Does that tradition continue?  Coincidentally (or maybe not) the next offering at YouTube is Brad Paisley and Australia's greatest guitarist Tommy Emmanuel playing Merle Travis' CANNONBALL RAG.  In some ways at least, life just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

       

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      • #9

        27 years ago, some young, unheard-of bluegrass musicians, future 'fiddle' great Mark O'Connor (doubling on gut-string acoustic guitar) Jerry Douglas his equivalent on Dobro (resonator) acoustic steel guitar, and banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, gave a small TV audience on

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        • #10

          His Associated Press obituary in today's Saturday paper doesn't mention George Jones' mutual admiration for James Taylor.  In a previous incarnation of this

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          • Mark Blackburn
            Mark Blackburn commented
            Editing a comment

            A friend in California just watched that (above) and shared this -- from a James Taylor appreciation night arranged by his best friends -- including Country duet partners Allison Krauss and Jerry Douglas performing one of J.T.'s earliest 'countrified' ballads.  Stuff this good transcends genres and is timeless too, isn't it?

             


        • #11

          If a new song tells a good story -- like this one (below) WHEN YOU GET TO ASHEVILLE, then regardless of the instrumentation/arrangement, you may be sure you're listening to Country music.

          ---  

          Steve Martin is (arguably) the greatest-ever comedic actor; certainly the most erudite

          Comment


          • #12

            Well there I was in Hollywood

            Wishin' I was doin' good

            Talkin' on the telephone line

            But they don't need me in the movies

            and nobody sings my songs

            Guess I'm just wastin' time.

            Well then I got to thinkin'

            Man, I'm really sinkin'

            And I really had a flash this time:

            I had no business leavin' [and]

            nobody would be grievin'

            If I went on back to Tulsa time.

             

            The get-up-and-dance number (the Ladies' favorite) from Eric Clapton's

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            • #13

              Thanks, Old Gitbrit Down Under -- you're reading my mind! I'd been replaying this one, for the umpteenth time, earlier today and the next video offered at YouTube (from that same movie of a decade ago) was this -- a blend of Southern 

              Comment


              • Lee Knight
                Lee Knight commented
                Editing a comment

                I love so much of what you've posted here, Mark. I'm sure you've heard this but mention of both Paisley and Krauss just begs this to be posted. Great tune. Shades of He Stopped Loving Her Today with a very cool twist. I love it...

                 


            • #14

              Happy Mother's Day.

               

              Beware of deepities.<br>-- Daniel Dennett

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              • Mark Blackburn
                Mark Blackburn commented
                Editing a comment

                Before he teamed with my favorite Broadway musical composer Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein wrote three of my all-time favorite ballads with the 'dean' of Great American Songbook composers, Jerome Kern. (They also wrote the first great truly American musical, 'Showboat.')  I was 16 when my mother sang the words to "The Folks Who Live On the Hill" (I'd been picking out the notes on guitar after hearing the melody for the first time, played by nylon string classical guitar virtuoso Charlie Byrd).

                Mom sang the original words, intended for a West End London production, "Darby and Joan, who used to be Jack & Jill . . . "  Lyricist/singer Peggy Lee changed that to "Baby and Joe, who used to be Jack & Jill," in her definitive recording with the "Nelson Riddle Orchestra conducted by Frank Sinatra." 

                So what has any of this to do with this WHEN'S A COUNTRY SONG thread? As I type this Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing Eric Clapton's brand new version -- 'countrified,' with steel guitar and Nashville-style strings -- the way Eric's good friend Willie Nelson would record it -- as a Country swing tune (the way Willie's friends, Big Ray Benson and "Asleep at the Wheel" would play it). 

                Admittedly, to give it a Country feel, the rich melody and harmonies by Jerome Kern (every note a chord, in the hands of great jazz pianists and guitarists,) has been dumbed down somewhat, for Mr. Clapton's intended audience.  And yet . . . it works, doesn't it?  And thus it reaches a new potential audience of millions of younger listeners, some of whom may be moved to ask our favorite question:  Who wrote that song?

                 

                 


            • #15

              The steel guitar entered country music as early as 1922, when Jimmie Between 1947 and 1949, country crooner Eddy Arnold placed eight songs in the top 10.

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              • Mark Blackburn
                Mark Blackburn commented
                Editing a comment

                I've just been watching Brad Paisley and Ray Benson -- two great Country singer/guitarists -- and their recent, alone-together, live performance of "Miles and Miles of Texas." And I'm having a reverie (indulge me please) about how such music will still appeal to great musicians of every genre, a hundred years hence.  Just my prediction.

                Yes, 'Country Jazz' will still be winning hearts and minds as long as there are virtuoso musicians and singers in both genres. Which is to say 'forever.'  Texas Swing is an art form best kept alive for the past four decades by

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