Saturday, January 23, 2010

A 'HANK'ering for the good ol' music

When I was growing up, my dad listened to old country and western music. It took me awhile, but eventually I learned to appreciate it, and my dad's influence opened me up to really listen to the stories these songs told. Many of the songs taught me about history, Christianity, and life in general, because many of their songs had morals, sequels, and life lessons.

Artists like Johnny Horton, Lefty Frizzell, Jimmy Dean, and Marty Robbins wrote and sang fun songs, but they also sang about what was in their hearts.

Johnny Horton taught me about a fantastic German Battleship in WWII and the efforts to sink the battleship called the 'Bismarck', and about an early American icon named 'Jim Bridger'. He sang fun sing-along songs like 'The Battle of New Orleans' and 'North to Alaska'.

Marty Robbins told me about the night his life changed forever in 'The Master's Call' and the love and appreciation that a husband can have for his wife in 'My Woman, My Woman, My Wife' (which my dad always sang to my mom = ), not to mention the fun listening songs like 'El Paso' (which was part of a great trilogy) and 'Devil Woman'.

Lefty Frizzell had a great song that I loved called 'Saginaw, Michigan' with an ending I STILL love to listen to, and a story about how he died to save a woman's honor in the 'Long, Black Veil'.

Jimmy Dean's 'Big, Bad John' had a sequel called 'The Cajun Queen', I loved that story. He also had a song about a historical event called 'P.T. 109' which taught me something about JFK.

But my favorite Jimmy Dean song is one that my dad used to play for me when I was little, he always told me it was made for me... (I still have the actual LP album my dad played).

It still brings me happiness to hear the music my dad loved so much, and I'm really glad that, no matter how UNCOOL it is, it's my own history, part of my childhood, and I don't care what anyone else thinks.... it's a big part of ME!!

Now, I don't claim to know ALL about the music of this era... after all, this was just 'a little' before my time.... but I AM able to appreciate it a little more than most people my age, at least on my side of the country where most people are NOT U.S. natives and haven't even HEARD this kind of music.... LOL!!

Listening to Country music is a just part of life for me now, I listen to the newer stuff, though... and I love it.


  1. Hi Joann, That was funny reading your srticle this morning as yesterday I spent most of the afternoon looking at a TV programme called Rural TV that had loads of country music on it. It was a great fact I have just put it on now again....So I will be listning to a lot more country from now on.
    Hope all is well with you.
    Love Sybil x

  2. You know, I used to listen to Johnny Horton and Marty Robbins as well in my teens. Not that I did it on purpose!

    This entry reminds me of why I still have a Barbra Striesand album in my belonging... it was my Mother's!

    Cool entry!

  3. Thanks for the memories, Joann. I can sing along with all of those songs. It's so sad that today's listeners aren't exposed to the great music of years past. I'm currently focusing on Marty Robbins, as I finish writing "Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins" for publication in 2012.

  4. I love music and listen to a lot of different kinds but you are so right about country music it does tell the stories for sure. I like folk music too as it does the same. It could have been the forerunner of country, I don't know. Our lives without music would be quite dull. You have some wonderful memories of your Dad.

  5. Neat that your dad had songs for both your mom and you :o)

  6. I echo with Ken said, Joann, very special that there were songs from your dad for both you and your mom; I never got too much into country music so didn't realize there were so many stories told through them

    hoping you have a nice Sunday


  7. "She walks these hills in a long black veil
    She visits my grave when the night winds wail
    Nobody knows,nobody sees,nobody knows but me"
    I love that mournful song. Back in the late 50's and earl 60's this town was hopping with this great old country music. There was a place where we could go to Friday & Saturday night dances and the music was always, without fail, country music. Lefty Frizzell, Johnny Cash & Buck Owens were among the guest artists that came to play. We also had a local country guy~Three Fingered Jack that was always a big hit. About 4 hours of great country music & dancing if you wished to for the price of admission~$1.50. I have a ton of old vinyls and many of those are good old country music. Linda in cold & rainy Washington (yup you're rain is here now)

  8. Great music! I grew up on those songs too


  9. Being a musician and singer, I like most all songs but I was raised on country music. I'm working on "Your Cheating Heart" by Hank Williams right now. When it's finished, I'll send you a copy.

    I like all of those singers and songs you wrote about. How nice that your Dad turned you on to country music!


  10. Copy away on the 3-year blogging tag :o)

  11. way cool friend you diffently now a few of my songs that brings back memories

  12. Dear Joann,
    Thank you very much for this interesting entry! please come by my blog and write a comment!
    How has your February been going?
    I think it is very interesting that you were raised with an appreciation for good was I!


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