For those of you who want to enjoy some entertainment as a break from “all day news”, try some classic country music.

Traditional country music isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but if you’re hankering for some of the good stuff, try Willie’s Roadhouse on channel 59 Sirius radio. There are other features throughout the day that are good, but the full morning and afternoon sessions hosted by Charlie Monk and Dallas Wayne are tops with me. Both men are performers themselves who have opted for a day job and they both do it extremely well. These men know of and are often friends with the hundreds of performers who recorded classic country from the 40s to 60s or 70s and in a few cases somewhat later. The common thread is that all the music they play is authentic and free of gimmickry.

David Allen Coe singing one of these songs paused at the end and announced that the writer hadn’t covered several important points necessary for a perfect country song. With this he added another verse making up for several serious omissions. They included a truck, mamma, prison, and a train. A common thread among these entertainers and the writers is honesty and a sense of humor that often parallels their own lives.

A song by Bobby Bare is a poignant reminder of the days when I worked at a summer job in an auto factory in Detroit with many men who migrated from the south. In the 50’s most factories shut down for three months for model change so the jobs were ideal for men who needed work and could be away nine months and spend three full months with family usually coming home with pockets full of money. Sometimes these men worked two eight hour shifts in a day going from the day shift in one to the afternoon shift in another. This practice was not unknown to the factory owners who allowed a half hour between the end of one shift and the start of the next.

The song, a lament, with lyrics that are pure poetry goes like this.

I wanna go home, I wanna go home, Oh how I wanna go home
Last night I went to sleep in Detroit City
And I dreamed about those cotton fields and home,
I dreamed about my mother, dear old papa, sister and brother,
and I dreamed about the girl, who’s been waiting for so long
I wanna go home, I wanna go home, Oh how I wanna go home
Home folks think I’m big in Detroit city,
from the letters that I write they think I’m fine
But by day I make the cars, by night I make the bars
If only they could read between the lines.

(Talking) Cause you know I rode a freight train north to Detroit City and after all this I find I’m only wastin’ time, so I think I’ll take my foolish pride and put it on a freight headin’ home, I wanna go home, I wanna go home, Oh how I wanna go home
Country music analogy

Driving to northern Michigan last year with my grandson I subjected him to nine straight hours of this traditional country music. Amid heavy traffic and two hours of dense fog Fred remained a trouper, listening without complaint all the way, even when Willy’s daughter took over after the two men had finished their shows.

The mainstay performers on the male side are lefty Frizzle, Earnest Tubb, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, George Jones, Charlie Pride, Tom T. Hall and about a hundred others all of whom I enjoy.

Highlighting the female vocalists are Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker, Ann Murray, Patsy Cline, Emmy Lou Harris, Jeannie Seely, and again a hundred more.

The song list is almost endless, but some of my favorites are; Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Whiskey River, Ring of Fire, Sunday Morning Going Down, Me and Bobby McGee, Help Me Make It Through the Night, The Devils Right Hand, and the list goes on.

Don’t take my word for it. Try a little classic country music if you don’t listen already. You just might like it.


By Savvy Senior

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