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Date News Posted: February 11, 2003

         Another great year has come and gone and if I am still alive two or three days from now we will have made it through 2002, who would have thought in the 40’s or 50’s that there ever would have been a time when we didn’t say nineteen hundred and something or another, we have made it through Y2K and September the 11th and the passing of some of our Heroes, but like Eddie Dean used to say, I hitched a mule to a plow and walked behind him in the morning sun, I picked cotton with the rest of my people, I listened to Lum and Abner and Amos and Andy on the radio and sometimes the Grand Ole Opry when there weren’t any storms a brewin’ and pumped water from a well pump for Mama to wash clothes in a big old galvanized wash tub then while the water was still warm I jumped in and washed myself.

         Then one day a wooden box came on the scene, it was heavy as all get out but it plugged into the electric socket on the wall and had a picture on one side of it, they called it a television, I thought at first it was just showing a snow storm in Alaska but as time went on you could make out a picture pretty good then one day I saw Gary Moore, a whole person’s picture right there in the parlor on the wooden box with a window in it, well what-do-ye-know.

          Then I learned to play an old guitar and that sure beat singing to the sounds of a mule passing gas, I guess I shouldn’t have said that but, it’s true so let’er be, God gave me a pretty fair voice, course way back then all it was good for was talking and telling stories, which I guess you have noticed I like to do, but it has helped me out some in the later years, I love to just sit out here and think about what could be and write a song about it, I’ve had some mighty good friends in my life time and we have sure enjoyed our self writing’ songs together and singing them to ‘bout anyone that would listen.

          So, you know son I have had the best of all worlds thanks to my Dearest, my Family and my friends, I survived the mule and the pickin’ cotton, God gave me the talent, life gave me the lines to write my songs and a place to sing um, so you see from those cotton pickin’ days we have watched wars start and end, we have seen a man walk on the moon and a whole lot in between, so, no, I have no regrets about any part of my life, and no, I don’t think I need another ninety years, there comes a time when it’s time to move on and give some one else a chance.

         There were many reasons to love a man like Eddie Dean but the number one thing that stuck out the most about Eddie was, his respect for his fellow man, those that played behind him while recording or on the stage, the trash man that picked up the neighborhood trash at the curb, if Eddie was out there he would talk to the pick up man with the same respect he would talk to Gene Autry, or the folks at the café where they would sometimes have dinner.

          He used to always say laughing or smiling, boy, them westerns wouldn’t have been much with out ole’ Roscoe, or Gabby, or Frog and ole’ Humphrey Bogart would have sure missed Walter Brennan had he not been there on some of them great movies he made. He was always quick to give some one else the credit for making things come out just right.

          So tonight we want to tell ye a little story about a lady Eddie loved and respected as a song writer, she don’t sky dive, she don’t do any under water diving for lost ships, she never plowed a field of cotton, heck, she don’t even cook, BUT she does make a whale of a hot fudge Sunday, her name is Cindy Walker.

          It is unusual that a singer will ever do a whole album of one writer's songs unless he/she is the writer and he/she, wrote um. Some writers just write some killer songs about trains, others drinking songs, others love songs, some write stuff so funny they are remembered for ever like the great Roger Miller, not that Roger didn’t write some very serious music but if you said, quick what do you remember first off about Roger Miller, it would probably be, “Dang Me” or “King Of The Road”.

          BUT Cindy Walker was born with a head full of words and music and a God given talent to put the two together no matter what the situation was or for whom.

          Most of the songs on this Tex Ritter album we are about to tell you about were not first recorded by Tex but songs that he always wanted to do with the exception of “China Doll” which Cindy said she just wanted to hear him sing, the rest Ole Tex picked him self, with so many great songs on this album I believe we would have picked other than “Bump Tiddil Dee Bum Bum” as the title song for the album but Tex must have got a kick out of the song and as another old song goes, To Each His Own.

         This next song on the album would have been our choice I think for the title of this album but we ain’t Tex Ritter and we never sold a million records so we reckon he picked the right title>> “You Don’t Know Me “ was first a giant hit by Eddy Arnold, then pop singer Jerry Vale hit again with it, Lenny Welch took it up the charts, and then Ray Charles just really hit a lick with it and to this day it is still one of his most requested tunes, then Patti Page came along with her version of the song and then a young guy from Mississippi decided to give it a shot in one of his movies, the movie was “Clambake” and of course the singer was Elvis.

          If we researched the song for who had recorded it and when, that would probably take up all of tonight’s web site news, but the above artist sure ain’t a bad hand to draw to.

          “Blue Canadian Rockies” this song is on so many instrumental albums that six people couldn’t carry the stack.

          “In The Misty Moonlight” Jerry Wallace just sang his heart out on this one, in a show we were running the lights for some years ago, Jerry got two standing ovations for this song, one when he started and one when he finished.

          “Jim I Wore A Tie Today” I love story songs and have played Johnny Cash’s version of this song many times, today was the first time I heard Tex sing it because today was the first time this brand new LP was ever opened (it is time to say again what we have said plenty of times before and that is, so many great songs are just lost in albums, the company picks what the DJ should play and that’s it, if you don’t buy the album, you will never hear what you never heard) (what do you think of that as one of the all time great statements, ugh)

          Anyway, here are the rest of the dozen songs Ole Tex picked from Cindy Walkers great music to recorded on this album, >>”I Just Can’t Get Away (from those old memories”) “Two Glasses Joe” “the number one song for gentleman Jim Reeves which we are sure you remember called “Distant Drums” “Down In Old Matamoras” “The Wind And The Trees” and “Hey Mr. Bluebird”.

          Cindy Walker was a lifelong friend of Mr.& Mrs. Ritter she wrote some of the songs that Tex used in his movies, she wrote most all of the songs that Bob Wills used in his movies, in fact, he didn’t want anyone else to write for his pictures but Cindy Walker.

          The very best song that anyone in this world ever wrote can be good, pretty good or a stone-bone-smash, if that right song is matched up with the right singer then chances are the bells are going to ring big time, but sometimes the best singer don’t always get the hit, he or she got the hit because a promotion man worked his behind off, a young guy by the name of Jim Alley had just an outstanding version and the first one that I know of,   “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” very few people ever heard of Jim Alley, they heard of Waylon Jennings though, as a DJ the very first record we ever received of “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” was from the company of a young guy by the name of  Duane Dee (and it was a great record) and then right behind him came someone we never heard of either and a very unlikely guy to get a hit recorded out of a garage (so they say) his name was Freddy Fender, where’s Duane?.

          So what’s the point to all of that?  Well the point is, if a writer is lucky enough that her or his song matches up and falls into the hands of a promoter that says, “That song is for my artist” and it works out that way you are in tall clover, if it don’t your just in crab grass.

         There was a time in the late 40s and all through the 50s and 60s that you could find a song written by Cindy Walker on just about every major artist album you cared to read the liner notes on, In 2002 her songs that were recorded by Roy Orbison on his TV special have been aired three times that we know of just in this area alone so who knows how many times it has been seen world wide, and tomorrow, next week or the week after that someone else will discover a Cindy Walker song and it will start all over again.          

          For Decca Records in 1944 as a singer, Cindy Walker took  “When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again” to the number five spot in the “Billboard” charts, she did a tape full of “Soundies” sometime back then that is just great fun to watch and sing along with, and by the way, these were done in just a nice little setting no one jumping off a cliff behind her or swinging by on a grape vine or a bunch of other mush that has no bearing what so ever on the song.

         “You Don’t Know Me” & Take Me In Your Arms And Hold Me”  she wrote for Eddy Arnold, “I Don’t Care” for Webb Pierce and “Distant Drums” for Jim Reeves, Hank Snow did one of my favorite Cindy Walker songs “The Gold Rush Is Over” and one of the best known artist on the west coast in those good old days did “It’s All Your Fault” and of course that was Wade Ray or as his friends called him “Pug Nose”.

         Not all but a heap of Cindy Walker songs are available in a five cassette box set sung by the artists that made them famous along with a twelve page booklet with more of the Cindy Walker story filling it’s pages, so if you have a hankerin’ for hearing once again those great old songs one more time, let us know and we’ll tell ye where to fetch a box of um fer your self.

          If I write anymore about Cindy Walker people gonna’ think I luv her.

 


I guess by now you have figured out that I started this weeks news last year, January was full of un-expected ups and downs so we are gonna’ just move on.
 

         We have received much mail the last couple of months, a lot of questions about some of the classic artist but we also got stumped on a few, like this one.

         The artist is Chet Curtiss, the writer said he and his group “The Western Troubadours” had a radio show out of Chicago some time in the 50s or early 60s, they played country music and western swing, they are not sure what label he recorded for but do know it was in the days of the 78s.

         These are friends and family of Chet’s and they would very much like to know if you know any thing at all about Chet or his group.

          Here is another one, we think the title of the song is 40th and Plum, it’s about an old boy that gets into a taxi and asks the driver to take him home, his address is 40th and Plum, the taxi driver says “where’s that” he says 40 miles from town and plum back in the sticks. So who was it, was it Lonzo and Oscar?>>>>This is one of those songs we guess that has stuck in this ole boys mind all these years now he’s going looking for it, so if you know or have it, he would sure like to get a tape copy of it.

          Who did “A Child’s Side Of Life”? Of course Hank Thompson did “Wild Side Of Life” and Kitty Wells did “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, but this lady asking the question wants to know who recorded “A Child’s Side Of Life”. If you tell us, we’ll tell her.

 

         The Lone Ranger and Tonto ride into a small town, both hot and sweating’ from a long hard ride, after reining’ up they walk into an old saloon and order up two glasses of milk, a few minutes later a cowboy walks in and says, “Who owns that big white horse out there?   The Lone Ranger stands up and says, “I do, why?

          The cowboy says, “I just thought you’d like to know, your horse is about dead”

          The Lone Ranger and Tonto rush out, sure enough Silver is about to expire from heat exhaustion. The Ranger fetches a hatful of water and soon Silver is starting to feel better.

         The Lone Ranger says to Tonto, “I would like for you to run around Silver and see if you can create enough of a breeze to make him comfortable. “Sure Kemo Sabe” says Tonto, and takes off running circles around Silver as the Lone Ranger returns to the bar to finish his milk.

          A few minutes later another old cowboy enters the bar and asks, “Who owns that big white horse outside?”

          The Lone Ranger stands up again and says, “I do, what’s wrong with him this time”

          The cowboy looks him in the eye and says,  ”Nothin’ but you left your injun runnin’”
 


Good CD this week from Music Mill and our friend Rick Fowler, this time it is from a young guy by the name of Paul Pace from down eastern Kentucky way. It’s pretty much pure country and with what’s happening in country music today this young feller oughta go a long way.

         The archives of country music in England is releasing some of America’s finest classic country artist on their own label, with the recording equipment that can be bought today they are cleaning up those great old records to near perfect condition and putting them on CDs, we have to say the job they did on the Bobby Bare CD is as good or maybe even better then the original records and on it are several of Bobby’s biggest hits, the re-releasing of these great old records is something our American labels should have been doing a long time ago.

         Claude Gray over the past few years has been re-releasing most all of his music, (smart man) on his own label. His latest, “The Best Of Claude Gray” Vol.1 has really got some good stuff in it and better yet, Claude is selling the fire out of um because he is still out there working any place they will give him a booking, he prices himself so he can work just about any place as long as they let him sell his CDs, so who cares which pocket you put the money in as long as you keep puttin’.

           Also on the same label from England as the Bobby Bare CD is this one from “The Sons Of The Pioneers” and this one goes back to the days of Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer and the Farr brothers, I don’t know if Leonard is with the group or not on this session, the time is right so if he is then the cover picture is not that great because none of them look like the cowboy, regardless, it’s pure western and pure Sons music from “Cool Water” right on up to “Riders In The Sky” and 16 more classics in between.

           The England label so far have released about 15 artists we think on their label, this is the third one we have in our catalog and it’s from Gene Autry, on it are 22 classic Gene Autry tunes, and of course “Back In The Saddle” is here and looking over the other 21 songs we would say that most if not all were heard in one or more of his many movies, also on this album is a couple written with Gene’s old friend Smiley Burnette. You know, most folks think of  “Old Frog” as being just a funny guy and a sidekick to Gene and others but he wrote some dag-gone good songs over the years and not all of them on the funny side.
 

          Bluegrass legend Jim McReynolds died in January, well actually, New Years Eve from thyroid cancer. >Born James Monroe McReynolds 75 years ago, he and his brother Jesse were as well known in the bluegrass world as just about anyone that ever graced the stage of The Grand Ole Opry which he and brother Jesse were a member of for the last 38 years.> Born in the Appalachian mountain town of Carfax, VA the brothers always paid homage to their heroes The Louvin Brothers, Roy Acuff and the great Bill Monroe.> Another chapter is closed as another “Star” reaches “Hillbilly Heaven”.

          When Charley Aldridge puts a few more finishing touches on some of the things he has been working on you are going to be in for a real treat, these “Western” poetry CDs he is working on will laugh you outa’ your saddle or what ever you’re a sittin’ in.> Mixed in with the humor is a lotta’ facts about the old west, however you may have a hard time figuring’ out which is truth and what is just plain ole funny.> We are going to do a whole story on Charley before long and when we are finished you may know Charley a lot better then you think you do.

          Here is something to remember, “Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement”

          If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went (Will Rogers)

          If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise (unknown)

          A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more then he loves himself (Josh Billings)

          Thanks to the folks that sent us some one-liners, sorry to say we couldn’t use them all, some of them words might upset grandma.

          According to the Best Westerns survey the number one Western out of the top 100 was or is, “The Searchers” with John Wayne.

         My favorite is the number eighty western with Richard Farnsworth called “The Grey Fox” maybe because Richard Farnsworth was one of the greatest people we ever met.

         That’s it for tonight, send us your jokes and stories and CDs and anything else you want to send 'cept your wife and we’ll try to write something good about it, we checked the counter on our site the other night and we sure want to thank all those who took the time to read our little stories.

          We’ll see ye later but just in case we don’t, take care of yourself

         Don Bradley
 

                    


 

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