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|Date News Posted: June
Going through some of the great old classics putting together a little old radio show for a friend that now calls Japan home, gave me a chance to just sit back and listen to how great some of those songs and recordings were.
Some of them were from the 50's, some even before that, but all of them some great songs and memories, like the guitar pickin' of Hank Snow on his "Rhumba Boogie". Years ago Hank sent us an album of his with him doing the lead pickin', and anyone that thinks Hank Snow couldn't pick a guitar needs a new set of ears.
Hank's early life is one that should be a movie, it wasn't one of a rich kid that lived high on the hog, it was one where a step father made it a daily ritual beating the crap out of him and doing what ever he could to hurt and humiliate him, a story that for most of us would have been hard to over come but Hank did and the history of his great music will last forever.
People that do things like that to other people have to one day answer to a higher source and What goes around, comes around, and you can put that in your pipe and smoke it, and no, it won't cause any of the things mentioned on a pack of cigarettes.
Hank Snow, from what the latest news from Tennessee is, is that he is not doing too well but he is hangin' on so send him a card if you have an extra few quarters in your pocket.
The old Squeakin' Deacon show that he used to do on the week ends out of a school or park club house or something like that down around the edge of Compton, California > we were there for many of those shows, but, that was many moons ago, anyway, he had some great talent show up for those shows, one I remember that we never heard from again was Bobby Edwards, Bobby had several great songs but one we really liked called "You're The Reason" was a big hit for him around those years in Southern California.
That last remark brings me to another point, sometimes we get letters from people that want an old record or anything else a particular song is on and think you are stupid because you never heard it or don't know what they are talking about, But, many great records by local artist were just released in the area in which the artist lived and the rest of the world never heard it.
It was about as hard putting out a record in the 50's as it was to get an A&W Root Beer, if you had somewhere between five hundred and a thousand bucks you could put out a record, if no one else wanted to do it for you, do it your self. All you had to do was take your tape to any pressing company and say, press me up five hundred of these, my label is called "Lard Can" and my name is, and I wrote the song and it's two minutes and thirty seconds long and it's an ASCAP or a BMI song, and ten days later you had a record, and since there were a goodly amount of Country stations back then, send um all one.
Now the money you would get back from airplay would hardly be enough to get you to Ft. Worth, but most of the artist would sell a bunch of them on personal appearances, and the guy that introduced you at one of them shows could say, Ladies and Gentlemen, hear is "Lard Can" recording artist Willie Woomper, and that always sounded good.
Many of the local artist did just that (make up a label name and press them on their own) and many of them were later picked up by a major, which back then was not all the hanky panky games they play today and there were not all that many big name labels like those that sprung up as time went on.
RCA, Capitol, Decca and a few others but mostly if you were on any of these three you were in tall clover, we have some copies of some old royalty checks paid to some pretty big names in amounts like forty eight cents, a buck thirty nine, and like we said you ain't gettin' to Ft. Worth on that.
We read someplace that Garth Brooks received a royalty check nigh on to twenty dollars once, boy, can you imagine some one getting that much money, well actually what his record label did was after his last big hit was, just give him Reno.
When good old Lefty had two or three songs in the charts he was lucky to get three hundred and fifty dollars a night at some of them clubs he worked, times change.
Going back and looking at some of these really great country classics with names like Willie Nelson from his early years and "You Wouldn't Even Cross The Street To Say Goodbye" and Junior Samples "The Whopper" Mac Wiseman and "Jimmy Brown The News Boy" Hank Thompson and "Yesterday's Girl" Mel Street & "I Met A Friend Of Yours Today" "Blackland Farmer" with Frankie Miller and Narvel Felts "Reconsider Me" and good ol' Faron Young, what a bunch of great hits he had and the "Family Bible" with Claude Gray > we could go on for weeks with some of this good stuff but we are working on another catalog with all of it in it so we'll have to save more memories 'till then.
Oh: one we added to the tape we put together last night , is not one of the classics from yesteryear but her father was, is one we had mentioned before from Jett Williams, there is something about this song that makes my liver quiver it's called "Another Cheatin' Heart"
We did put Cal Smith's "Drinking Champagne" on the tape, first time we played that booger was when we received the 45 at the station we were working on, it was about eight or nine o:clock at night and the phones started ringing, mostly from lonely women I think, I always regretted that, we only had time to return twenty or thirty of them calls.
We sure to like to get request for them old ones that never got to big but big enough that at least a lot of people heard them like last week, Onie Wheeler and "Somebody's Been Shuckin' My Corn" and you don't have to have a high school d-plome-eh to figure out what that one is about, and how about this one Guy Drake and the "Welfare Cadillac".
Walter Brennan Jr. is not only a good friend but just an out standing artist as we have mentioned before, he has done some portraits of his Dad that makes you want to walk up to them and say Howdy, he kinda slacked off painting a couple years ago to pursue another hobby, building and flying model air planes (them big ones) which he really enjoys. One of the lakes out here in Southern California built him and some fellow model plane lovers an airport that is just the cats meow, then after flying they all get together and tell stories and eat tacos. Well anyway, being a fan of his Dad's like a couple billion other folks and knowing how well "Andy" (W.B.Jr.) paints I just could not get it out of my mind how great a picture would look that he could paint of "Old Rivers" and I wanted to call it, "That Mule, Old Rivers and Me" of course that being that tear jerkin' last line in the song of the same name, so we mentioned it to him a month or so ago, last week he said, "I been thinking about what you said, I'm thinking about doing it, I just have to get it all lined up in my head exactly how it would look the best".
We hope he does and if so maybe we will be lucky enough to get some of the prints for some of Mr. Brennan's fans.
It would be hard to mention "Old Rivers" and not mention the guy that wrote it, one of the past members of Town Hall Party who for quite a while was a team with another great young singer, Billy Mize who is still very much alive in Bakersfield. Cliff Crofford's list of songs that he has written would fill a who's who book and the list of people who have recorded them would fill two books. Cliff and his family are fine people and we are just proud we ever got to know him. you can hear a couple three of Cliff's songs in the Robert Redford movie "The Horse Whisper".
Shortly we will have some more really great western art of some of your favorite silent and old time silver screen cowboys by the New Mexico artist Redwing Cherokee, some of these prints will really look good in your Western Bar or club house or if you really like Lash LaRue you can hang him over your bed, about center looks good, that's where I have Clint Eastwood and Dolly Parton.
We will have pictures of all of them shortly and you can get them here if you want or we will also be putting them on e-bay which gets about a million hits an hour it seems like. I don't know if we will be able to put together a color catalog or not but we'll give it a shot, I know they will be in color on e-bay.
Well Tennessee has finally done the right thing with road kill making it legal to eat what you hit and kill with your car, now that don't mean you can go chasing a moose across the field and hit it with your car, it just means that if you ACCIDENTALLY hit an animal while passing through and you got a hankerin' to eat it, just put it in your back seat, take it home and cook it, shortly we hope to be getting with Cindy Walker another lover of fresh road kill, and develop some fine sauces and mixes, maybe we could call it "W&B" fine road kill helpers, such as "Moose Helper" "Possum Helper" "Snake Sauce" and one of my favorites "Lizard Expander" now what this one is, is, a stuffing, it is injected into the lizard with a meat baster and makes them little critters much fatter to enjoy, a little cooking tip (it takes a minimum of twelve lizards for a nice meal for two) on the side, a fine wine or butter milk.
If you are interested any of the Western art coming up, drop us a note (anyway you want) e-mail, fax, phone, mail, ups, pony express and we'll get you a print out, catalog or something or, just answer your questions. The Indian's art is what other artist call "Comic Book Art" it is like stepping back into the pages of the old Dell comic books, anyway, it's good stuff.
We would like to say that Don Hinson will be opening this week for Merle Haggard in Las Vegas, we would like to say that but we can't, but what we can say is, we are very happy that Hinson made it back from Oklahoma o.k. and most of all that his Mother, Elizabeth, came out of the hospital with flying colors and is now doing much better in her Oklahoma home, hang in there Mrs. Hinson, you have a fine son and a good friend.
Ancel Cook that we mention a lot is probably in your house more than mine, you can't turn on the boob tube that his puss don't pop up on a McDonalds commercial, a Poloroid commercial a Coors Beer commercial or a sit-com, he has so many dogs at his house he has to eat nine steaks a night just so each one of them will have a bone, he is the only person I know that instead of putting his family's picture on a Christmas card, he puts his dogs picture on um, if he moved to Alaska, he would have his own dog sled team. But we are sorry to say that his Mother also is sick and next week he will be headed for Oklahoma to be with her. We sure hope everything works out well, we know she will be o.k. anyone that could wake one morning and see what they had given birth to and it had survived this long in this old world this long has got to get well with flying colors, cause this ain't nothin' to what you have already been through with Ancel. Good Luck Mrs. Cook, we Love you and your son.
My Brother is just passing through Kansas on his way to Kentucky, at this point the weather is good, the trucks running good, the tape deck is working and Merle Haggard music is coming out the speakers, he just filled up on McDonalds and the coffee can beside him is full and hot so he should be good for another four hundred miles, from his cell phone he just said he was going to drive all night and should be in Kentucky about three in the morning. That's a long drive, take it easy.
We got some more tapes to put together, some CD's to send to Radio stations and a few letters to get out that we are behind on, so remember the words of a famous country boy.> If you drink don't drive, if you drive don't drink, Unless you want an undertaker for a chaser.
We'll see you next time but just in case we don't, take care of yourself
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