“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “WITHOUT YOU” – By Des Kelly
A perfect “Country” love story, if ever there was one.
He was Waylon Jennings, an “Outlaw” Country Star, famous for his rebel attitude, his drinking & “drugs” habits, yet his human compassion for his many friends in the business, his undoubted “luck” when he gave up his seat on a plane trip, to escape certain death when the plane crashed shortly after take-off, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. (the Big Bopper. Waylon was then the bass guitar player in the famous Buddy Holly Band, “The Crickets”. The drastic incident happened on the 3rd of February, 1959, and even though this Outlaw realized how lucky he was, at the time, this did not stop him from getting together with his good mates Willie Nelson, Kris. Kristofferson, Johnny Cash & Merle Haggard (another well known REAL Outlaw), on his arrival back home to Texas, “kickin’ ass”, as the saying goes, & doing their own thing. Like the other “outlaws”, at the time, Waylon Jennings was a typical “man’s man”. He went around (with the “Jenning’s sound), playing guitar & singing his songs in his own inimitable fashion, collecting “fans” by the thousands, drinking, smoking, snorting, & coughing, until he finally found the love of his life, Jessie Colter. Waylon Jennings settled down somewhat, after meeting this stunningly beautiful woman (a talented Country-Composer, herself, a pianist, + accompanist of Waylon, on-stage, his lover & the mother of their one son, Shooter Jennings).
This was indeed the special love-story of the time. Jessie truly loved her man, and Waylon Jennings reciprocated her love, which was plain to see, whenever they appeared on stage together.
Waylon Jennings died on the 13th February 2002, in his sleep, a victim of the dreaded diabetes. He was only 64 years old, but Jessie was there, with him, when it happened.
There are many “couples” in Country Music, I have admired over the years, but Waylon & Jessie were specials far as I am concerned. She remains, still as beautiful as ever, singing & recording, and when I came across her version of “Without You” , dedicated,of course, to her husband, I fully expected the song to be a slow, sad, sentimental ballad, but, one never knows with Jessie Colter.
For all my readers of eLanka, I have picked two songs, written by a woman, still very much in love with her man.
Ladies and Gentlemen, for my “Stories in Song” 2019, I am proud to present Jessie Colter with two songs which I hope all of you will enjoy.
We did not know the name of this sweetie until recently, but, if ever there was a “talent” in the making, here she is. As cute as the proverbial button, eat your heart out, Frank Sinatra, wherever you are, this little girl is paying you a tribute that no other male or female could do in a million years. “On pitch” -100%, timing, absolutely perfect, you can hear and understand every word she sings, with that cherubic “diction”, that makes you want to reach out and hug her, this tiny “star” could well go on to be a huge “Name” in the business that is preceded by the word “Show”. The eyes, the smile, the “presentation” , EVERYTHING!!, reminded me of another little girl of around the same age, accompanied by her proud mum & dad, attending a talent quest called “Search for a Star” which I organized for the Federal Hotel Group in Melbourne during the 1970’s, coming up to the microphone at the Hampton Hotel (by the beach), & singing her song, wowing the audience there, (I brought her on-stage as early as possible, to enable her parents to get her back home before it got too late). She won her “heat” easily, singing like a professional, three times her age, (she was probably about 6 years old), came back, the following week for the “finals”, winning easily once again. She, therefore started her career with ” Search for a Star”, joining Johnny Young on his television show, in Melbourne, not long after, went on, getting better at what she was so very good at, until she was ready to “go it” alone. She has made Australia proud, is recognised around the World, and quite recently was chosen to sing “Don’t cry for me Argentina”, and play Evita, which should be a ” must see” for all Music lovers.
This time, I do know her name folks. She is Tina Arena. Good luck to her and good luck to “Tiny Tina” as well. God bless you both, and may ” Showbiz” be good to you.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “CARROLL COUNTY, IN SAGINAW MICHIGAN” – By Des Kelly
Talk of “Stories in Song”, here are two beauties.
Walter Browning’s son, Porter discovers the old man’s wedding ring in a little matchbox (circled by a rubber band), in the glove-box of Mary-Ellen’s car which was smashed up in an accident, which killed Walter & almost killed Mary-Ellen as well. Both were highly respected in Carroll County & both were married (but not to each other), so what they were doing together was anybody’s guess. Mary-Ellen testified that he’d flagged him down, saying he was sick & could she drive him into town, and she verified this. Porter, however did a bit of thinking and realizing what might have been going on, threw the little matchbox containing his dad’s wedding ring into a deep well, and the finale’ of this story is that the County ordered an imposing monument of marble for Porter’s dad. What a story in song for all my eLanka readers. Please, no disrespect for Walter Browning.
You shouldn’t throw stones, while living in a glass house.
The next “story” is about a son of a—-oops, Saginaw fisherman. His tale is much simpler, still, very interesting.
This guy, Lefty, did not have very much to offer his girl-friend whose dad was not only influential, but was not short of a buck or three. He didn’t want a bar of Lefty and refused to give his daughter’s hand to this son of a Saginaw fisherman
who, then migrated over to Alaska to do a bit of gold-digging. After some time, Lefty wrote to his girlfriend saying that he had made a “big strike” in Klondike and that he was coming back home to marry her, was met back in Saginaw by his father-in-law, who now gave Lefty a big party and, at the same time, persuaded his son-in-law to-be to sell him a parcel of land where gold was abundant. Lefty did, and this greedy man left the happily married couple to migrate to Alaska to dig (in vain), for the gold that Lefty, son-in- law of a Saginaw fisherman never actually found.
Served the son-of-a ¿~`>•▪! right, I’d say. Two great Stories-in-Song for all our eLanka readers. Please enjoy.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “ANOTHER DON” – By Des Kelly
In Australia, the name Don immediately brings to mind, the greatest Cricketer (Batsman/Captain) in the World, Sir Donald Bradman, the head of the Italian Mafia was always known as “Don”, no matter what his original name was.
Then, there was the late Don Knotts (Actor), the late Don Rickles (Comedian), & the not so late Don Hinds, only 25 years old & already an “You-tube” Star. Congratulations to the final Don. May you go onto greater things on You-Tube.
Stop digressing Des, & go on with your “Stories in Song”, featuring, this time, the late, great Don Ho, a Hawaiian “great” who started very small, really. His first “hit” in fact, was “Tiny Bubbles”, born Donald Tai Loy Ho on August 13th
1930, died of a heart-attack on April 14th 2007. Don Ho has the distinction of being, in just two words, “Mr. Hawaii”.
He was a natural Entertainer, an example for all easy-going Island “Musos”. He was a vocalist, piano & ukelele player, originating from Honolulu in 1959, he started his recording career with Reprise Records and naturally, his first album was titled “Tiny Bubbles”, a copy of which became one of my favourites, and also of my youngest son, Warren, who obviously loved this song, so we “recorded” Warren’s version of the song, which became a favourite with my family.
Hawaiian Music, a happy carefree example of what good music can be, when performed not only by Don or Warren, but by anyone who loves “Island Music”. Anyone who prefers spending their spare time by the seaside (anywhere), and, apart from Ceylon, or Serendib, as it was originally known, I cannot think of a better place to enjoy Hawaiian Music than Hawaii, itself. For the members of eLanka, plus anybody else who reads this, I would love to present 3 Don Ho songs, so folks, please get your leis and grass skirts (ladies), ready.?, HERE WE GO WITH DON HO !!.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “RHONDA & GENE—-GONE FOR GOOD”!!
Only joking, folks. This is Rhonda Vincent & Gene Watson
I am talking about. Rhonda would have to be one of the finest female Country Singers, I have had the pleasure of listening to, recently. As for Gene, well, there isn’t a single song,recorded by this man, that I have not enjoyed.
As everyone knows, there are hundreds of very good Country Singers, most of them, from America, but then, the very best Country Musicians also hail from the U.S.A., and their “backing” of people such as Rhonda & Gene only help them to sound even better (if this is possible).
As I have said (& written), many times, my taste in Music
is catholic. I live for the love of good music, but as all my eLanka readers will already know, Country Music is my forte’. Still, good music abounds in this World of ours and we are lucky indeed to have such a variety of it.
Because my “Series of Song” 2019 is all about Music, we, at elanka have decided to make our “Introductions” brief, & to the point, providing our readers with only the very best “Music-Clips” via You-Tube (& there are thousands of them),
that 75 plus years of experience gives me the honour of presenting to our Members (& there are 1000s of them too),
the “pick of the bunch”. I promise you folks, you will NOT be disappointed.
Besides “Gone for good” by Rhonda Vincent and Gene Watson, I would like to present Rhonda, together with mum, Carolyn & brother Darrin singing “Teardrops over you”.
They also say that “good things run in the family” and this is ample proof of that. Ladies & Gentlemen, please enjoy Rhonda Vincent & Gene Watson, plus,,the Vincent family.
“STORIES IN SONG” SERIES 2019 – “Going to Pot” – By Des Kelly
They have sung around the World as individuals, entertaining millions of fans, making lots of money, writing superb songs (both of them), true Icons of Country Music, now teaming up to tell us that the World is “going to pot”, and, how true it is. Merle Haggard, who passed away on the 6th of April, 2016, & his buddy Willie Nelson, happily, still with us, tell us, in no uncertain terms, the state of the World, as it was, when they were recording the song. Well, it hasn’t got any better friends, as a matter of fact, it steadily got worse.
Our Universe has certainly “gone to pot”, our Politicians have all gone “potty”, and that is the understatement of the year 2019. The only consolation is the fact is that ordinary folk everywhere are beginning to realize this and are now taking steps to remedy the situation.
Back to the Music scene again, and when you see (and hear) these two “old troupers” sing and play those instruments together, firstly on their “diagnosis”, and finally on “Ramblin’ Fever”, regardless of which music genre’ you prefer, everyone must realize the true, stupendous talent of Professionals as they combine, to entertain you.
Merle Haggard, in addition to being a superb vocalist, was also a Songwriter of distinction, PLUS a multi- instrumentalist, playing both rhythm and lead guitar and the “fiddle” (violin, in the higher echelons of musicality), and Willie Nelson, singing in his own style, playing his old battered acoustic guitar that he named “Trigger”, an instrument that looks as though it would only cost a few dollars in a second-hand shop, but actually worth more than a few thousand, only because it belongs to this legend of Country Music. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you, the late, very great Merle Haggard (in his prime), rest in peace, Merle, and Willie Hugh Nelson, with two songs that THEY do so well.
“An elephant never forgets”, an amazing but true saying as regards this huge, still gentle animal, used for various manual labours, especially in Asia. While on the subject, I must make mention about the Pinnawella Animal Sanctuary in Sri Lanka, which tourists from all over the World, never fail to visit primarily to see many adult and baby elephants looked-after, with love, by the “mahouts”(elephant carers’) over there. This is exactly how it should be. Animals are also God’s creatures and must be looked after, because, as time goes by, their living areas keep getting smaller, forests are being stripped of trees mainly for the wood they produce, and robbing the homelands of fauna, in general.
“What has this got to do with “Stories in Song”?, you ask.
Well, let me tell you. We are in Thailand now. Paul Barton, an Englishman decided to take a trip there in 1996, met his wife, a Thai lass by the name of Khwan, who was an animal activist over there, so Paul, who was also a pianist got involved with his wife’s business and began to “care” for his animal friends with Music, which, as all my readers must know, causes some amazing reactions even with animals and/or plants as well. Flora seems to “bloom” more readily if soft music is within their earshot, Cows provide more milk if their “milkers” play them some music. Prince Charles, future King of England readily admits to “talking” to the plants in his garden and quite possibly plays them some music as well, to watch them grow faster & stronger.
It depends, of course, on the Music that is played. What you have already heard is a piece of beautiful music, played on piano by Richard Clayderman, born in beautiful Paris, on the 28th December1953. He is a superb pianist and “Claire de Lune” (light of the moon), by Debussy, is a “work” that I have loved (as I love ALL good Music), ever since I heard it played by Richard, many years ago.
Paul Barton comes into the picture once again when he moves a piano outside his home and coaxed an 80 year old, half blind Elephant named Amphan who has had a really hard life, lost one eye in the process, as close to the instrument as possible, sits down at the piano and plays Claire de Lune, for his old friend, who stands there, barely moving, listening to this same tune, with a tear clearly showing in it’s one eye. This Elephant was enjoying the music and obviously remembering better times. As I said, an Elephant never forgets, and I have to thank “You-tube, on behalf of eLanka for one of the most moving & beautiful Music Clips I have ever seen. Judge for yourselves, folks. Please enjoy the beautiful Music that made an Elephant cry.
I wouldn’t call him a great singer, especially as he was surrounded by some of the greatest “voices” in history, during this genre’ of Country Music, but Kris Kristofferson made up for this by being one of the greatest Country Music Songwriters of all time. Born on the 22nd of June 1936, into a military family (his father was once an Air Force General), and Kristoffer (naturally), also served as a helicopter pilot, after graduating as an Oxford Scholar, he decided that songwriting was his “calling”, came to Nashville and the rest is history.
Tall, ruggedly good-looking, with what is known as a gravelly voice, Kris was also an “Actor” in great demand
(It seems, that even in America, one needs more than a single string to their bow), or, in a word, “multi-talented”, and Kris Kristofferson was surely one who was. He “acted”, sang, played a good guitar, wrote World famous songs like “Me & Bobbie McGee” “For the good times”, “Help me make it thru the night”, many others that were grabbed by various other Country Artistes, as recording material, and the you-tube “clip” that introduces this story, “Sunday morning coming down”, which I chose especially as I would swear that the “Bass-player” in his backing group here, is a Sri Lankan (& good luck to him. He is one fortunate guy).
Kris Kristofferson (83, this year), has not been making ONLY Music. He has been making babies too. He married three times, has eight fine children (all, now adults, of course) & the finishing “clip” features one of his beautiful wives, Rita Coolidge, who sings the way she feels about her famous husband, the “Outlaw” Kris Kristofferson. She tells us that she is “The jealous kind” , which she quite probably was, and believe me folks, this writer knows all about them, too. Ladies & Gentlemen, I am proud to present both Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge on Stories in Song.
“Music hath charms”, to soothe a savage breast, to soften knots, or bend a knotted oak”, wrote the poet Congreve, in “The Mourning Bride”, just as William Shakespeare wrote from “The Twelfth Night”, “If music be the food of love, play on”. This writer LOVES Music. Really does not matter which Country it comes from, does not matter which language it entails, does not matter who the Composer is/or was, just as long as the music is “easy on the ear”, can be enjoyed, brings a few minutes of peace and wellbeing to the listener, better still, someone who will want to hear it, perhaps, over & over again.
I first heard Samoan & Cook-Island music, around the & 1970’s after arriving in Australia, immediately fell in love with it, in it’s simplicity, musicality & the fact that I then realized that we, Islanders have this inborn knack of being able to “make music” in the simplest way, whenever we felt like it. The Samoans & Cook-Islanders, Fijian & Anglo-Indians, Hawaiians, Cubans, plus many others, also provide the World with spontaneous music that is very easy to listen to, even though the lyrics of the vocalists are synonymous with the Countries they come from. However, I have noticed that some lyricists cannot seem to fit in their “words” with the strict cadence of the music & some lyrics tend to spoil the beauty of the music. Still, I suppose, it is the Music that counts, in the long run. Ladies & Gentlemen, let me present you with some beautiful Samoan Music.