COUNTRY SINGERS/SONGWRITERS – BY Desmond Kelly
Genres of “history” matter very much to historians, and likewise, genres of “music” matter to musicians. My “tastes” in music are extremely “catholic”. I love all types, came into this World with music already seething through my veins, my dear mother, already having won prizes for “singing” at school and dad, a fairly good “baritone” although not professionally. Even as a very young baby, a very frail one, at that, nothing could soothe me more than music. I don’t think that a single day has passed through my life, honestly, without some sort of music enhancing some part of it. How could I explain this better ?. Plants seem to “grow better” with music around them.
It is a well-known fact that even cows provide better & MORE miik if their owners play some sort of music, while milking them. Savage dogs have been known to have calmed down when they entered an area where music coud be heard, my first major “operation” was carried out at a hospital in Dandenong, my home-town in Melbourne, took about two hours totally blacked-out by a strong anesthetic, BUT, during every second of that operation, I was in, what truly felt like a “sound-lounge” with beautiful orchestral music all around me. It felt like I was in a “heaven” of music. As soon as I “came-to”, the music stopped and the “after-op” pain started. Right then, I would have been more than happy to go back into the operating theatre and under the “needle” again. NOTHING can beat good music . I would encourage every single reader of this “piece” to ALWAYS have even a minute or two of THEIR favourite music handy, in case “the blues” suddenly show up. Everyone feels “down” or depressed at times, yes, it’s difficult to believe that this writer could ever be down, he has been too bloody busy to even find the time for that, BUT, again, being truthful about it, I do feel extremely “frustrated” at times, frustrated about where our World is rapidly heading. Then, all I do is switch-on this very ipad on which I am writing this, over to the music I love, and “bingo”, the frustration is gone, as I listen to the “Country Songwriters” & the beautiful songs they have written.
I spoke about “genres” earlier. Well, everyone will have their favourite “genres” in life. I spoke about my tastes in music being “catholic” , a little bit of this & a little bit of that. Well , I would consider myself a “middle of the road” type, and there are thousands of us. I am NOT into what I would term ” heavy classical music”, far too complex for simple guys & girls. My “style” here would have to be, for example, the beautiful music of Johann Strauss. I am NOT into what is termed “heavy-Jazz” either. Too much “individualism” with musicians all wanting to do their own thing to the detriment of the song played which becomes “lost” in the process.Here, I prefer what is known as “Trad-Jazz”. Just as good, more enjoyable because it is more “recognizable”. I am NOT into “Modern-Pop” because , again, Modern Pop-Songs are very short-lived, “lyrics” to these songs are mostly meaningless &, in this type of music, the “beat” is the main ingrediant of the song. Rap, Hip-Hop, “Gungan-style” or whatever it’s correct name is, is not music at all, it is just a simple way of doing your exercise to some music which is repititious to a fault. Then we come to Punk & Heavy-Metal & if I could just lay my hands on some “heavy metal”, like a hammer, sledge or claw, I would know exactly where to use it. This is what I term MUSICK. Deafening, decibels at their utmost, SONGS ! ! ?, what songs ?, simpletons shouting & screaming anything they want to, because no-one can hear them anyway, guitars, electric ones, squealing like a thousand unfortunate cats being strangled. They call that music. Anyway, as I always say, to each his own”
And so we come to “my kind of music”😁”Country Music”. Here again, I am partial to only “Country Music” of the 70s thru to the 90s. This music, from it’s earliest stages was correctly termed “the story of life”, but what was termed “hillbilly” songs going back to days of Bob Wills, Roy Acuff, Gene Autry etc., good songs, performed well, but lacking the “crying” pedal-steel guitars which “make” for a perfect “Country-Song”, soon became “Country & Western” music, started to become outdated and even began to sound “corny”.Then came the 50s & 60s. The really “big-stars” of my type of music began to surface. Country songwriters began to sell songs that they had written much earlier, even began re-editing them, changing lyrics here & there to make them even more meaningful than they already were, big names such as George Jones, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard plus a dozen or more began demanding new songs to record, writers, such as Willy Nelson, Kris Kristofferson & Co., began to reap the rewards of their long painstaking hours of writing whqt would now become the “hits” of the Country Music Scene.
And so we come to the 70s, 80s & 90s, in my opinion
the absolute zenith of Country Music. Top Stars were.now flocking to Nashville from all over the World. As far as the songs were concerned, there were a few “duds”, but most of them were superb, clever, meaningful & melodic. What more could we ask of a song? . The “bands/groups” began to get their instruments to sound so good,their “arrangements” could be listened to over & over & over again without listeners such as myself ever getting tired of listening to them. Marty Robbins, Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, Rita Coolidge, The Carter Sisters, Ray Price, Waylon Jennings, the list goes on. Even later, we have superb singers like Vince Gill, Gene Watson & even youngsters like Mo Pitney.
I will “sign-off” with a “musical-message to all my eLanka readers. The song is “Don’t you ever get tired of hurting me? , written by Hank Cochran, especially for Ray Price, on You-Tube. When you get the chance, please spend a few minutes watching the Gene Watson version . I think he does the best.job with it.
It’s a great song & you will probably want to watch.some other versions too. Try the Ray Price & the Mo Pitney versions as well. These guys CAN SING.
Now, yet another young, upcoming Country Star has come to my attention. He is Kenneth Arnold Chesney, born in Knoxville Tennessee on the 26th of March, 1968. With Kenny Chesney, folks, you’ll have ” No shoes, no shirt, no problem, a superb Country Song, written by Casey Beathard, featured especially for all eLanka readers everywhere. Hope you loved the song, folks.