Monday, April 4, 2011

Stories in words and music: country edition

Like folk music, country music has its share of great singer-songwriters. Hank Williams is the first one I think of, particularly his I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. He also wrote Move It On Over, Honky Tonkin’, Cold, Cold Heart, and many more.     

Johnny Cash is the second one I think of, for his songs like Folsom Prison Blues, and I Walk the Line. His daughter, Rosanne, eventually sang his Tennessee Flat Top Box.

Rosanne Cash started with conventional country songs like Seven Year Ache, and What We Really Want, and gradually evolved to a more folk style like in The Wheel and Will You Remember Me. Johnny sang on her song September When It Comes.

Rosanne’s first husband was Rodney Crowell. Rodney wrote I Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried, and After All This Time. He and Rosanne sang It’s Such a Small World. Rodney also had the audacity to write I Walk the Line (Revisited), and then got Johnny Cash to sing on it.  

Mary Chapin Carpenter also started with conventional country songs like Down at the Twist and Shout, I Take My Chances, and Why Walk When You Can Fly. Later she wrote longer songs like John Doe No. 24, On and On It Goes, and Houston.

One of the funniest country songs has a last verse that contains almost every possible cliche. David Allen Coe had the hit version of You Never Even Called Me By My Name. Writers Steve Goodman and John Prine tell their own versions.

The lap steel guitar image is from here.

UPDATE - September 6, 2011

On August 30, 2011 Ty Bennett blogged about What Country Music Taught Me About Public Speaking.

No comments: