One of the country “outlaws” who doesn’t always get the recognition is Shel Silverstein, who not only wrote Johnny Cash’s iconic “Boy Named Sue” but also many of Bobby Bare’s RCA releases through the 1970s, including this great 45 about going “all in”:
[Pssst: Click on the triangle above to play “Vegas” by Bobby & Jeannie Bare.]
“Vegas” – recorded in September 1976 at Nashville’s RCA Victor Studio and released as a single – was subsequently played on the January 24, 1977 broadcast of The Ralph Emery Radio Show. Bobby (and Jeannie) Bare recorded “Vegas” toward the end of his long run with RCA (he signed with Columbia in 1978), and this song appears not to have been reissued until 1997’s 20-song The Essential Bobby Bare compilation, where the song serves, fittingly, as the final track.
Shel continued writing for Bobby Bare during his tenure with Columbia, including a typically bent take on the truck driving genre with “World’s Last Truck Drivin’ Man” from 1980’s Drunk and Crazy.
A couple years back Bobby Bare and his son, Bobby Bare, Jr., curated a tribute album to Silverstein entitled, Twistable, Turnable Man that features Shel’s songs covered by the likes of My Morning Jacket, Frank Black, Andrew Bird, Todd Snider, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, and The Boxmasters featuring Billy Bob Thornton – here’s a link to an NPR piece about this special recording project.
Patience is a Virtue
Fun ad for Ford trucks tagged onto the end of “Vegas” with music by Merle Haggard & the Strangers featuring Roy Nichols on lead guitar.