Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Honky tonk

Dale Watson’s Truckin’ Sessions (Vol. 1)

Last May’s piece about Sonny George and his modern truck driving classic album   Truckin’ Country (issued on Eddie Angel‘s Spinout label) reminds me that Dale Watson deserves recognition for his own equally excellent contribution that very same year, 1998’s Truckin’ Sessions.  Kick-off tune, “Good Luck ‘n’ Good Truckin’ Tonite” 

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Lloyd Green: “Mr. Nashville Sound”

When we last checked in with Nashville All-Star and pedal steel guitarist extraordinaire, Lloyd Green, he had signed with Aubrey Mayhew & Johnny Paycheck’s label, Little Darlin’.  However, Green would be ready to switch labels just two years later to go with another indie, Chart. 1968’s Mr. Nashville Sound would

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“Tennessee Border”: Nashville All-Stars

“Tennessee Border” is a tuneful instrumental from an album, That Happy Nashville Sound, that features some of the finest musicianship that 1960s Nashville had to offer: I’m surprised, however, by how little I can find about this 1967 album on the internet.  Perhaps now is a good time for Bear

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“Lost Highway”: Hank Williams + Chet Atkins & Friends

One other prominent (and tragic) artist from country music’s early years to get the cosmetic posthumous remix is Hank Williams, whose death in 1953 in no way stopped MGM from issuing new product for the marketplace (often multiple albums per year) through 1981 and beyond.  Hank Williams, for instance, was

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“Frankie and Johnny”: Sincerest Form of Flattery

We’ve seen musical artists get into trouble with the public (and/or copyright holder) for releasing an original song that hews a little too closely to a prior piece of music, e.g., “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke and allegations that the song overtly mirrors “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin

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“Bob”: The Willis Brothers, Not Weird Al

“Bob” is the title track of a Willis Brothers album released on the Starday label in 1967: The song is written from the perspective of Bob’s wayward pal, who playfully chides him for choosing the path of domesticity rather than remaining carefree and unencumbered: “Bob”     The Willis Brothers     1967 “Remember

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“Baby Is Gone”: She’ll Take Your Pride, Charley

The closing track of Charley Pride’s 4th RCA album, Make Mine Country, caught my ear: “Baby Is Gone”     Charley Pride     1968 Album produced by Chet Atkins, Jack Clement & Narvel Felts “Baby Is Gone” – a 1968 LP release only – was written by “Cowboy” Jack Clement (who left us

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“We Did”: Herb & Kay, in fact, Did

“We Did” by Herb & Kay sure sounds like an A-side to me: “We Did”     Herb & Kay     1955 And yet, this song – recorded on August 19, 1955 at Cincinnati’s King Records studio – ended up as the B-side to “I’ve Got a Right to Be Jealous.” Billboard’s review from

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“Go Cat Go”: Norma Jean Co-opts the Rockabilly Battle Cry

I like how the beleaguered singer of this song ironically subverts the mythic rockabilly refrain, “Go Cat Go,” into a cry of liberation from her no-good, double-crossing partner: Click on link to hear audio for “Go Cat Go” by Norma Jean Norma Jean’s demand for independence (penned by Harlan Howard)

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“Me, Me, Me, Me, Me”: Honky Tonk Opera

Opera meets Opry in this self-centered song that opens Liz Anderson’s 1968 RCA album, Like a Merry Go Round: “Me Me Me Me Me”     Liz Anderson     1968 “Me, Me, Me, Me, Me” also served as the B-side of Anderson’s “Cry, Cry Again” RCA 45. It was my friend and

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