T for Texas

Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933) was one of the first “stars” of country music.  Often known as the Singing Brakeman, Rodgers set the standard for future generations:

Jimmie Rodgers’s first Blue Yodel, which became known as “Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas) ”, was recorded on 30 November 1927 in the Trinity Baptist Church at Camden, New Jersey. When the song was released in February 1928 it became “a national phenomenon and generated an excitement and record-buying frenzy that no-one could have predicted”.

I first heard Lynyrd Skynyrd do ‘T for Texas’ back in school days.  I didn’t think much about the song or the lyrics, but over the years it’s dawned on me how radical this stuff is.

i’m gonna buy me a pistol
just as long as I am tall
i’m gonna shoot poor Thelma
just to see Her jump And fall.

Kids today, in my day even, think of Country music as old stuffy stuff, with the hoots and the haws and the howdy y’all.  Go back to the roots and you’ll find some pretty basic matters of life, love and all the complications thereof.

(cross-posted at last.fm)

The Marfa Spark

Over on Last.fm, Marybeth d’Amico put up a very short journal last week.

It doesn’t get much better than this. Tift Merritt recently interviewed Patty Griffin on her radio show, Spark. Listen here:

Don’t know how soon Marfa (TX) Public Radio will cycle to a new interview, but go listen to this now. Grab it, give it a quick go, savor it, come back to it later and immerse yourself in this glimpse into an artist’s soul.

I immediately fell in love with Patty Griffin from her first acoustic album. On the other hand I’ve been slow to warm up to the merits of Tift–unlike many one-hit wonders, I’m actually appreciating her talents more as she matures as an artist. Ms. Griffin has branched out into more pop-oriented ventures and well, maybe the older and younger edges of what I consider my generation are converging here.

Thank’s for the lead, Marybeth! Good luck at your show tonight.

(Cross posted at last.fm)