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Archive for the ‘Country Music’ Category

Song ID: Jerry Wallace’s Night Gallery hit

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

screen-shot-2013-09-02-at-92411-pmI’ve been watching reruns of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery on MeTV. This was an early ’70s series that ran for three seasons and had a format similar to the Twilight Zone, with Serling as the host introducing creepy tales with twist endings. Each episode featured a corresponding painting in keeping with the “gallery” theme and fright factors that were more heavy-handed than in the Twilight Zone.

I finally got to see an episode called “The Tune in Dan’s Cafe” (painting on left), which I had known spawned the Jerry Wallace 1972 country #1 hit “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry.”  The episode told the story of a jukebox that played the same record over and over again due to its being haunted by the ghost of a jilted lover. After the episode ran in January of ’72, apparently, radio stations received enough requests for the nonexistent record to prompt an official release by studio vocalist Wallace, who’d had moderate pop chart success until the mid-sixties, when he’d shifted gears to country.

I’ve never much liked this Wallace record, being the kind of overwrought schmaltz country radio had more than its share of in the early ’70s.  When I saw the episode, though, I realized that the TV version is better, having a harder country sound.  Would listener demand for the song have been so strong if the TV version had been as goopy as the official release? Well, probably. Try as I might to decipher why songs become popular, sometimes melodies just get stuck in people’s heads.

Read more at Early ’70s Radio

Jerry Wallace – “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry” (Night Gallery TV excerpt) (1972)

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Jerry Wallace – “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry” (hit record excerpt) (1972)

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Archie Campbell, “Rindercella” (1965)

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

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I was at Fry’s in North Austin when I walked by a guy who looked so very familiar – thin, moustachioed, dressed in a hunting cap and vest, and talking on a cell phone. The bit of conversation I overheard: “Well, just tell him that next time he shows up I’m gonna grab a baseball bat and beat the h’yell out of him.” After wracking my brains and staking out from a safe distance I realized I didn’t know him at all but that he was just a dead ringer for Hee Haw‘s decidedly less threatening Archie Campbell. So I went home and dug up this single Campbell put out pre-Hee Haw – a 1965 version of Jack Ross’s 1962 minor cabaret hit “Cinderella,” featuring a mess of jumbled consonants and another mess of guffaws for each one.

Archie Campbell – “Rindercella”

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Song ID: Mel Tillis – “It’s a Long Way to Daytona” (1982)

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

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It was Bobby Allison’s year when this NASCAR track came out. (How many NASCAR tracks are there? I don’t think too many, which is surprising.) Congrats to Matt Kenseth here in 2009, who couldn’t have won in less dramatic fashion.

Mel Tillis – “It’s a Long Way to Daytona”

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posted by Kim Simpson

Sunday Service: Oak Ridge Boys – “I Know” (1973)

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

It’s a gospel pork chop party for your Sunday consideration (but do be mindful of flying limbs).

Chris Knight (Gruene Hall, Gruene, TX, 5/18/07)

Friday, May 18th, 2007

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1 – If Phil Ochs used to write most of his songs by opening up the newspaper, most of the recent generation of Texas country rockers open up an atlas. Luckily, Chris Knight’s an adopted Texan from Kentucky who’s never felt the need to resort to that strategy.

2 – Knight, in fact, who will probably remind you of Steve Earle as you get to know his stuff, is a fine songwriter in his own right with a definite fixation on the gothic aspects of hillbilliana, and shows a healthy mistrust of certain Americana-syndrome production values on his Trailer Tapes album (dribbling B-3 organs, truck commercial Telecasters, overdrawn vocal drawls). Most Knight songs, in other words, leave behind a virtual corpse or two.

3 – Knight’s got a knowing look in his eye that contrasts pretty sharply with the blank frat faces that populate his shows and sing along to every word. Wonder what he’s thinkin’ up there.

4 – Knight’s hoarse Appalachian speaking voice is more grizzled and crusty and grammatically mangled than you’d expect after hearing his ability to turn a phrase in songs. (“I’ll bet y’all a bunch a tourist-ers,” he twice croaked to the Historic Gruene Hall crowd at historically low speed.) Authentic? Not necessarily an easy one because the shtick almost comes off as a put on, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Buck Owens and His Buckaroos – “Christmas Morning” (1965)

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

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Buck Owens and His Buckaroos – “Christmas Morning”

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