Chappaqua Library * January 28, 2023 Click here to read your program notes.
Bayport-Blue Point Public Library, Blue Point, New York * November 13, 2022 To read your program notes, please click here.
Bayport-Blue Point Public Library, Blue Point, New York * November 13, 2022 1. “Honky Tonk Heroes” (Billy Joe Shaver, 1973). The story goes that in late 1972, after repeated efforts to corner Waylon Jennings and play his songs for him, Billy Joe Shaver had had enough. Knowing that Jennings was going to be recording at … Continue reading Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘Riding with the Outlaws’
Westbury Memorial Public Library, Westbury, NY * December 16, 2022 1. “Night Train to Memphis” (Roy Acuff, 1942). Roy Acuff It’s impossible to say for sure who did what on this song, since it has three co-writers: Owen Bradley, Marvin Hughes and Beasley Smith. However, Bradley and Hughes were both best known as musicians, while … Continue reading Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘An Afternoon in the Country’
Voorhies Hall, Bay View, Michigan * July 20, 2022 “Honky Tonking” (Hank Williams, 1947) Williams actually recorded and released this song twice in consecutive years, once for the low-budget, no-royalties Sterling Records in 1947 and again for the far more professional MGM Records in January 1948. Sterling didn’t have much distribution, so the MGM recording … Continue reading Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘Hanks a Lot”
Is it a mystery if not many people care what the answer is? I say it’s a mystery if even one person cares—and, in this case, I’m that person. I didn’t initially recognize it as a mystery. It started out looking like a song: “The Night Hank Williams Came to Town” (1987). It’s a pretty … Continue reading The Night that Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Porter Wagoner Came to Town
“Worried Man Blues” (Carter Family, 1930). I have a theory about this song. I’m struck by the lines “I went across the river and laid me down to sleep. When I woke up, I had shackles on my feet.” Clearly the narrator has crossed a river and ended up in the wrong place, a place … Continue reading Program Notes: ‘A Distant Country 2’
For a man whose recording career lasted barely six years, Hank Williams casts an immense shadow. I’m currently doing a show called Tennessee Walt’s Hanks a Lot!—and most of the audience members seem to come in assuming that it’s a show of Hank Williams songs. When they learn that I’ll be doing songs not … Continue reading The Shadow of Hank Williams
There's a lot more that you should know about Cindy Walker, one of country music's all-time greatest songwriters, but here are 10 to get you started. 1) She was born 100 years ago today, on 20 July 2018, on a farm in Mart, Texas, east of Waco. 2) She was inducted … Continue reading Ten Things You Should Know about Cindy Walker
It’s been nine years since I started listening to country music and, unwittingly, placed my feet on the path that led to the birth of Tennessee Walt. (For further details of this story, check here.) The people who have known me longer than that are, for the most part, baffled by my new taste in … Continue reading Love Is Blind, in 4/4 Time