Program Notes:  ‘Sounds Like Country from Here:  Songs by Tennessee Walt’

Bay View, Michigan, July 23, 2022 1.  “A Song about You” (Gayden Wren, 2019). A year or two back, I noticed that in 2020 a country singer named Sam Grow had premiered a song called “Song About You.”  I haven’t heard it, so I don’t know if it’s anything like mine.  For the record, I … Continue reading Program Notes:  ‘Sounds Like Country from Here:  Songs by Tennessee Walt’

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Program Notes:  Tennessee Walt’s ‘Three Chords and the Truth: Country’s Greatest Songwriters’

East Hampton Library, April 9, 2022 1.  “Always on My Mind” (Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, 1970). People are often surprised to learn that Nelson didn’t write this song, and that it actually had been recorded by a number of famous singers in the decade before Nelson got to it.  In part this … Continue reading Program Notes:  Tennessee Walt’s ‘Three Chords and the Truth: Country’s Greatest Songwriters’

Program Notes:  Tennessee Walt’s ‘Riding with the Outlaws’

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’

Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘An Afternoon in the Country’

Tappan Library, Tappan, NY * November 9, 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 Beasley was … Continue reading Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘An Afternoon in the Country’

Program Notes: Tennessee Walt’s ‘Hanks a Lot”

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”

The Night that Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Porter Wagoner Came to Town

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

‘Tennessee Walt: An Evening in ‘A Distant Country’: Program Notes

“Waiting for a Train” (Jimmie Rodgers, 1928). Rodgers is credited with writing this song, which he absolutely didn’t do—nearly all of his songs were written by other people or (if his name is on them) adapted from older blues songs or mountain ballads, and this is no exception.  It dates from no later than 19th-century … Continue reading ‘Tennessee Walt: An Evening in ‘A Distant Country’: Program Notes